Sunday, November 13, 2011


I've decided a whole bunch of things today... and I am kinda wondering if I am crazy to do so, but I honestly believe very strongly in goals, and I think that these goals are set far enough apart to make them real and attainable.

Goal 1- March- Run the 10k in Irvine
The beginnings of the trainings for this are not that far from what I am doing now, and this is only twice the distance of what I am regularly doing on Fridays. Biggest fear is doing this as a race, with other people.

Goal 2- September- Run the half marathon at Disneyland.
As I made the choice to do the 10k, I thought about how going from 6 miles to 13 miles is not that big of a jump. Sure, it is a bit over half, but if by March I am able to run 6, by September I should be able to do 13, right? Biggest fear is the sheer scale of this run, thousands of people participate each year, you have to get up super early, you are set up in corrals, and I am sure I will feel extremely lost in the crowd. However, many people say that the joy of a marathon partially comes from how many other people are doing it with you. Also a fear is how our adoption will be affecting the chance of this happening, but then the other part of me thinks that if I set up these huge ambitious goals now, before I have kids, it might be the thing that keeps me sane, focused and still finding time for myself to exercise when I do have a child and life gets crazy. Especially since all of the training programs for big distances have you do shorter distances during the week with a big run on a weekend day, so in theory, I should be able to get a baby sitter (Blake, or my parents, etc.) during my long runs working up to my goals.

Goal 3- Full Marathon- May 2013- Orange County Marathon
Twice the distance of the half... 26 miles... daunting doesn't even begin to describe it. Even the training for this terrifies me. Finding time on the weekends to run the 7, 10, 17, 23, 26 miles to be prepared for the actual run... this will be a sacrifice of 4+ hours of my Saturday. This not just a 30 minute chunk of time before my day begins... it is a lot of time. Adding to this is that I would be surprised if I don't have a child by then, because on average, adoption is an up to 2 year process, and we would have hit that mark in December 2012. I have a feeling that I won't want to sacrifice that time with my child, and this is even before I have one.

And yet... running a marathon is something I want to achieve in my life. It has been on my "someday" list for quite some time now. Even before starting to run. I watch the Biggest Loser people do it, and I feel like I want to say that I have done that too.

Every May there is the Orange County Marathon (and I know I don't want to travel for one). May 2012 is approaching too fast, and I am too far from the miles needed to even start a marathon training program to be ready in time. But May 2013? I will have already done two races, and have been working on gradually increasing trainings for the year. Even if we have a child, he or she will be too young to be doing sports and tons of activities on the weekends, and I don't anticipate that to be the case in 2014, 2015 etc. when they are old enough and interested enough to be doing a sport, or dance or who knows what on their Saturdays. By 2014 we could very likely be in the process or almost done with a second adoption... life gets so much more uncertain the farther out I go. After this marathon, I might have a hard time staying active and in shape, but until then... with this goal... maybe I can.

I typed this... I read it... and reread it... and yet I hesitate to post it, to make it public, to make it that much harder to take back. However, that is the exact reason that I wrote it, I want it to be public... to stake my reputation on following through with my goals.

(Deep breath) I will be running a 10k, a half marathon and a marathon by the end of 2013!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Personal Record and other running tidbits

On Monday, my morning that I focus on improving my speed, I set out to try a very ambitious goal of a 8 minute mile. Almost unbelievably... I did it! I ran my first mile of the morning with a time of 7:59.

However... that exhausted me so much that I had to walk for a bit... and then when I ran the rest of the way home it wasn't even another mile, and the .85 of a mile that I did run I ran it slow... taking about 9 minutes to do so.

So not quite a crowning victory, since as Blake so kindly pointed out, my average was actually slower than previous weeks when you include my second very slow mile.

I am thankful for this weekend's clock change and getting to run in light and dawn again, but there is a negative that came with this... it is very chilly in the mornings these days. We are talking 50 or below. Even with running, I am too cold in my normal workout gear and have been running with a sweatshirt on... and still being a little cold.

I am finding that I have been preferring my phone over my ipod lately because of Pandora. With running three days a week, I am somewhat tired of everything on my running mix, and I like the variety that comes from Pandora. There is a downside though that since Pandora needs internet, if I run through a section that there is no signal, the song cuts out and then takes a while to load again. The upside of my phone is that I can set my running app to tell me every time I hit a mile, or how far and how fast I have run every two minutes (or one minute, etc.).

On Friday, I made another personal record with running 3 miles in 27 minutes and 30 seconds. To my memory, my fastest time when I was running cross country was 25 minutes (maybe 24), and running three miles at just over 9 minutes is a good step in the right direction.

I'm considering signing up and running a 10k in March... but I am nervous. In some ways, I think that it is only a little over 6 miles, but then I look at the training schedules for those, and all of them have me regularly running 4 or 5 miles to get ready for the 6. Right now, my three mile Fridays are a push for me, and I am ready to be done way before the three miles. On the other hand, when I had decided to run in the first place, everything said that it was really important to set goals and milestones for yourself to keep you running and motivated. Running a race would do that, and it totally makes sense that the runs during the week have to be longer for that to work too.

Also causing me to hesitate is the uncertainty about our adoption. What if we are in Ghana in March, what if our child comes home in March... on the other hand, we could not even have a call yet, and is it right to wait or hold back on goals just because of a huge gaping unknown?

I want to stay healthy, and I want to stay in shape, and I really want to keep running. More than any gym regimen that I have ever done, I want to keep getting better and continuing to run. To do this, I think I need more distinct training goals than just "get faster."

I need encouragement... I need a push, a shove, a resounding chorus that says that says that I have all of December, January and February to get ready for the run in March. I need to believe that I can do this. And maybe, just maybe with enough encouragement, I will actually click the button to sign up for that race...