Tuesday, September 28, 2010

goal setting and getting excited!

The Houston Marathon is January 30th, which means this week marks four months until race day. And since I'm using a 16 week training plan, marathon training has officially begun!

To be honest, I've been in a bit of a fitness slump. I've only been running three times a week, I have not been cross training at all, and I've skipped my last two long runs. (In my defense, I've been really dedicated to yoga, and have seen a big improvement in my strength and flexibility. All is not lost!) This is not a marathon state of mind, and the time to change that is now!

This week, I already have one thing working for me, and one thing working against me. In my favor is the fact that we have suddenly been hit with perfect running weather. Clear, cool (in the 50's at 6am when I'm hitting the streets) and 0% humidity. Amazing. The thing working against me? Plans to go canoe camping this weekend which, while fun and exciting and a different kind of workout, will not leave any time for my planned 11 miler. No worries though. I'm renewed and dedicated, remember? I'm planning to come into work an hour late on Friday and do my long run early in the morning. That way, I can enjoy the weekend with a clear conscious and the knowledge that my goals are still within reach.

And speaking of goals, I've got some! For the San Antonio Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon (November 14th) and the Houston Marathon, I'm going to employ the ABC technique of goal setting. I heard about this from the ever inspiring Queer Vegan Runner, who got it from Chic Runner.

For the half marathon:
A. Get a new PR, beating my previous PR of 1:58.
B. Finish in less than two hours.
C. Finish with a smile on my face, even if I'm faking it, and then drown my sorrows at Green Vegetarian Cuisine and Coffee. (Actually, I'll eat there no matter what. Probably more than once!)

For the marathon:
A. Finish in 4 hours, which would be ridiculous and amazing and semi-impossible.
B. Finish in 4:30 hours, which should definitely be do-able.
C. Beat my previous PR of 4:43. As Houston is much, much flatter than Austin, and as I'm a much more experienced runner now than I was last year, I am sure I can do this.

Okay, so I'm not so good at making ABC goals. The thing is, and this is going to sound corny, but I know the potential that lies within me! I know that one day, I will run a marathon in less than four hours. Will that day be January 30? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on so many things, and so many of them outside my control. What if it rains during the race? What if it snows? What if I'm injured, or sick? The only thing I can control is my attitude and my training. And I am going to rock my training. I am going to run better, smarter and harder. I'm going to cross train and, strength train, eat less sugar, and drink less wine. I'm going to be a lean, mean, running machine. And come race day, I'll know that I've already done the best I could. The race will just be icing on the cake.

This morning I got up at 5:30am and was running by 5:45. I did a speed workout, and alternated a half mile of running full speed with half miles of recovery jogs, for a total of five miles. Kind of like Yasso 800's, but with more recovery, because I'm still new to this speed workout thing. It was my best attempt yet, and each half mile sprint was just under four minutes. This bodes well for the next four months, and I'm excited for the journey that lies ahead.

Are you training for a big event this year? Let's cheer each other on!