2014: Running & Cycling Goals

Soon the newness of the New Year will wear off, a week into it already, and it will just become This Year, so I thought I would follow up yesterday’s post about sort of big picture intentions for the new year with some goals a bit more concrete. And easier, I think.

Last year, I really embraced cycling. Not so much as sport or recreation, but definitely as transportation. That said, you don’t bike 11 miles to work (including UP the Summit Avenue hills) and then 11 miles home and not get a workout. I think in 2012 I biked a total of 247 miles. When I decided in 2013 I wanted to bike 1,000 miles, I figured I was insane.

1427 miles later… it’s time to up my game. In 2014 I want to bike 2,000 miles. I want to start commuting by bike everyday (that weather permits), which will likely be the bulk of those miles. Also, as we prep for our Great Divide bike trip in 2016, I need to be able to compress more and more miles into a shorter and shorter time period (like… 2700 in 6 weeks. yikes.), but I need to do so gradually so as to not get hurt/start hating everything about riding my bike.

On the other hand, I made a significant drop in my running in 2013 after a too-tough spring schedule and a never-ending winter (that had me doing long runs on 12 laps-per-mile tracks- vomit) led to some injuries and unhappy events.

Running is my happy place and, I daresay, my sacred place. Running is one of the few activities that I prefer to do alone. I have never and probably will never have a “Run Buddy” or join a running club. Running is exactly the time I use to get everyone else out of my space and out of my head. Absolutely no one is invited. Ever.

When it became a chore and another to-do, I scaled way back. I even wondered this summer if I had simply fallen out of love with running and felt a little heartbroken. Somewhere floating around the internet was a short article that said if you find yourself falling out of love with running (check), take a bit of a break and don’t come back until you miss it. So other than some (under)training for Ragnar in August, I essentially stopped running. Maybe a mile or two once a week, here and there.

And soon enough I did miss it. I missed it terribly. And of course, once I started again in the late fall I also missed my fitness… Uff da. It is not easy to come back. I stopped running for distance or pace or time and just started running. I discovered what I would call a “bunny” trail along Minnehaha Creek– a narrow, unpaved little trail that takes you in and out of the woods and right up to the creek at some spots. It is 100 times more lovely and enjoyable than literally pounding the pavement of the walking trail along the creek. Instead of trying to mash running into an already packed schedule, I simply made space for it. I changed up my shoe and that made a most dramatic difference. I am even finding (some) peace with the treadmill by using it for interval workouts which seem to be helping my speed and my confidence a bit (The other day I said to myself, “Oh. I can run fast.”).

Hoping to take the same attitude into 2014, the day after Christmas I signed up for 5 events this summer.

  1. TC Valentine’s Day 5K (February 8)
  2. TC 100% Irish for a Day 5K (March 8)
  3. Goldy’s 10 Mile (April 12)
  4. TC Red, White, and Boom Half Marathon (July 4)
  5. TC 10 Mile (October 5)

It’s definitely the most mid-distance events I have done in a year. Last year I attempted 2 with the TC 100% Irish for a Day 10 Mile and the Fargo Half. This year I have added a third, but they are more spaced out. I am a little freaked out about doing another half marathon, especially on one of the historically hottest days of the summer, but whatever. It will either be great or it won’t. If I can stay out of the ER during or in the 48 hours following a race, I will consider it a success.

My hope is to run 500 miles in 2014, which is not much by many runners’ standards, but I am hoping to approach each of them out of happiness and enthusiasm rather than obligation and dread.

fun run

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