Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nothing Is Impossible

But something's gotta change first.

So…I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do next year. I actually started rethinking my goals for next year during the Death Valley Trail Marathon. I had a lot of time to think out there.

Do I want to keep doing marathons? Do I want to keep doing ultras? Do I want to continue my runstreak (Day 65 now)?

What do I want?

I feel like there are things I need to do next year…things I didn't finish this year...unfinished business. But right now I don't want to train for a 100 miler. I don't want to do Death Valley again.

Mostly, I don't want to be slow.

And that's my problem. I don't want to just finish or just get them done. I don’t want to have to worry about missing cutoffs. I want to finish strong AND fast. I don’t want to do a 100 miler or DVTM again until I know I can do them well.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about the Savage Gulf Marathon. I don’t really want to do it. I’ve seen the pictures and it’s beautiful but it’s also incredibly hard. He told me that right now, I wouldn’t be able to do it because I couldn’t make the cut off. Ouch! I know he’s right but damn it…I don’t want him to be right! :( Yeah, I know that’s contrary of me because I said I don’t want to do it but I do want to be that runner that he thinks COULD do it. Does that make sense?

One of the things that really frustrates me is that I see others who've been running as long as I have (or less) and they are running a LOT more…doing 100s or marathons every weekend…and getting PRs left and right. They’re pulling out BQs and going sub 24 at a 100 and running 20 min 5Ks. How come I'm not doing that? Why am I getting slower? What am I doing wrong?

I WANT to run ultras but I want to be fast too. I'm not sure I can do both right now. I think I need to work on getting my speed back. Really work on that. I can do that, right? It's not impossible. Nothing is impossible.

As much as I don’t want to, I think I need to cut back on racing long next year. Less tapering and recovering will give me more time to fit in speed work and tempos and hopefully leave me less exhausted so I can be faster. Right now I’m thinking that 3 marathons next year is all I should do. 2 for fun and 1 for fast. MAYBE 1 or 2 ultras in the form of a 10 HR or 12 HR so there's no pressure and I can just do what I want. I plan to fill up the rest of the year with 5Ks, 10Ks, and Halfs. Not a lot but enough to keep me satisfied and get me running/racing fast. 

It's so hard because there are so many great races out there. How do I pick just a few to do? I love racing. I love the atmosphere and pushing myself. Or at least I used to. It hasn't been like that lately so that's why I know I need to change something or I'll burn myself out. I definitely don't want to do that.

Here's what I'm planning:

My first marathon in 2013 will be the Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico in March. It's hard and hot and sandy but I want to experience it before the veterans are gone.

Then I will use that as a jump off for the Run Under The Stars 10 Hour Endurance run in Kentucky in June. I might do the Nanny Goat again or a 50K in May to celebrate my 45th birthday. Something special. (I'm open to ideas!).

After RUTS, I'll have 2.5 months to get ready for Leading Ladies in August. I think this will be the marathon that I race. I think I can do really well there. I liked the course and it was a beautiful place to run. Plus, I would like to explore more of the area.

My third marathon next year will hopefully be the Flying Monkey. I want to go back and run that better. I want to run it rested and after having trained specifically for it. I know it probably won't be a PR marathon for me but I want to put in a good effort there.

Right now I'm signed up for 2 half marathons in 2013 - the New Years's Half on January 5th and the Rock 'n Roll Los Angeles on October 27th. I would like to do at least one more new state next year so will look for something fun to do somewhere but the rest will probably be local halfs.

And then I'll fill in the year with a bunch of 5Ks and 10Ks.

My goal is to drop my PR for the 5K through the marathon next year. I'll flesh that out more the closer we get to 2013 but I wanted to put that out there for now. I also have an idea for my theme for next year but I'll wait on that too.

For now, I want to end on a fun note...I may not be having the greatest month running/riding wise...but I have had some good stuff happen. RIF #72 Natalie (@NattieRuns) was doing a SUPER Fundraising Raffle on her blog and I won not one but TWO items in the raffle! How cool is that? I won an Oiselle shirt and a bling holder from Allied Medal Displays. Allied Medal Displays contacted me last Monday and let me choose the display I wanted and it arrived a couple of days later. This is the one I chose.
Pretty cool, huh? I should be getting the Oiselle shirt this week. I am a lucky runner girl.

I might need a reminder of that every now and then though. Feel free to kick me in the butt if I start whining again. :)


  1. Looove!! Like the direction you are thinking for next year! But regardless of what you do we'll always support you! You know this, right?? We have such limited experience with well marathons alone....and then of course anything past that, but they can really take a lot out of a person.

    1. I do know and I really appreciate it! :)

  2. Your plans sound great! I thought running slow helped with speed? Rats...I thought it might help speed me up, too. I'm in the same boat. Looking at your 5k PR, you can definitely nail that down! 1/4-1/2 mile repeats on the road once the long races are done. Might be fun to throw them in once every couple weeks during your long training, too. Give your body something different (if you hadn't been already).
    I've been injured a lot lately. I want to run long, but my body may not be able to handle it for a couple more years. I want to run fast, but my injury proved it can't handle fast racing. So, I guess I "just" run for the enjoyment for a year! I had one race I wanted to do at the end of March (12 hour ultra) but got my entry deferred to 2014. I have no other races planned until Labor Day. I figure I should be good by then for a nice long run :)

    Congrats on the medal holder! That thing rocks!!

    1. Slow running isn't bad in of itself. It's good. :) The problem was that I did so much racing, I was always tapering or recovering so never had a chance to do speed/tempo workouts. You have to run fast sometimes. Good luck! I hope you get stronger and heal up so you can enjoy running again!

  3. I told one of my running buddies (who does 100 mile weeks) that I wanted to get faster. He told me you have to train fast to race fast. I was like, "Duh". Then I was like..."Oh". I hadn't been doing specific training runs to produce speed. Sounds like you have a really good plan. I know you do a lot of exercise aside from running also, which is good. Are you doing any weight lifting (like squats or lunges)?

    1. I was kind of sporadic with the squats and not so good with doing lunges (which I hate). But I plan to include them in regularly now and some jump squats/lunges too. More leg power for more speed.