Monday, January 03, 2011

Looks like fun, doesn't it? That's the Rift Zone Trail in Point Reyes, site of my last long training run before the Portland Marathon in October.

I'll probably be out there with the ferns and the ocean views and the banana slugs (ick on this last one -- I'm not a fan of slimy and spineless) again in the coming months -- my training group is focusing on trails through April.

Which brings me to my running goals for the year.

Goal No. 1: Mix it up.

I've spent most of my energy focusing on road running, with trails as an afterthought. That's about to change, and I'm looking forward to it. There will be some welcome challenges: The hills are much more difficult, the footing is trickier (which will hopefully strengthen my ankles -- I'm notorious for twisting my ankle on cracks in the sidewalk) and I'll be forced to stay in the moment and pay more attention to what's around me and where I'm putting my feet rather than what's at the finish line and what my watch says. Plus, I think the varied terrain will be good for me as I continue to recover from last year's injuries.

I'd also love to try something totally out of my comfort zone this year -- possibly a duathlon or triathlon. Or even just simply getting a bike and riding around town to pick up my groceries. I've been toying with the idea for awhile now -- maybe it's time to go for it.

(Oh, and I kind of want to take a Zumba class. Shhh!)

Goal No. 2: Healing.

No more being undermined by my knee at Mile 23! This happened in Portland and again at CIM, and it has to stop. I know what the problem is -- weak core, which forces hips to overcompensate, which makes them tight, which affects knees and pulls them out of alignment, which results in pain -- and I need to fix it. I've already started taking Pilates (went to a springboard class this morning and was the only student there -- I love when a group class becomes a private session), and I'm trying really hard to focus on form and mechanics when I'm running.

I also need to be better about following the 10 percent rule when increasing mileage. I tend to get carried away and over-enthusiastic whenever there's a race on the horizon, and then I push myself too far, too fast. When it comes to training, conservative is good.

Goal No. 3: Break the 2-hour mark.

And if all falls into place -- if I start to feel strong again and fully recovered -- then I'm going to go for the sub-2 half marathon. Because I am so close. I just need to shave 20 seconds off of my time. Twenty seconds! I know I can do this. I just have to train smart and be patient with myself. And do mile repeats.

Goal No. 4: Feel better about the marathon.

I'm still waiting for my breakthrough. Will I ever be able to run 26.2 as an actual race? Or will this distance always be a struggle for survival? Portland seemed so promising, but then CIM ate me alive. I would really like to hit 4:30. If Oprah can do it, surely I can. Right?

Races for 2011

As far as my calendar goes, I haven't signed up for too many things so far. Right now, I'm official for the following:
  • Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon on Feb. 6: This will be my third time running this race. I had originally hoped it would be my sub-2 event, but after CIM kicked my ass, a recent chest cold took my lungs out temporarily and I somehow got engulfed in a sea of desserts over the holidays, I'm behind in my training. I think I'm just going to use it as a warm-up race for the year and take the pressure off.
  • Chesebro Half Marathon on March 26: My first official trail race! And my first race in Southern California! But you know what will make this event especially awesome? It's part of the Great Race of Agoura series, and my dad will be running the 5K. There's a chance we may cross the finish line at the same time. (His event starts after mine.) That would be more amazing, more memorable and more meaningful than any PR ever.
  • Bay to Breakers on May 15: Had to do it -- this year is the 100th anniversary! Quite a few of my training group friends are running it too. And guess what? We're most likely going to dress as turtles. And there's also been some talk of a centipede, which should be interesting. Never done that before, either!
  • San Francisco Half Marathon on July 31: Love this course, love this race and want to redeem myself after last year's sad knee incident. I'll be running the first half. And I'll be hoping for more Irish coffees at the finish line!
  • And possibly the New York Marathon on Nov. 6: I won't know for a few more months if I've gotten in, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. New York would be a knockout experience. Added bonus: Momofuku. (Of course, ramen plays a role in everything.) If I don't get into New York, you'll find me at good ol' CIM once again, on Dec. 4, asking for another spanking.

1 comment:

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I want to do A LOT more trail running this year too! I've signed up for a 21 km trail race on March 27 so guess I'm gonna have to get out there - snow and all :)

I also want to break 2 hours in the half. My PR is 2:01:40. So I have 1:41 to shave off ;) I really hope I can do it this year!

I don't think I have it in me for another marathon this year. Portland kind of beat me up and then stomped on me. We'll see, though...

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