I'm very excited about running in 2011! And I'm excited about reviewing the past 6 months of running, analyzing what I did well and what I did poorly, so I can make HUGE improvements in the New Year!
--I've been more consistent in my running this year then ever before. It's the end of December (over 2 months after the Chicago Marathon, which usually marks the end of long run season) and I'm still doing 20 mile runs! Go me! Running is officially part of my "lifestyle", not just something I try to make myself do.
I had no specific goals for 2010, besides a 4:15 at Chicago which turned out to be a big bust. (If you didn't happen to be a follower at the time I wrote my Chicago Marathon race report, it's worth taking a look. I re-read it today and am impressed I was able to finish giving how bad I was feelig- reading about my tricks and techniques to get 'er done are pretty funny.)
With no Further Ado......Goals for 2011
1. Sub 25 minute 5K (current PR 26:19 in very slick, snowy conditions)
2. Sub 2 hr half-marathon (current PR 2:00:19)
3. Sub 4:15 marathon (let's not talk about my current PR, I'm not very proud of it)
4. Complete marathons in at least 2 new states working towards my
50 marathons in 50 states goal.
5. Qualify for Marathon Maniacs (MM).
6. Weights (a challenging routine) 2 times a week.
7. Do 1 triathlon- can be short or long, big or small, just get that first one done!
Strategies for my next marathon training cycle (1/31/11-5/29/11)
--Include more medium and long length runs at or faster than marathon goal pace. I'm good at going fast for short distances, I'm good at going slow for long distances, it's the fast for long distances that still overwhelms me.
~on a related note, include more tune-up races, where I challenge myself to go long and
--Continue to work on mental toughness. Well executed marathon pace runs and tune-up races should help with this. Continue to embrace suffering and extend the amount of time I can maintain focus and stave away boredom on long runs. HTFU.
--As I learned during the Busse Woods 20 miler and the Chicago Marathon, I need to run with my Nathan water backpack. I am incapable of drinking from a cup on the run and I can't afford to lose all that time at water stops! (Nor can I afford to keep using water stops as an excuse to slow down or even- eek!- walk!)
--Have a clearly defined goal for each race (social or relaxed fun vs racing) including multiple 'A' races, so that all the pressure for my 4:15 is not on just one day.
--Carefully select PR attempt races- not too big, high liklihood of good weather, good spectator support.
--Train for a time more ambitious time than my true race goal so even if things don't go according to plan on race day, I will still have a shot at my PR/goal time.
It makes sense to next mention my goal marathon for the Spring: The Rockford Marathon on May 15th. This is my sub-4:15 marathon. The rest of my racing schedule is a lead up to this race. The Rockford 1/2 is where I had my PR 1/2 marathon (2:00:19), so it seems like a great place to have a PR marathon as well! I should have good family support (many members of my family live there), a place to stay and eat well the night before and a good chance for perfect racing conditions. So, what races will I use to prepare for this goal race??
I plan to use the Illinois Marathon in Champaign-Urbana as a "tune-up, check-in" long run on April 30th. I wish there was an earlier race I could do but- go figure- there aren't a whole lot of marathons in the Mid-West in the spring! So the Illinois Marathon will have to be my dress rehearsal.
In an attempt to not put all my eggs in one basket, I'm planning to run the Madison Marathon, exactly 2 weeks after my PR attempt in the Rockford Marathon. I felt soo let down after doing poorly at the Chicago Marathon this year and then missing my chance for redemption in Newport because of a viscious cold. I think it was a good idea to have a back-up race though. So, if Rockford isn't the perfect race day, I'll try again in Madison on May 29th, and if I fail there, I guess I'll have to shoot for a Fall race. But I know I can get a sub 4:15 in the next few months. I'm not going to fail!!
C U in 2011!!