Running Season Recap and What’s Next

Friends!

I have been sort of lax on race recaps this year. Perhaps because I recapped last year’s marathon like, 5 times in October and then 2 more times since. Seriously, that never gets old. I had this feeling that because I had run a marathon, no race or even after would really be “worthy” of a retelling, that no accomplishment in running would be that important.

2012 Running Accomplishments*

  • This year, I think I ran the most events in one season I have ever done. The springtime was a bit busy, but it also set me up in a mindset to train well over the summer. My events were:
      • Twin Cities in Motion’s 100% Irish for a Day 5K
      • Goldy’s 5K at the University of Minnesota
      • Get in Gear 10K
      • Buffalo Triathlon
      • Lederhosenlauf 5K
      • Torchlight 5K
      • Warrior Dash
      • Twin Cities 10 Mile
  • I ran my first 10K, mud run, and 10 Mile**
  • I didn’t shatter any bones, and I think that is deserving of a “hip-hip-hooray!”
  • I was more creative in my running routes, which kept me actually interested during long runs, where I usually tend to get bored.
  • I learned to love an early Saturday morning long run.

Like a lot of runners, once my “big event” for the year/season is over I find myself in a bit of a funk. I thought the timing of the TC 10 Mile coincided perfectly with The Big Move Into My First House with My Fiance (And the Naughty Cat I Am Bringing With Me).  I told myself, “Self, you can take 2 fulls weeks off from running now that you have done this and focus on moving.” The stress of finalizing and executing the move, plus depriving my body of the opportunity to move meaningfully (and the associate happy endorphins) left me an emotional wreck. In the middle of what I call “Pulling the Emergency Lever” (i.e. calling mom), she even asked “Didn’t you stop running? Maybe you should just take 30 minutes and run around the block.” Moms– so smart.

Now that life is in a bit less chaos, on Sunday I did my first run in 2 weeks. Embarrassed to even admit it, it is the first time I have worked out in 2 weeks, unless you count the moving of furniture and boxes and unpacking. Friends. I implore you. PLEASE do not let me take 2 weeks off from running or cycling or swimming or something ever, ever again. Ever.

Also like a lot of runners, and other people who are not runners but are perpetual goal-chasers and gold-star seekers, I was in search of a new running/exercise goal. Sometimes I am envious of people who do not have a race/event/or “finish line,” but for me, I need that for the motivation. A while back, I declared that the next big event just might be another marathon, but then sort of waffled in my post about TC Marathon weekend— saying that the 10 Mile was sort of being used as a yardstick of my injury recovery and ability to attempt another marathon, but also stating that marathon training was in conflict of some other health goals that I would like to focus on. The 10 Mile went awesome– which I thought would propel me full on into “Run ALL the miles! MORE MARATHONS NOW” mode. But instead, it turned me the other way, and around mile 8 I actually said to myself, “It’s time to focus on those other goals. Next year is not the year for another marathon.”

I am actually surprisingly okay with this. Way more okay than I thought I would be. My health goal is to lose a little weight and get in better overall shape (read: I am a curvy young lady with fabulous runner legs– defined calves, strong quads & hammies, with absolutely no core strength and flabby arms. What is that? Awkward.) This is something I have sort of wanted for a while, but found it more difficult that just running. Now that I am getting married in 348 days (who’s counting), the drive to be my healthiest self is very strong. I deserve to feel beautiful in my own skin, my fiance deserves to marry someone who is healthy and confident, and I think it will make running and training for my next marathon (Fargo 2014 anyone?) easier.

My action steps?

  • Keep running and setting goals at mid-distances (10K, 10 miles)
  • Run my first half-marathon in 2013
  • Learn how to actually weight-lift. Like a man. I have readNew Rules of Weightlifting for Womenand I hope to follow that 6 month training plan.
  • More intentional meal-planning and eating. Because the minute I get stressed or crunched for time, I rely on things that are quick and convenient or that I didn’t have to make. I am hoping to: 1. Master the crockpot. 2. Master freezing leftovers/made-ahead-of-time meals. 3. Learn how to cook. 4. Snack smarter.

I have some specific goal numbers in mind, but I am not ready to share them yet. Short term-ish, I am planning on going wedding dress shopping in January/February so I would like to have made a little progress by then!

Onward!

 

*I know the year is not over, but I generally consider “event season” to be March-ish through October-ish. This doesn’t mean I stop running, it’s just less training and more fun running.

** Yes, I really did run a marathon last year having never run a 10K or 10 Mile event. Not a half-marathon either. Go big or go home and go to the emergency room, friends. I wouldn’t recommend my methodology.

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