2009 on my mind

As I near the end of my fifth year of running, I realized recently that many of my goals throughout the year are race-based. While there are races that I want to do next year, I would like to take a different route with my goals. It's nice to be able to do this too -- last year at this time I was hurt and had to approach 2008 with no goals in mind. This year I'm healthy and feeling good, so I'm looking at Jan. 1 a lot differently than usual. I'm approaching 2009 with as much optimism as I did when 2004 came along when I decided to get off my butt.

So, my goals for 2009 aren't simple, at least when it comes to trying to explain them. When it comes to overall mileage, I am going to take a "10 percent approach." What that means is I want to do 10 percent more miles of everything next year compared to this year. Yes, that might sound simple, but when it comes to things like biking and the elliptical machine (the main "other" thing in my workouts), I didn't do each of those in all 12 months.

My approach is to take the average of the months I did do something and then apply it to the calendar. For example, I've been using the elliptical machine only since October. If the year ended right now, I would be at 25.7 miles for those three months, an average of 8.6 miles for those three months. With that number I would take 8.6 times 12 and add 10 percent to get my goal for mileage for next year -- right now that would be 113.5 miles. (That'll increase a little bit with a couple of weeks remaining.) I'll do the same approach for the bike, which I started doing in March. I'll likely not focus on increasing walking miles, but I plan to still keep track of them the best I can.

As far as racing is concerned, I have not signed up for anything yet. I would very much like to do the Rock 'n' Roll Half again and then another long-distance race in the fall. I've hinted at wanting to do another marathon, but I'm not ready to make that commitment again just yet. We'll see how the summer goes first to see if 2009 will be the year. When it comes to racing, I want to do more than I've done this year -- six (one 5k, a four-miler, an 8k, a 10k and two halfs). That's a big drop from doing 10 in both 2006 and 2007. I want to find my speed again in a 5k and set a PR next year in that distance. I think my main focus will be setting a PR in a half marathon, but that's a goal that a little far off right now. For races, I think many of my goals have to be a wait and see approach, and I am perfectly OK with that right now.

Lastly, I want to get my weight back to 180 ... and stay at or below that number. I'm not really that far off it right now -- I just have to focus and do it. It won't take long, but it does take a certain dedication with what I put into my mouth. (But let me enjoy the holidays just a little bit over the next couple of weeks!)

Happy holidays everybody!