Monday, January 23, 2012

Adjusting the Approach

A mere 14 weeks before the first race on my 2012 docket, the Illinois Half. I’m excited for a few reasons: good people from my running circle will be taking the journey down to Chambana (that would be the combination of Champaign and Urbana, for those unaware), a change of racing scenery is always a good thing and hell, 14 is my lucky number.

I’ve been using the past few (and a few more weeks) to lay down an itty-bitty base for myself and it went…meh. I had a handful of solid, committed to putting in the miles weeks followed by a lone run or two the week after. A nice few excuses come to mind, only one (a five day stretch of a cold) is considerably legit. Maybe a stretch using the overwhelming nerves from a handful of interviews preventing me from running. But here I am, 14 weeks out. And I don’t want the same problems from last year (and beyond, sigh) joining me to the starting line. I'm sick of no preparation and feeling disappointed when I finish any given race, after the wheels fall off with a few miles left.

I make really nice calendars on graph paper.  The problem is that I think I can fill them in on a weekly basis, using how I feel to dictate and guide my training…but the problem with no structure is that its really, REALLY easy to just keep it blank. No accountability laid out makes me feel little to no guilt when the day comes and goes and I have nothing to show for it.

Come on, Kind. You are better than that. I have goals this year and have started making the effort needed to keep me on task.

First, I joined the Oak Park Runners Club. I missed the first meeting but am totally looking forward to getting to meet up with other runners out here, have a more personal group to volunteer with and eventually run with once my schedule lines up a bit better. And I wont lie…the idea of getting a singlet and representing something has been deeply missed. Something that was really important when I presided over the club handball team in college was getting a wearable jersey so all playing (especially at nationals) were recognizable. Didn’t have that before and I don’t know if it was continued on to be honest, but at least that was something I made happen.

Secondly, in regards to time-based goals, I really feel like it comes down to committing to my fitness and not getting in my own way too much. A sub 1:40 half and 5ks near 7min pace are what I want to get to so as to feel like I’m moving forward. I’m not that far removed from faster efforts and I firmly believe in the notion that ability never fades.

Finally, and this goes along with the over arching need of regaining some confidence, but I'd like to tackle an honest to goodness track race sometime in the summer. I know they are out there

So I’m going to re-tool the way I train and get a much better handle on laying out my schedule, starting today. Cross Training is going to be key, utilizing my rower as well as Insanity, the slightly silly workout series. I did the majority of it in September-October and it really gave me confidence on my feet and a great sense of strength in my core, so I’d like to give it another go.

These 14 weeks are going to fly by, I know it. Now to get going.

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