Happy New Year!
Rather than spend any time at all reflecting on 2012, I thought I'd devote this space to what's ahead for me in 2013. I have a lot to look forward to. I have an awesome new coach, an injury-free body and a belly full of fire: a good combo for fast running.
I have my training plan in hand and have been following it for two weeks now. I really appreciate Coach Hadley's approach to training and his positive, flexible style of coaching. It is very clear that he loves running, coaching and has spent a great deal of time researching training principles. While I have a program including daily workouts, strength training, drills, etc. laid out for the next several months, each week he gives me a detailed account of what my workouts should look like including effort level and paces. He explains the intent of the workouts and what the overall goal is for the week. I really like having that knowledge. It helps keep me from stressing over workouts and helps me to keep everything in perspective.
What is my next goal race? I waited to reveal this because it was meant to be a surprise for my Mom when I went up to Tacoma for Christmas. I'm running the Tacoma City Marathon on May 5th! **crickets** Yeah, that was my Mom's reaction too. Little did I know that she wanted to travel to my next marathon. I thought it would be fun for her to see me run in her city for a change. I'm sure it will be, but I have to promise her that we'll travel to another marathon soon.
When I was in Tacoma, we drove the marathon course to get a sense for how it will run. It's a "net downhill" course that starts in Gig Harbor, runs over the Narrows Bridge and through north Tacoma, Point Defiance Park and finishes on the waterfront. Net downhill does not necessarily equal fast. There are a lot of turns and the downhills are screaming downhills, making it difficult to really run them fast. There are a few good uphill sections too. However, It will be fun to run through familiar territory and go for a W.
Between now and then, I have a few races on my schedule including a 4-mile Valentine's Day run, a 12k in San Francisco, and a 10-miler here in Sactown. I'm looking forward to getting back into competitive racing once again.
My plan for the year is to get back into marathon shape with this marathon training cycle, while getting to know Coach Hadley and his training program. I will be trying to get into the best shape I can, but don't have a specific time goal for the race. I would like to win, but that's mostly a matter of who shows up to race. After a short recovery, I'll start training for a fall marathon to attempt a sub-2:43. I'm eyeing Chicago right now. I've had good luck there, my Mom likes to go there and there will likely be a strong contingent of ladies to run with trying to achieve the same goal time.
I'm also experimenting with a new nutritional supplementation program that I learned from a coach I worked with for a short while back in 2008. It is pretty involved and takes a lot of dedication. If the coach I got it from is any indication (superstar masters runner), the program should have me breaking records soon enough! I'll write about it in an upcoming post once I have a chance to evaluate how it's working for me.
I recognize that running a qualifier this time around is going to be tough, but I do believe I have been in sub-2:43 shape before. I believe I was there in 2010 when I ran Chicago given the time I ran and the hot conditions that day. Coach Hadley put it well when he told me that it's easier to get back to a fitness level you've seen before than to try to attain a higher one. Of course, I'll need all of the other ingredients for a good marathon to fall into place too, and that's a matter of luck. I'll do what I can to maximize my fitness so I don't need quite as much luck on race day. The good news is that I have a few years to get this goal.
2013 is going to be a good year.