living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Filtering by Tag: Blue Ridge Marathon

A new beginning

I have hinted several times recently that over the past few years I have written a lot of blog posts or started them, but for a variety of reasons they were never published. 

One of those types of posts was about planning for races and turning things around. Kind of along the lines of being "ready" to put all these little pieces together to get to a fully content state of my overall fitness. 

Well, the time has come for me to type these thoughts out and see what happens. 

This past weekend's Blue Ridge Marathon was something that I've been seeking since early 2018. CLOSURE

A year of injury-free running and doing a couple of races wasn’t enough for me.

Completing that race, no matter how awesome or awful it felt at times, was truly THE END of talking about a horrible period of running for me and THE BEGINNING of a new chapter. 

Of course I know that at any time on any run, something could happen, but I can't have that worry on my mind any more. 

It's beyond time to move forward and make a year-long plan so that I can return to the Blue Ridge Marathon with the intention to knock off at least an hour of my time. 

2020 can't be about "just finishing" ... it's about making sure that it's part of this process that I started this year and in the 26.2 miles on Saturday.

The other things …

Right now I'm in the process of that plan so that I'm not focused on just running. Up until the past month or so, I was pretty consistent about going to the gym and lifting weights a couple of times a week, along with some other cross training. 

All too often running becomes the only thing I focus on and I just didn't go that much in the last 1/3 of my training.  Over the next few months, while I plan on still running quite often, I've got to get back to the gym. 

The running …

I'm not going to say I'm not going to do any races, but through the end of June, that's not my focus. I want to get back to the track several times and focus on my form. 

Some of the early pictures from Saturday remind me of what I looked like a few years ago -- it looks a bit sloppy. I'm extending my legs too far out in front of me. It looks like I'm ready to fall apart. 

While I don't feel like my running is sloppy, I know that being content with running longer and slower distances are the perfect recipe for bad form taking shape. 

If I end up doing a race, so what?

The eating of all the things …

Then there's my nutrition. The problem child, forever and always.

If I get that right, everything else will be perfect. If I get partially right, things will be better. If I get it all wrong for the next 11 months, I'll continue to do a lot of walking in next year's Blue Ridge Marathon. 

The next steps …

Most of these things are just the start of my plan. Where I go after a few runs on the track is something yet to be decided. 

Do I want to get faster and run a 5K again for the first time in four years? Should I run a half marathon or two in the second half of the year? 

All questions I'll figure out as I move forward. The excitement of even thinking about this makes it hard not to sign up for a race or two right away. 

For now, my next step is, quite literally, a few steps with a running motion a couple of mornings this week for my first post-marathon miles. 

Then we'll see what happens ... 

Doing my own thing ... time for February!

My “doing my own thing” theme that began to take hold in January turned into me not blogging about anything that was going on.

And that’s perfectly fine with me. Because that’s just how I’m doing my own thing.

For January, I decided to set two goals: one for life (cleaning out my attic) and one for running (getting my long run back to 10 miles).

Cleaning out the attic is a bigger effort to declutter this year. I’ve seemed to have a horrible approach to this and never get very far. But my plan right now is to take this slow and make it a much longer process.

So boxes that were previously labeled as “yard sale,” or something to that effect, are out. A bigger mess is being made as this begins, and I’m OK with this. As Christmas got put away earlier this month, several other boxes made their way out of the attic, too.

For February, my goal is to continue this process of getting everything out. I have a feeling this will continue into March, too, as I essentially want to touch everything that may or may not be thrown out, sold, or kept.

For running, that goal of getting back to double digits was a challenge with the ups and downs of the weather all month. The first half of the month didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but I really turned it all around at the end of the month.

And YES, I hit my goal on the final Sunday of the month. 10.1 miles DONE … the first time hitting that mark in nearly two years. And January was my highest monthly total since January 2017.

As for a running goal in February, I debated on several things, but as I continue to set my sights on the Blue Ridge Marathon in April, I know how important these long runs are. So for the second straight month my focus will be on increasing my distance to get to 14 miles for a long run.

While that may seem like normal progression (and admittedly maybe not enough for marathon training with the race just a little more than two months away), 14 miles is a HUGE milestone in my return. The last time I ran farther that than was the Disney Marathon in January 2013. The last time I ran farther in a training run was October 2012.

So February, let’s do this …