Monday, December 3, 2012

13(.1) for 2013??

Wow, I can't believe I haven't written a post since the post race wrap up blog back in May.   Not sure why, really.   One of the best things about my running journey was that it forced me to blog often, ensuring that I had a record of my journey from couch potato to 5K runner.  I enjoyed sharing those posts with you, perhaps even more than I enjoyed the running itself and I'm not sure why I stopped writing.  Perhaps life just got in the way.

A lot has happened since then.   This morning I wrapped up my 2012 race season with the 5K Santa Shuffle in Mississauga.  A nice, informal "fun run" for charity, that also happened to be a friend's very first race.   I remembered so well what it felt like to be in her running shoes and it was nice to have a chance to be there to experience her first race with her. 

It got me thinking back to how far I've come and how much I've enjoyed this year.  One of the highlights was being able to experience 4 races with Makenna - I'm so glad we can do this together.  (Well, mostly together - generally after the gun goes off I don't see her again until the finish line....but I digress).  I was a little sad knowing that this was my last race for the year (for my 2012 race highlights, click HERE), but I also started thinking ahead to 2013!  What goals should I set?  What races should I run?  

So, after some thought, and without further ado, here are my 2013 Running Goals:

1. To complete 13 races in 2013 (and ideally NOT repeats of any races from 2012, unless racing a different distance). A few I have in mind are the famous "Around the Bay" (not the full 30k), "Harry's 8K Spring Run off", "A Mid-summer Night's Run 15k (you should SEE the medal for this one!) and perhaps even a road trip race.

2. To run 13.1 one race....I believe they have a name for that.....A HALF MARATHON! Yes, I'm going to go out on a limb and put this goal out there on the net for all to see - I will run a half marathon in 2013.

I had been hovering on the fence for quite some time about this, knowing that I really wanted to do it, but not quite sure if I could. I went back and re-read some of my blogs from when I was starting out back in February. Realizing that there was a time, not so long ago, when running for 60 seconds was a challenge and the thought of running a 5K race was nearly an impossible dream, somehow put it all into perspective. Damn right, I can do this!!!!! I can and I will!

I haven't quite decided yet which one I will do, but I am aiming for September/October. If you have a suggestion, by all means send it my way! The Island Girl Half Marathon in September is the front runner at the moment. I like the fact that it is totally flat and is a smaller event for women only.  I'll give it some thought over the next few weeks and come up with a race that will work!

In honour of goal setting for 2013, here are the top 13 things I learned during my rookie running season:

13.  Someone will always be faster (and slower!) than you.  Comparing yourself to other runners is foolish - the only runner you should try to beat is yourself.  (but don't become a slave to the stopwatch).

12. There will be days when the last thing in the world you want to do is run - just put on your shoes and go.  I guarantee you will not come home and regret it. 

11.  Being a medal wh*re bling junkie is perfectly acceptable.  Signing up for a race solely because of the awesome finisher's medal - also OK. 

10. Cute running clothes are a powerful motivator so go ahead and spend some money.  (Side note:  buying shoes is NOT the time to be frugal)

9. Smile as you cross the finish line - you won't want to buy a grumpy looking race photo. 

8.  Running is NOT a licence to eat whatever you want, whenever you want to.   Eventually your pants will get tighter.  

7.  HYDRATE - before, during and after. 

6.  Aches and pains are your body's way of telling you to slow down - LISTEN TO IT!

5.  Not every run/race will be awesome.   Some will suck.  A lot.   You still did better than everyone sitting on the couch. 

4.   Some runs/races WILL be SO awesome that you will think you are a super hero and will consider wearing a cape on all future runs.

3.  Those big bursts of motivaion?   They don't last.  Make sure you have a plan (and a goal race) to keep you motivated when the going gets tough. 

2.  Having a training blog (or training buddy) to be accountable to works like a charm!

and the #1 thing I learned in my rookie running season.......

1.  I CAN DO IT!

Happy Running! 

J :)