Monday, January 6, 2014

On weight loss, speed and races.

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?

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