I guess this is the year that I finally started to step my running game up a bit. I knew to be a better runner, I Could not just run. It started off tough, but after a couple of weeks, a good balance had been achieved between doing things like lunges and running. It also helped that it really made a difference in my running.
I ran a great race at the Soldier Field 10M, beat my sub two hour half marathon by a significant amount and completed a sub four full marathon. My running season went really well and I have very few complaints. The one thing I will have to figure out is the cramping issue during marathons. They have attacked my quads twice and I have no idea why.
With that being said, those races and issues helped me establish some goals for the 2014 year:
Beating my race times from last year
Soldier Field 10M: 1:16:26
Rock N Roll Half: 1:41:26
Chicago Marathon: 3:47:40
I am and very happy with all of those times but that also means I will have to work harder to beat them. Working harder is no problem because it will keep my healthy and energized. I also often tell people that I have to run and workout to eat and drink the way I do :).
Run with others more often
I ran with others more than I ever have and found that when I did I had some of my better runs. Running in groups allows you to push yourself. Personally, I do not like falling behind and I am pretty competitive. The few times I did it this year, I pushed myself to run hard and found that I could stick with others. If I had been by myself during some of those runs, I am not sure that I would have pushed myself to run that hard.
This is something that all runners struggle with at times because there are a lot of times where we do not listen to our body. Personally, I think I did a pretty good job of listening to my body this year. I battled shin splints and a bruised kneecap. I would have loved to run through both of those issues, but it just would not have been smart. Cross training will also be involved in this goal. I want to develop some upper body strength and try a variety of activities that will benefit my running.
They are fun! Of course it will have to be something I am smart about because training can be very taxing. I would love to do at least one destination half-marathon. It would be a fun way to see a city that I have never seen before (Austin, Nashville, Memphis and San Francisco to name a few). A group of friends and I are doing Ragnar Cape Cod and I am very excited about that. I have always wanted to do one of those and I am glad I found a group that wants to do it.
Those are just some of the goals I can think of. I am sure more will come to my mind as the year progresses. What are some of your goals?
Read more of your blogs
With the help of #runchat and a few friends, I have met (via twitter) some great people and runners. I love hearing about their adventures and getting tips from them on running.
On Christmast Eve, I talked to my former brother-in-law and he asked if I had run on that day, which had been pretty cold and gloomy. Here is the conversation we had:
BIN-Did you run this morning?
Me-No. I ran this afternoon.
BIN-I thought about you this morning. I said to myself I should go for a run, I know Mike is out there running.
Me-Haha. You are right about that.
This may seems like a small thing, but it made me happy. In a small way, I served as some motivation for someone. He may not have known it, but he gave me a great compliment.
I went for a very cold run this morning and I saw five runners! I waved to one of them from across the street to acknowledge the fact that we are both crazy people. My legs were in great shape because I wore two tights. My core and arms felt great, but my hands took the longest to warm up. The circulation in my hands is not great, so my hands felt like bricks for about a mile.
Happy New Year!