I am a firm believer in goals. Since I started running 2 1/2 years ago, my first goal was to run 1 mile without stopping. I never imagined I'd run and finish a half marathon (let alone two!). I now realize that all I need to do is set little goals to help me reach larger aspirations, aspirations that let me become the woman want to be. The woman who is strong and proud. Fierce and bold. Determined and ambitious.
I had three goals to accomplish with the Baltimore Half Marathon:
1. Get a PR. Check.
2. Have NOTHING left once I cross the finish line. Check.
3. Get faster and get as close as I could to a 2:30 finishing time. Ehhh... not exactly met, but I don't know if I could have reached that goal Saturday. I really did my best, so I'll cut myself some slack.
I was thinking it might be time for some new running goals. Here they are.
1. I want to run the National Half. It will be on my 33rd birthday and I can think of no better way to spend my birthday than running and celebrating my health. Okay... spending time with my family is great, too, but I'd like to combine them. If I get to run, earn a medal, and spend time with my loved ones, that's a great day. Plus, I plan on eating two cupcakes for my birthday, so I'll need to burn quite a few calories. To run the National, I will need to finish in 2:30. This means I will need to shave a minute off each mile. I know I can do it. I just need to come up with a plan. I took a few extra walk breaks that what I needed. It might shave a couple of minutes off my time if I only walk during my water breaks (I hate drinking and running at the same time! What a mess!). I will also need to qualify for the half. I was thinking I'd run a 5K, and will have to finish in 31 minutes. I've never gotten below a 32 minute finishing time, but I know how hard I can push myself now.
2. So this is kind of part of the last goal, but I want to make it it's own category. I want to start running faster. I want to push myself to run a 10 minute mile for longer amounts of time. Sure, I can already run a 10 minute mile, but I can't keep the pace for any more than 2 miles. After 2 miles, I slow down to 10:30 or 11 minute miles.
3. Take my nutrition more seriously so I have better fuel for running. I don't really pay much attention to what I'm eating other than carbo loading. I want to focus more on veggies and lean meats and limit (almost excluding) all processed foods. My hubby says he's been thinking the same thing about his diet. I think if the two of us come up with a plan for our meals, we should be able to do better.
4. Lose 10 pounds by the National Half through eating better. This will make it easier for my body to carry me at a faster pace.
5. Strength training. I need to do it. My muscles are weak. I can feel a potential injury coming in my knee if I don't take this seriously. I'm already in a small personal training group focusing on the core that will start today, and I'd like to add one more day of strength training per week using this deadly leg workout. And this is the same workout I tried a few weeks and nearly killed myself. I'm determined to do this workout so much that I don't even feel any pain.
I'll keep my goals at 5, which might be too much. So I'll simplify.
1. I want to get faster.
2. I want to eat better to lose weight.
3. I want to get stronger.
There. Now I just have to figure out how to achieve these goals. I'm going to take it slow. Nothing great happens over night. I need to do some research about our meals. We need quick and healthy meals during the week (if anyone has any good standby recipes, please share!).
I'll keep you posted on my progress.