Wednesday, January 15, 2014

#Reverb13, Day 23: The race set out for you

Throughout the month of December (running behind, I know), I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.

Day 23 – The race set out for you

Tell us about how you’ve been running along in 2013 and the race(s) you intend to run in 2014. These can be literal races or just the road of life. What did your path look like this year, and are you choosing the same for 2014?

Well, what a surprise, I'm going to take this question literally to think about my road races. 

2013 yielded a few PRs for me -- 10k, 10 mile, half-marathon and marathon.  While the year didn't feel all that impressive to me, primarily because I was more focused on my marathon goal time than a PR (and I missed that goal time), in reality, those are 3 pretty strong PRs (and one lame-o one, only my second 10 mile race ever!).  Along with those PRs, I ran about a dozen races total -- two marathons, and three halves that come to mind (there might have been a fourth?).  I really should be very excited with the way that 2013 shook out. 

The path in 2014 will be similar I think.  But it's very unlikely I'll have those kind of PRs in 2014. 
Something has happened to me in the last few weeks.  I've gained weight -- like a lot (more than 5% of my body weight).  And I've slowed down -- like a lot.  I ran two good treadmill runs right before Christmas, and then I was just out of steam.  The top of my foot hurt.  I've come down with some kind of cold or virus right now.  I'm unmotivated.  And oh yeah, I have a marathon this weekend. 

I ran a 22 mile long run and it was the slowest I've done in more than 5 years I think.  It was miserable.  And pretty much all my runs lately have been like that.  I just can't seem to find any zip.  I just plod along.  In reality, I guess I need a little break. 

So I've worked to set up a plan for 2014 that will hopefully get me back into my groove.  I'm going to do some half-marathon training until May.  Hopefully that will help with some shorter distance PRs.  I'd like to see a solid 15k time happen.  And I need a new 5 mile PR. 

Then in May, I think I'll do marathon training again -- I am pretty sure my goal race is going to be in Milwaukee in early October.  I will wait to see how training goes, but I may take another shot at my dream marathon time, which would be a PR of about 9 minutes now.  And I'd love to do that before I turn 40, which is going to happen soon!  (Not 2014, but soon!) 

I chose that race primarily because I have family in the area and the date works well on the calendar.  What I think we'll do is go to Milwaukee for the race, come home, work a few more days, then head to India and our other planned exotic destinations in the middle of the following week. 

So I'd like to see 2014 go down on the books with 2 marathons, 2 half-marathons, and about 5-10 other races, including my streak 5k and 8 mile races. 


  1. When this kind of thing happens to me, it's usually a good sign I need a break. I hope you give it to yourself after the marathon! Question - you mention you want to start training for another marathon in April. I find it almost impossible to train through the summers here in Dallas ... it's just TOO hot for me to get in LRs, even in the morning. How do you do it?

    1. It's all about acclimating gradually and going very early. During the week, I start at 5:15 for runs, and at 5:30 for boot camp days. For long runs, I start at 5:30, which is usually the coolest part of the day -- sometimes that means 83 but it's dark and there have been weeks or months building up to those temps, so it's not that bad. The good thing is, going that early, even with 20 or 22 miles (the longest I ever go), we're done by 9. Then as you get closer to the race, the weather cools down and you get faster, then you arrive at your race with hopefully cool temps and you get a big boost.

  2. I'm struggling with some of the same issues. I haven't had a set training schedule since Montreal in September. I have been struggling with food issues again. My weight has been bouncing up and down a few pounds either way. With no long runs on my calendar and very little outdoor running happening I have slowed down too. Finding motivation to go running has been a challenge. I have tried to relax and focus on other things like yoga, strength training and sorting out my eating issues. After a discussion with my husband last night I think I'm ready to recommit to training for what might be my longest race yet. I am also hoping to do a very small local marathon in early May. I hope you get your groove back soon as well. I have been reading and I'm commenting from my laptop finally. For some reason I just can't comment from my phone or iPad.