living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Smarter, stronger, faster: the sequel

Nearly 3 years ago when faced a major injury, I vowed to come back smarter, stronger and faster. I did just that throughout 2011 and early 2012. Those words weren't just things I typed – I repeated them to myself on runs, and I lived those words through my training. I took breaks when something ached; I added cross training to my workouts; I broke PRs in every distance.

While I haven't been physically injured, I found myself thinking about those 3 words in my run yesterday morning. I need to get smarter; I have to get stronger; and I want to get faster.

Having been mantra-less for more than a year, it's time to get back to what was working before.

If it ain’t broke

When I decided last year not to run a fall marathon this year, the decision was easy. It was also refreshing. I'm realizing, though, I was trying to fix something that wasn't really broken.

Now that I'm in the middle of summer and my long runs are generally capped at an hour, I'm readily admitting that I miss those long Saturday morning runs beyond 10 miles. Or, rather, I miss the idea of them.

That alone is what gets me excited about wanting to do another marathon again in 2014.

All's not lost

With a baby on the way, doing a marathon in October or November would have been nearly impossible anyway. Sure all of the harder training would have been done, but the final month would have been full of sleep-deprived nights.

That’s why running the Richmond Half in November is much more appealing. Sure I’ll be tired, but if I can get back to my smarter-stronger-faster mindset over these next two months, I’ll be ready to end this year with a strong performance in a race.

Right now I don't care about the PR or a certain time in that race – I just want to be in a better place physically and mentally because of it. Getting through a couple of months with a new baby will only add to that and get me set up well for realistic goals in 2014.

Speaking of goals

I'm probably going to fall short of my mileage goals I set for July, but I certainly don’t regret them. I think my own failures with those goals will likely mean I’ll set more goals at the beginning of August and beyond. My overall goals for the year were nice and I’ll still work on them, but I’m learning a lot about myself this summer and what works and doesn’t.

Setting short-term goals will be the path to a return to happiness with my running … and will be key to make my 10th year of running in 2014 the best ever.