New year, new goals.

Oh hey there! I know, it’s been a while. Now that the holiday’s are over I’m starting to focus on another training cycle and my goals for 2018.

I know it’s kind of cliché, but I totally buy into the whole “New year, new me” thing. This year I have some pretty big goals for myself as far running goes. Last year my 3 big goals were to get RRCA certified, run a sub 3:00 half marathon time, and PR at the Chicago marathon. I guess two out of three isn’t too bad, but this year I’m going to see how much more I can push myself.

My biggest goal this year is to PR at the marathon distance this fall by an hour. Yes, an hour. The goal for the Chicago marathon was to run in 6:00 or less, obviously that didn’t happen because it took me 7:07. A sixty minute PR would put me at 5:57, and I’m going to be putting in the work to make that happen.

Another goal that’s really important to me is to PR again at the Pittsburgh half marathon this May. Last year I cut twenty (20!!!) minutes off my time, coming in at 2:56 and some change. The new goal for May 6 is 2:45, which means I’ll have to run 12:35 minute miles. Slightly terrifying but I know I can get it done. I’d also like to exceed my fundraising goal for the American Cancer Society, I’m once again dedicating a race to my Grandma Betty who has stage 4 colon cancer and just spent, what we think, her last Christmas with us. You can find the link to donate in my last post, if you can’t donate thoughts and prayers for my grandma are appreciated.

The last two would be to travel for races more, whether they’re only an hour away or across the country, and to acquire more athletes to train which is pretty self-explanatory. I’m currently registered for the Napa to Sonoma half marathon in July. I never imagined I’d be going to California to run but I’m really excited to get out and see new places through running. I’m still undecided about my fall marathon but I’m heavily leaning towards the Toronto marathon on October 21. You’ll also see me posting here more consistently, training starts in a few weeks so I’ll be taking you guys with me through that journey.

Because I care about things outside of running; some of my personal goals this year are to finally finish my associates in Business Management, continue to lose the 25-30lbs I’ve already started to get rid of, and to make myself a priority. Sometimes you have to put yourself first and this year I’m going to learn to do that.

 

What are your 2018 goals?

Post marathon recovery and plans for the rest of October

I cannot believe it’s already been a week since the marathon, where is time going?! I’ve done a lot of reflecting, stretching, sleeping, and eating since last week. I like to celebrate for the entire week after a big race before I get my life together and make healthier choices. You put your body through a lot during training so splurging is always welcomed. I’ve also been sleeping every chance I get which Henrik hates me for because all he wants to do is go outside and play.

Monday-Wednesday were pretty rough. But once I finally got through that and I could finally move normally again, I’ve been walking during lunch and after work (with Henrik of course) and I’m glad I’ve been forcing myself to get up and move. I made the mistake last year of not doing anything for the 3 days after the race and the recovery took so much longer. I’m also so ready to start eating like a normal human again, carb loading gets old real fast and this last week has just been an excuse to stuff my face any chance I get. I went grocery shopping on Saturday and I’m so excited to get back to healthy eats and focus on losing some weight.

As far as what my plans are for the rest of the month they include mostly resting, spending time with Henrik, and exploring our neighborhood. I won’t be doing any running until the last week of the month to give my body a decent break until my next race, the EQT 10 miler, on November 5. It’ll be my 3rd year doing this one and I absolutely love it, it’s not too long and it’s not too short, I highly recommend it if you’re in the Pittsburgh area. This will be my last “real” race of the year. I always participate in the 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving but that’s more of a fun run.  I’m so looking forward to having a social life, or at least the option of a social life, for the next couple months. I’ve literally been training since February with a 6 week break in between the Pittsburgh half and training for Chicago so it’s much needed.

I have a lot of plans for next year that I’ll be discussing in the coming weeks but in the meantime I’ll be documenting my weight loss journey, pupdates on Henrik, and ways to be active that don’t include running since it’s almost offseason!

 

Until next time…

Two weeks out

Two weeks from now I’ll be in Chicago eating deep dish pizza and having a beer at Lou Malnati’s while proudly wearing my medal. Visualizing the finish line and afterwards always help me get past the anxiety of race day.

This year I’m doing a two-week taper, as opposed to last year’s one week taper. Tapering is such a weird feeling, you’re still as hungry as you are during the weeks leading up to peak week but you aren’t doing anywhere near as many miles. I’ve found it’s very important to be extra mindful of your diet at this point, you don’t want to over eat for two weeks and show up to race day bloated. Not fun.

I find that I also get crazy emotional at this point. You put in so much time, effort, and work and you’re getting so close to showtime. It’s very easy to let the emotions get the best of you and turn you into a crying mess (not that I’ve been doing that or anything).

There’s a few things I’m doing during taper this year that I wanted to share with you. Now is the time to really take care of your body and make sure you’re good to go for the big day. (Disclaimer: I am not a health professional, you should speak with your doctor before taking any supplements.)

  1. Increasing my collagen consumption. Collagen is a great supplement for us runners. It helps with your joints, bones, tendons, cartilage and so much more. My favorite is from Vital Proteins. You can find more information about their collagen on their website.
  2. More Iron! Did you know runners lose iron through their heel strike? I’ll be eating more red meat and spinach, in addition to taking an iron supplement every other day.
  3. Better quality sleep. I’m aiming for 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. Sleep is so important for muscle recovery.
  4. All of the hydration. Obviously don’t go overboard here, but I’ll be increasing my water consumption over the next 13 days and adding nuun tablets in for extra electrolytes.
  5. Calf compression sleeves and TENS machine. Compression socks/sleeves have been a game changer for me in the last year. I’ll usually wear them while using the TENS machine on my quads. I like to do this before bed a few nights a week to keep my legs feeling fresh.
  6. Stretching, stretching, and more stretching. I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory. Tight muscles are no good.
  7. And lastly, carving out time for myself to do something non running related. It’s so easy to obsess over race day being so close that we can forget to step away for a moment and take a mental break. For me this might include doing a face mask, taking a hot bath, taking Henrik to the dog park. Whatever you want it to be, but it’s always nice to do something for yourself that’s outside of the sport to keep you mentally sane.

 

What are your tips for tapering?