When I was home over Christmas, I went for a run twice. Once on Christmas morning and then again two days later. When I returned from the second run, I immediately walked downtown with my parents to do a little shopping. Note to self: in the future, inform the husband of decisions like this so he isn't driving around looking for me dead in a ditch...
My parents are both proud and baffled by my running. Mom proudly and loudly) announced to a lady at the grocery store that I'm a marathon runner. To which I immediately cleared up any misconception by saying, "HALF, HALF marathon!"
I was worried that people would look at my size and think to themselves that I'm delusional. Because a half marathon is obviously so much more friendly to the overweight in the population.
Dad made a few comments about not understanding running. He really doesn't understand how/why I do this and no matter what I told him to try to justify my love of running (even in the cold and the snow. even on Christmas morning), he didn't get it.
Meanwhile, I know how running makes me feel. I know that I started this to lose weight, not expecting to love it. Instead, I loved it and didn't lose weight - which is quite common, the internet informs me.
And so, after a few years of working on regularly running a relatively short distance injury-free, this year I realize I need to focus on other things. Like proper weight loss (oh man am I hungry right now), as well as running further and faster.
I have one big goal this year - a half marathon with friends in September. My entire year is a build up to that, to this event that came out of casually asking an online running friend about training for a half marathon - before I'd even ran a single step. When I still believed I'd hate running. (If that isn't crazy...)
In between then and now, several other online friends have also started running (and a cousin!) and this crazy plan was hatched for all of us, along with various additional friends and family members, would run a half marathon. The same half marathon, at the same time, but obviously varying speeds. I want this to be a PR for me - and given my performance in my first half marathon, that isn't much of a challenge.
But this half marathon has a pace restriction. I have to maintain a (relatively easy) pace of 15 min/mile. A "simple" 4 mph over 13.1 miles. Yes. That will be a PR for me - in my defense, I ran (walked, really) my first one with some injuries.
I've spent a bit of time this week (ok, this morning) eyeballing my race schedule for the spring/summer. I have a couple of must-do races that I enjoyed last year as 5Ks, and then the tough part - deciding when I'll be ready to step it up to longer distances - finishing that 10K, for example. It's always reassuring to finish a race knowing you won't be last across that finish line - some 10K participant is coming in after you at the very least!
So distance is a factor as I know I'm going to have to start working my way up to that 13.1 mile distance. But in addition to that, I'm going to have to work on speed.
When I talk of speed, I have to address a significant factor that is holding me back from getting faster (and running further, really) - my weight. So long as I'm overweight, my speed will be hindered by that as much as from a lack of training.
I don't want to frame this as a New Year's resolution, even if it is that time of year. This isn't something I want to focus on for the New Year, even if a new year is a perfectly fine time to start making changes. That makes it a bit hard to state an actual goal here, thanks to the proximity of the New Year. So I'm going to look at my race schedule for the year.
Mar - One 5K race.
May - 9.11K race
June - 10K and either an 8 mile hilly race OR a second 10K
Sept - 1/2 marathon @ 15min/mile pace.
There are two additional races I want to participate in that do not have dates set as yet. Based on last year, one will be in July, the other in August and I haven't decided yet whether I'll run them as 5 or 10K events.
And, in no way related to the new year, I have a goal to lose about forty pounds between now and that 1/2 marathon.
*nods* That's do-able, right?