Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I know a lot of people who don't do resolutions; they feel it's silly/overrated to make a to-do list at the beginning of the year, or perhaps it seems like procrastination to wait until a certain date instead of just changing habits today.  Well, I like New Year's resolutions.  I like to-do lists, I like plans, and I like goals.  I always have resolutions, and my running goals are usually successful.  The other goals, ranging from finances to books to organization and other things in between, don't always go so well.

Looking back...
My 2010 goals were to run a marathon, run a sub-23 5k, and do a pull-up.  I did the first two, but the pull-up was elusive. My first marathon was surprisingly fun and successful, and I was hooked.

In 2011, my fitness goals were to run a sub-22 5k, improve my marathon time, and do a pull-up.  Well, I improved my marathon time, from 3:50 to 3:44.  I am so proud of this!  I ran a 22:04 (:05? I can't remember) 5k last January 1, but I never got under 22:00.  So pretty darn close, but not all the way.  And the pull-up?  No dice.  I think I am biomechanically malformed for pull-ups.

I have trouble coming up with goals for this year for the obvious reason: a baby is arriving on or around May 1.  She is my most important goal.  I also, however, want to have running or fitness goals, especially since I know I'll run at least one half-marathon in 2012 and a marathon in 2013. But I also do not know how quickly I'll be able to run again or how much I'll want to run, with not just a newborn but also an active toddler.  With bambino #1, I started running with him early, and it was easy to put him in the jogging stroller.  With two kids, the juggling just gets more challenging.  And what if the new baby (named Alfie by my son) isn't a good sleeper?  Will I be able to run on four hours of sleep?  Will I I want to?

Those are my concerns, but I also have assets.  The first is my partner; I am not a single parent, and she is so supportive of my running (even if, deep down, she thinks the only reason to run is if a pack of wild animals is chasing you).  I'm lucky to have someone who supports me going on three-hour long runs once a week and thinks that a race is a sport for the spectators, too.  (You win if you see your runner a lot of times on the course.)  The second asset is our new house, with its trails, neighborhoods, parks, and runnable roads nearby.  Now a three-hour long run doesn't actually mean four hours, including commuting to and from a place to start.  That's big.  And the third weapon is my new best friend, the treadmill.  My Achilles' heel  in the past has been consistency, and the treadmill, however boring at times, will let me run 4-5 days a week.  My last marathon training cycle, I averaged 3 runs per week, supplementing with the elliptical and rarely getting over 35-40 miles per week.  If I can do a 3:44 marathon on 3 runs a week, most of them 3 miles or less, having neighborhoods to run and a treadmill for rainy days and late nights is definitely going to improve my time.  I would love to get my base mileage up to 25-30 miles by the end of this year, but I'll be flexible with my body as it recovers from Alfie's arrival and reacquaints itself with less sleep.

So, after that ramble, here are my running-related goals for 2012:

  • run consistently as long as possible before Alfie's arrival and get back into running six weeks after, if all goes well
  • run a half-marathon in October
  • do a pull-up! come on, it can't be that hard.  
What are your goals?  Any big races or plans?


  1. That is soooo cool that you are pregnant and running. I am so glad I found you. I have one boy but I didn't start running till after he was born. I hope (if I do get pregnant again) that I'll be able to do what you're doing :) YAY!

  2. You can do it! I've slowed down a lot (as in, 3 minutes/mile), but it still feels doable and fun. Thanks!

  3. With a treadmill, too, you can run in smaller bits of time... easier to sneak in 15 minutes and yet still be around/ready to stop running and handle baby stuff.