I posted My 2013 in Review recently, and have been reading it over and over to assess my progress over the past year. It’s always hard to make such an assessment when you don’t have year-over-year results to compare. Since this was my first full year of running and don’t have 2012 to use as a benchmark, I have to break the year in chucks and compare it that way.
Fortunately, I used Runtastic, a mobile app on my iPhone to track all of my running throughout the year. I can review and assess the past 12 months, read notes I left to myself after training runs and races, see how much speed work I did and how many long runs I ran. I’ll note if my runs were on the road or on a trail, what the temps and weather was like, and how I felt after the run. There’s an immense amount of invaluable information I’ve saved in that little app. I highly recommend using a run diary whether it be one on your phone, a GPS watch or hand written. You’ll thank yourself one day.
Now I’m ready to set my goals for 2014…. to get serious and down to work about where I want to be this time next year, then… I can make a plan that will get me there. I take goal setting very serious, because if I don’t give myself a direction in which to go, I’ll fail. I’m a goal-setting-to-be-successful type of person… at work as well as at play. So here I go…
- Number One: BE CONSISTENT!! After reviewing last year… month over month… the lack of consistency has been my biggest downfall. My mileage bounced around too much, and I would take as long as a whole week off for no reason. The most damaging inconsistency was in my speed work… hence, the slow increase in speed. Typically, I make my goals measurable, but this one is more general. Additionally, I look at it in three areas:
- Training Consistency: I’ll set training plans and goals, and not deviate from them (unless, of course I’m injured). No skipping long runs!!
- Actual Running Consistency: Even during races and runs, I need to be more consistent and walk less.
- Nutritional Regime Consistency: Be more careful with my diet. Cut back the one cheat meal a week to one a month. Although this may sound crazy to some, I need to increase my daily caloric intake from 1,200 to 1,500. I’ll need to research this one some more to set a good plan in place.
- Speaking of speed work… this needs to definitely improve.
- Once a week, I need to either hit the treadmill or the track near work to do intervals or tempo runs. This has to be 4-7 miles.
- Twice a month (minimal), do hill repeats. And do them for real!!
- Incorporate at least a couple of strides in every easy run (except long runs).
And now for some more measurable goals:
- Finish the P90X3 program by March 31
- Incorporate P90X3 workouts 2-3 times per week into training program for remainder of the year
- Complete a one-year run streak starting January 1st (at least 1 mile every day)
- Run 1,000 miles in 12 months
- Get weight down to 130 and maintain it there
- Get body fat percentage into the fitness range… 21% – 24%
- Run a sub-25 minute 5k
- Run a sub-2 hour half marathon
- Run my first 25K
- Become a Half Fanatic this year!!
Now… the last thing I need to do is print this up and stick it to my refrigerator so I see it every day!! If it’s printed, then it’s for real… right??
These may be some lofty goals, but I feel they are completely attainable. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I have a good support system from family and friends. If I follow thru with these plans and goals, I’ll be in the best shape of my life by the start of 2015. Then I can start thinking about a full marathon. 😀
What are your goals for 2014? If you’ve blogged about it, leave me a link below so I can stop by to read about your plans for this upcoming year. We can cheer each other on!!
Before I set any goals for 2014, I felt I needed to look at how I did in 2013… what I did right… what I did wrong… where I’ve come from so I know where I need to go from here. Below are some of the milestones I’ve met over the past 12 months…
- First consecutive 12 months of running in my life (2013 goal accomplished!!)
- I will have run over 860 miles by December 31 (I still have 3 days left to run) (2013 goal of 500 miles…. SMASHED!!)
- I will have my first ever 100-mile month in December
- I ran 16 5k’s during the year (2013 goal of 10 5Ks accomplished!!)
- Ran a sub-30 minute 5k (2013 goal accomplished!!)
- My fastest 5k pace was 8:54 min/mile (I only did that once)
- I ran 3 10k’s during the year
- I ran a sub-60 minute 10k (2013 goal accomplished!!)
- I ran 2 half marathons
- The first half was my first half ever (2013 goal accomplished!!), and my first trail race since high school
- I set a much better time on the second half at 02:19:18 since it wasn’t a trail race.
Some things I have learned over the past year from racing and training is as follows…
- Trail racing is very, very, VERY hard!! Never ever underestimate the trail!!
- Don’t try to carb load with a heavy pasta dinner the night before the race…. start two days prior and end with LUNCH the day before!
- Dress for temps 20 degrees warmer than what it really is, and in layers in case I get overheated
- Drink lots of water every single day to be properly hydrated
- Remember to eat and hydrate properly for trainings runs, especially long runs…. not just races
- Although I have a good base now, I need to increase leg and core strength and do more speedwork to improve speed
- LISTEN TO MY BODY!! If I’m in pain, get it checked!!
- Just because I burned 1,000 calories doesn’t mean I can eat 1,200 calories of junk food!! Seriously!!
- Don’t skip the long run!
- Don’t skip breakfast!
And finally, when I look at what I’ve done right and what I’ve done wrong… here’s a look at where I started a year ago to where I am now… 12 months later….
- January 2013 I ran a total of 53.92 miles…. December 2013 I may double that as I currently sit at 93.39 miles and 3 days left to run… yea, I’ll double that!!
- In January 2013 my longest run was 8 miles at a 12:00 min/mile pace…. I ran 10.5 miles today at a 10:30 min/mile pace
- The longest distance I ran this year was 14 miles in November
- Today I ran up hills with no problem that I couldn’t run up in January 2013
- My first 5k of 2013 (March) took me 35:06 at a pace of 11:19 min/mile…. I ran my fastest 5k in September at an 8:52 min/mile pace…. I ran several 5k’s later in the year between 9:00-9:30 min/mile pace
- I ran not just one, but TWO half marathons… the longest race I’ve ever run
- January 2013 I weighed 130 pounds…. today I weighed in at 135 pounds. I’m confident the increase is muscle. 🙂
- I’ve lost over 3 inches around the waist, but feel I can still tone up more with some concentrated core exercising
Probably one of the coolest things about my running adventures this year is how I’ve made literally hundreds of new running friends both in real life as well as virtually. I started out running alone, but then moved up to having my racing buddy, Wanda join me for most of my races and even my husband for a few. Now, I’m part of a group of ladies who support and cheer each other on as we train and go to races together. Additionally, I’ve met friends that I keep running into at different races on the circuit (no pun intended). Then there are the virtual running friends I’ve met…. I started a Facebook running club called Central West Virginia Road Runners Club where I’m keeping in contact with folks in my area. I’m also a part of an awesome Facebook group called Run JunkEes Run Club. On Twitter, I virtually hang out at #RunChat and participate in a virtual group discussion every Sunday night. It’s a great way to get and receive motivation and inspiration.
I would love to hear how you did in 2013. Leave a comment below telling me about it, or better yet… I encourage you to write a post on your blog about it. Let me know, and I’ll definitely stop by to read about your accomplishments and share it with my virtual friends.
I know I’m a day late, but….
What a wonderful Christmas I have had. Our sailor is home visiting for a couple of weeks between training and her first ship assignment. She and my husband have already been outside shooting the new 9mm pistol we got her for Christmas. Our oldest daughter and her husband have spent several days here at the house with us, and have been setting up the new notebook we got the for Christmas since yesterday. And finally, our son (the baby who’s turning 18 in just a few weeks) has been playing on the PS3 since yesterday as well. He’s really not much for video games, but he’s enjoying this one. My husband has fixed dinner last night and breakfast this morning on the new electric frying pan the kids got him. He’s discovered the chef inside him that’s been hidden for years.
Then there’s me…. well I’m enjoying a couple of Christmas gifts myself. Hubby and I bought ourselves a new treadmill, so I’ve been on it every day since we got it. Our old one worked, but all it did was change speed and incline. The new one has pre-set workouts and other functions that make it more fun to use. Plus, I love Christmas movies and have actually had some time during vacation to watch them. So they keep me entertained during runs on the treadmill. I’m actually going to hit it soon to get in a good 5-mile interval training run later. Something that can be challenging and unsafe during the snowy, icy weather during a West Virginia winter.
One of my other Christmas gifts from my kids is a RoadID bracelet with all the contact information I need in case I ever get sick, hurt or run over by a car while out on a run. I also got badges to go on it… a Christian fish, and a 5k, a 10k and a 13.1M badge. I love it!! In addition to the valuable contact information, a couple of my favorite Bible verses are referenced….
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NKJV
“I can do all things through Christwho strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV
Once I got it sized and assembled, I put it on and haven’t taken it off since. Honestly, I hope it’s never used, but it’s so nice to know that information is easily accessible on my person just in case it is needed. It’s nice to know my kids don’t want to lose me, too. 😀
That’s all the running gifts I got this year, but they’re both great ideas, much appreciated and will be valuable resources for my running addiction. In my virtual and real-life running groups, friends have shared what their running gifts… Garmin watches, socks, race entries, gear, shoes, gift certificates, books and more. What running gifts did you get for Christmas this year?
I’m doing fine… glad you stopped by for a visit. I just thought it would be nice just to chat a little bit if you have the time. I haven’t posted for several days as the craziness of the holiday season has kept me quit busy. I have a few minutes of downtime at work before I go to the company Christmas dinner…. so I thought I’d jot a few things down to let you know about some posts coming soon and what I’m thinking of writing about. I’ll be quick as I know you’re just as busy as I am.
Everyone is starting to post their 2014 goals. I have some ideas of what I want to do, but haven’t really taken the time to start putting my goals down on paper. You know how it is…. once it’s down on paper…. it becomes real. So I want to be sure my goals are ones that will best benefit me, that I want to accomplish and can accomplish. I’m tossing ideas around in my head, taking into account what other bloggers are saying and making some plans. I’ll be posting about that soon. I’d really like to read your 2014 goals…. so if you don’t mind, please leave me a comment with a link to your blog post. Others might be interested in checking out your goals as well.
But before I set my goals for next year, I think it’s wise to review the past year first. I want to revisit everything I accomplished as well as everything I failed, where I went wrong and what I did right, how I did improve and where I can continue to improve. Since I just started running in late 2012, I don’t remember setting any goals. Since I was a beginner, I really didn’t know where I was in regards to running and where I was going…. or if I even wanted to go anywhere. I hadn’t decided yet if running was just a temporary fixation I had, or if it would become a true change in lifestyle. Since then I do believe it’s become part of my lifestyle. I’ll find what 2013 goals I can find (if there’s any) and assess how I did on them. That will help me look toward 2014 and setting next years’ goals.
Finally, I have my third half marathon coming up in about 18 days, so I may post some on training, tapering, running in the snow, streaking, doing intervals on the treadmill, P90X3 or just some general Christmas posts. All my kids are coming home for the holidays this year, so it will be exciting and I will want to tell you all about that. I’m sure I’ll get some running-related Christmas gifts that I’ll have to talk about, too. And who knows what else may pop into my head and end up here. 😀
So until next time….. run happy!!
A few months ago, I saw a post on Facebook where someone posted a question about training for an upcoming race. It’s been a few months ago, so I can’t remember it word-for-word, but I remember the post was made during the week and their race (I think their first 5k) was that Saturday. So this new runner mentions that they had been doing all their training on the treadmill, and wondering if they should get a run outside done before the race. I kind of cringed when I read their question, as I couldn’t imagine doing all of my training inside, then trying to complete a race…. nevermind competing.
This old post came to my mind this morning during my long run. It was a unique long run for me as it’s Sunday morning, and I have never ran on Sunday morning before. I have always made my Sunday morning priority going to church. I haven’t even run a race on a Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon….. but not Sunday morning.
I got to run this morning because we had cancelled church due to the weather. It was really putting down the snow and the roads were hideous!! On top of that, the forecast was calling for the snow to turn to sleet around noon. So to keep our parishioners safe, my husband who happens to be the pastor, cancelled services for the day. So I decided to take advantage of the extra two hours and go for my long run early.
I ended up running in quite challenging conditions…. I took off at 10:00am with temps around 32 degrees and large snow flakes falling. I was trudging through six or more inches of snow, but it was beautiful. Then around 10:30am…. the wind kicked up, temps raised about 3 degrees and the sleet started. Although I was warm, I was getting wet. And on top of that, the snow was getting heavier making it harder to plow through. It had rained the day before and froze under the snow, so my footing wasn’t good either. (Note to self…. order those Yaktrax!!)
When the weather started turning bad, for a fleeting moment a thought flew through my head to call it quits. But then I remembered I have a half marathon on January 5th…. only four weeks away. And the chances that I’ll face these exact same conditions, if not worse, is very high. So I trudged on, considering this the perfect training opportunity to prepare for wintry elements. These were conditions I could never simulate in my home gym on the treadmill. And it builds my confidence as now I know I can handle the long distance in the cold, snow and sleet.
So what’s my point? Running on a treadmill meets its purpose when necessary, but it’s also important to train in all the elements…. cold, hot, humid, dry, rainy, snowy, sleeting, windy, flat and fast, hilly, early morning, afternoon, night, and whatever else God might throw your way. If you’re going to race, you gotta be prepared for anything and everything. Well… at least as much as possible. Just remember, always keep safety top priority. It made the run harder, but I kept my run this morning on all back roads that were traveled very little or not at all. The main roads were too dangerous.
I’m glad I didn’t quit early and finished my 8-mile run this morning. I was cold and wet when I got home, but I was exhilarated!! It was worth training in the elements as now I’m one run closer to being prepared for my half marathon…. rain or shine!! 😀
Do you agree with me? Can you complete all of your training on a treadmill and be successful in a race? What are some of the worst conditions in which you have run to prepare for a race??
Words of wisdom….
Whether it’s the last mile of a marathon, or just getting to the next street light.
Just. Keep. Going.
Happy running everyone!
Get Going, Get Running!
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So… I didn’t quite make all of my goals for November. Please allow me a few minutes to revisit and appraise those goals.
- A monthly mileage goal of 80 miles… Unfortunately I got in 68 miles, but pre-race tapering and post-race recovery for a half marathon took easily took away the 12 miles I needed to complete this goal. 😦
- Do Jillian Michaels’ “Ripped in 30″ DVD at least 4 days a week… I worked out with Jillian for 2 weeks, but then… half marathon.
- Run a half marathon on November 24th in under 02:20:00…. I was successful here, and actually just now realized I was under the time I set. I ran the half in 02:19:18!!
- Maintain weight at 130-135 MAX!! I weighed in at 137 yesterday. Considering it was Thanksgiving last week, well….. I’ll take it.
- Run at least three early morning, pre-work runs per week… Just couldn’t get my schedule set for this. Will try it again later.
So all in all, I didn’t do too bad. There’s still room for improvement. Sometimes just learning how to set goals is a lesson in itself. I’m learning more about me, my running, how to fit it into my schedule, when too much is too much and visa versa, and et cetera. So goal setting is a lot like running, you just have to keep working on it, tweaking it and refining it, until someday, you’ve mastered it. And with that being said… on with December’s goals. 😀
My goals are going to be a little different this month. I’m getting a little motivation from a couple of sources. One is my all-time favorite magazine, Runner’s World, and a little fun challenge from a Twitter group I’m apart of… #runchat.
- This month I WILL HIT 100 MILES!! Do or die… 100!!!!
- I will complete the Runner’s World Run Streak and run at least 1 mile every day from Thanksgiving Day to New Years Day.
- I will complete 15 minutes of Nike Ab Core workouts every day during December.
- I will run my last 5k of 2013 and complete it in under 28 minutes (a new 5k PR).
- Return to and maintain weight at 130-135. No excuses this month!! Self discipline!!!
- I will have fun by successfully completing the #RunChatHunt… a pictorial holiday-themed scavenger hunt. (See pic below.)
So what is one of your goals for December? Are you streaking? Run hunting? Are you going to hit that last PR of the year? Above all, I hope you have fun this month! Run happy!! 😀
I put this post together several days ago, but hid it away in my draft file thinking it was way too soon to talk about the large races I hoped to participate in next year. Then I read a blog post of a fellow blogger, Running Wild that talked about his 2014 Race Season Planning. So, I decided it wasn’t too early after all. I put some finishing touches to this post and decided to publish it tonight. Granted it will probably change throughout the year, but at least I have an idea of what I want to do.
Below are the Half Marathons (or longer races) I’m looking at for 2014. I’m already registered for the first two, and I won’t get to do all of the others, but these are the one’s I want to run in the most… kinda like a wish list. Who knows, maybe a friend or family member will ready this and pay for my registration for one of these races as a Christmas gift. Nice idea!! 😀
If I do get to complete them, I should meet the criteria to become a member of the Half Fanatic club also. What an awesome extra bonus. That would be so cool!!
What do you plan on running next year??
January 5, 2014
9th Annual Run to Read Half Marathon
March 22, 2014
April 19, 2014
Babcock State Park, Eleanor, WV
April 27, 2014
Run Like a Diva Half Marathon
North Myrtle Beach, SC
June 7, 2014
August 16, 2014
News and Sentinel Half Marathon
August 30, 2014
42nd Annual Charleston Distance Run (15 miler)
*** OR ***
August 31, 2014
Rock & Roll Half Marathon
Virginia Beach, VA
October 5, 2014
October 17-19, 2014 (?)
Runner’s World Half & Festival
November 9, 2014 (?)
Marshall University Half Marathon
November 23, 2014 (?)
Miles of Smiles Half Marathon
I think sometimes I take the ordinary training run for granted…. I strap on the iPhone after starting up the Runtastic app to measure my distance, pace, time and everything else. I concentrate on making quick footsteps and landing on my mid-foot, breathing deeply from my stomach and not my lungs, side-stepping potholes and sticks and gravel, fiddling with my play list to skip over songs that really don’t match my current mood…. and on and on and on. So much of the time, my mind bounces around to other things I’m dealing with in life such as issues I have to resolve at work, ideas I have for the church choir, new music I want to learn to play on the piano, conflicts I may have with a friend, worried if I’m ready for the upcoming 5k, how many half marathons I should do next year and what I’m going to blog about on here.
I just can’t seem to focus on one thing for an entire run. I guess it’s a way for me to clear my thoughts, because by the time I’m done, I have come up with that resolution, new ideas for the choir, a new song to play on the piano, that conflict is really just a misunderstanding, I’m training now for that 5k so I’m going to do fine, the half marathons can wait until later, and that blog post…. hey, look how the sun shines on the freshly fallen snow…. I gotta take a picture of that! 😀
My run this afternoon was the first run I’d done since the half marathon last Sunday. I had really been missing getting out and running, especially when the snow started falling yesterday. I love running in the snow!! So for three days, I felt a little depressed and discouraged. So I got out my old running shoes for the snow and mud, put on several layers and hit the road.
But today, my mind didn’t really wander much. I didn’t care about my gait or pace or time, I just took it slow and steady, and kept it on the loose gravel on the middle or side of the road so I wouldn’t slip in the snow/ice. I have four more days off from work so I don’t have that to worry about, the choir is good, I’m not looking for new music and all is well with family and friends right now. I just wanted an easy run. The only thing I thought about was that scene with the sun shinning and freshly fallen snow… the picture. The picture-perfect scene I see every time I run, but don’t always really notice. The same scene I take pictures of, but don’t take in and enjoy in real-time. Then, while on an ordinary, 3-mile run I realized just how fortunate I really am. So there’s my blog post… the things for which I am so thankful for… it’s been right here in front of me all this time, but I didn’t really notice it until today. This is my running thanksgiving….
- I live in an area with very low crime rate. Everyone knows everyone in this sleepy little country town, so if I ever found myself in trouble, it wouldn’t be too hard to find someone I know for help. I’m still cautious, but I do feel safe here.
- I live in a beautiful part of the United States. I love living in the country, and the hills and hollars that are so unique to central West Virginia make some beautiful scenery to see while running. Within just a few miles of my house I can see rivers and lakes, mountains and valleys, dirt roads and trails cutting through thick woods. For the city folk, I’m also near town (albeit a very small town) and interstate.
- Every season is very well pronounced in the landscape. Spring brings bright colors, fresh aromas, and the occasional sightings of baby wildlife; summer brings the smell of fresh-cut lawns, the sound of boats on the lake and baseball in the park, and warm nights under bright stars and a full moon; fall brings that sweet smell of fresh-cut hay and the sound of the farm tractors, the absolute beautiful colors of autumn leaves, and squirrels and chipmunks playfully gathering nuts for the colder months; and, finally, winter brings the crisp, cool fresh air, evenings glowing with Christmas lights, and picturesque landscapes with blue skies and a brightly shinning sun on a freshly soft fallen snow.
- Finally and most importantly…. I’m healthy enough to do this running thing. I’ve grown stronger and my endurance has improved dramatically. I feel better and stronger at age 45 than I did at 25. I’ve lost 30 pounds and quit smoking. Additionally, I’ve kept the weight off too, which if you ask any former-smoker, keeping the weight off is the hardest part of quitting. My improved and sustained health as a result of this sport is what I am most thankful for.
To close out this blog post, I thought I’d share some pics of the scenery I saw today. This is my typical route that I run about 90% of the time. Even though I’ve seen this same scenery day in and day out over the past 15 months, I never tire of seeing it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I also wish you and your family a wonderful, blessing-filled Thanksgiving. Run happy!! 😀