12 things for 2012

In the past couple of weeks, I spent a lot of time reflecting on a great year. Now that the calendar has flipped to a new month and a new year, there's a feeling of starting something new. The great thing about this year is I don't have to start over like I did last year. The Runner's World Holiday Run Streak -- running at least a mile every day from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day -- gave me some solid miles and solid runs that makes for an easy transition into training mode. I actually hit day 40 today of consecutive running days, but today was different -- the first "official" day of training for the Shamrock Half Marathon.

So with this run, my focus shifts to the year ahead, and here are 12 thoughts for the next 12 months that are on my mind.

20121. My "A" goal for the first quarter is a PR in the Shamrock Half Marathon on March 18 in Virginia Beach.  Two winters ago I trained in one of the roughest winters around here in years and still managed to set a PR. This year is looking much better weather-wise (although I would love some snow at some point), and my mind will once again be set on beating my best time, which is 1:42.52.

2. I'm still undecided on whether or not I'll run a marathon in the spring.

3. I want to get my weight to under 180. I don't know what it is right now, but my letter to myself the other day is something I'm staying focused on. Weight is just a number, I know, but if I could stop eating stupid, I know that my race times would drop even more.

4. Barring injury, I will pass 5,000 running miles since the beginning of 2007 (I didn't log miles from 2004-06). I have about 750 to go, so that should happen in late summer/early fall.

5. Speaking of mileage, I will not set an overall mileage goal again this year. It was definitely a great thing to focus on in 2010, but I liked how last year went with my "finish it stronger than I begin it" goal -- a little more than 400 in the first half of the year and a little more than 600 in the second half. Right now I just want to run; mileage goals will be secondary whenever I realize I'm close to something.

6. I will buy a new GPS watch sometime this year.

7. It's weird in January to think of things that will happen 11 months from now. It's that feeling of that time will never get here. I know it will, so assuming everything goes like I hope, I want to return to the Christmas Classic 5k in Bedford and break 22 minutes.

Lee Bridge, Richmond Marathon

9.  I'm going to start riding my bike at least once a week when the weather warms up and I have a little more daylight in the evenings. I fully intend to continue to increase my cross training this year and I want the bike to be a part of it.

10. My sister is running the Monument Avenue 10k at the end of March. I'm not sure how much I had to do with talking her into doing it, but it will be just her second race. I'm really looking forward to her completing it.

11. When May rolls around, I will hit the campaign trail hard for Relay for Life where I will once again run lots of laps for a great cause. My donation page is active now.

12. I have failed to mention it on here, but I am doing the Mountain Junkies' Frozen Toe 10k this weekend in Roanoke. It will be the first race I've ever done in January, but it certainly won't be a race for time. It's a trail race around Roanoke Mountain with some generous elevation change. Similar to the Trail Nut 10k last year, I'm looking at this event to gain trail running experience. I think it will be a great way to kick off the year.

Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net