Sunday, April 1, 2012

March and Weekend Review, New Goals, and Maaaybe I can be a Fast Runner!!

March in Review
March was not exactly what you'd call an example in how to set and meet your goals.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it this month, though.  Excuses though they may be, I'd call doctor's orders, bronchitis, and a 103 degree fever pretty good excuses to miss your exercise goals for the month.
Regarding the goals I set for March, welp, I pretty much met none of them.  Any 10k or 10k+ runs were pretty much out of the question, I got in strength training once, and I was just one yoga class and two sets of push-ups shy.  Neil seams to have found the secret sauce for running faster that Cam jokingly alluded to when sharing her tips on how she PRed by over 12 minutes on her half marathon this spring, and catapulted from about a 9:15 pace over 5 miles to 8:33 per mile - holy cannoli!  (Don't worry fellow tortoises, I plan to share any secrets I find out from him with you!)  I got in two 5 mile runs before the onset of my various maladies, and they were closer to a 10 minute / mile mark, so Neil - another one goes to you - by a long shot this time!

Fastest Mile: Clocked in a 8:48, so 8 seconds slower than last month.  This time around I jogged a 1 mile warm-up first, and then took on my fastest mile - last month I just did it cold turkey (brilliant, I know).  I'm pretty pleased that I was able to keep it so close to last month's record despite this month's lack of training/health.  The one mile warm-up lead-in was the result of having read about Jeff Galloway's Magic Mile.  Basically, you jog a mile and then run your fastest and you use this to predict your time for other race distances.   This is particularly helpful to me right now as I haven't raced or pushed my pace recently and, particularly having not run recently, am unsure of what goals would be reasonable to set for my upcoming races.

This Weekend's Race - the Colon Cancer Challenge
After much grappling over what to do about the 15k I had signed up for, but not gotten a chance to train for while staying at home sick, I was delighted to learn from reader Meghan that I could in fact swap out my race entry from the 15k distance to race to a 4-miler (same day, similar route).  Thank you, Meghan!!  This was the PERFECT solution, as it let me push myself more than if I had just gone for a jog on my own, gave me a distance that I could complete without stopping to walk (I really didn't want to get in that habit), got me credit towards potentially qualifying for next year's NYC marathon, and overall turned out to be a great race!  I ran it in 38:16 (9:34/mile), which was within 20 seconds of my best 4 mile time, and right around some of my best 10k times.  Not so bad for not having run recently!  Being able to run one of my best times in this 4-miler, as well as to keep my "fastest mile" pretty darn close to last month give me hope that maybe one day I can be fast!  If I could push to these paces after a hiatus, imagine what pushing out of my comfort zone could do with a little training behind it!  I'll take this inspiration with me for creating my April goals...

30 Goals for 30 Days of April
Some of these goals are a take - 2 from the March goals that were curtailed by my cold, and some are new and inspired by some of the things I've seen and heard over the past month.  Some tidbits on my inspiration below.

    1. Relearn a split
    2. Complete 4 Magic Miles, with at least one faster than February's 8:40 fastest mile
    3. Same as #2
    4. Same as #2
    5. Same as #2
    6. Work-out before work in the morning at least twice
    7. Same as #6
    8. Build up long run to at least 10 miles in preparation for Brooklyn Half
    9. Thin Thighs Workout - 3 days / wk (@ 4 wks = 12)
    10. Same as #9
    11. Same as #9
    12. Same as #9
    13. Same as #9
    14. Same as #9
    15. Same as #9
    16. Same as #9
    17. Same as #9
    18. Same as #9
    19. Same as #9
    20. Attend 4 yoga classes
    21. Same as #20
    22. Same as #20
    23. Same as #20
    24. Do 10 push ups 2 times/ week (all or nothing)
    25. Same as #24
    26. Same as #24
    27. Same as #24
    28. Run with at least two people who are faster than you - and don't freak out about it
    29. Push out of the comfort zone with a good interval or hill workout on the treadmill
Goal #1 and 20-23: Inspired by the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson show that James and I saw this weekend.  I used to be pretty flexible from growing up ice skating, but it's amazing how quickly you lose it.  The show, although not my favorite because there was much more dancing and less amazing, unique Cirque stuff than usual, featured some pretty cool contortions that made me want to start focusing a bit more on stretching again.  Aside from just wanting to relearn them to say I can, the extra stretching is probably good for my running.

Goals #9 - 19:  Inspired by Gillian, and her uber-fast, first half marathon [sub-2 hours!].  One of the training trips that she felt helped her: "I do include leg strengthening exercises - I do lots and logs of lunges and squats with and without weights.  The stronger your legs become, the more powerful they are to carry you faster."

Goals # 6&7: Inspired by Megs and Ali, who both attribute part of their running successes to their consistency and morning running (which helps allow for consistency!).  Maybe I could ease my way in...

Goal # 29: Inspired by Jen, who took notes on some of the treadmill classes she took at her gym to share with me - no reason I can't try to recreate them on my own!


  1. Congrats! I am happy to help out - and at one point I really wished I had switched to the 4 mile race. I struggled the last 5K - big time. Felt sick to my stomach (and my sprained ankle was acting up when I woke up). You kicked @$$!!!

  2. I like your goal about trying to achieve a split again! That is one of my goals again, since I have also lost flexibility. : ) Another thing that might help you with your split, is maybe extending your leg and putting it onto of like a counter to help stretch your leg muscles. And, sometimes, I might extend just one leg to the front with the other one bent in the back, or I'll extend the back leg with the front one bent. It is definitely fun to be flexible and just whip out all of those awesome stretches!
    I hope to get some jogging in at the local walking path this week. I ended up not jogging as much as the beach this week, but instead went on an eight mile walk!! I am glad that you had a successful four mile run!

  3. That's awesome about switching your race to th 4 miler. I considered it when I had to bail for my 15K, but the only other option was a 30K. So - out of the question. :-)