Staying in control

fit-just-go-runI’m still enjoying the euphoria associated with having a really good year.  And while celebrating my successes is a good thing (but hard for me to do), I found myself getting swept away in some over optimistic thinking recently.  While I do want to capitalize on the fact that I’m starting out 2015 in good shape (for me), and I want to build on that, I’m also trying to temper those thoughts with reality.

What I mean is, I was so excited about not starting the year at the bottom of the mountain in regards to fitness and having to run up… AGAIN, that I started making my schedule out for 2015… kinda blacked out… and when I woke up I had planned a road marathon, two trail marathons, a 50K and a 50 miler for myself.  That’s a tad optimistic.  Especially given the fact that I’ve only ever completed ONE marathon in a year, and I wouldn’t call that “successful”.  I survived, but was much the worse for it.  In fact, I was out for a year afterwards…

I had also only given myself about 2 1/2 months to ramp up for the first event on my schedule.

Yeah… umm…

No.

So I pulled my name from the lottery for that event (Double Chubb) and spent some time thinking about how to do this right.

What I “want” from this new era of fitness is longer distance and consistency.  After last year I’m all PR’d out.  Except for the marathon distance I met every goal I set.  And a PR for the marathon should be pretty easy since my last one was a 4:45.  I was 10 pounds heavier and cramped up the last 8 miles and walked all but the last half mile.

I’m kinda done with triathlons for a while.  I still love them, but I really want to simplify.  Later in the year I may switch back to do a little cross training, but my focus is simple.  I want to do a spring, off road marathon.  Then train for a 50K in the fall and use a late summer/early fall road marathon as a training run.  That’s it.  Two marathon distance races.and a 50K.

I may do other races, but they will not be the focus.  I may do triathlons, but only if they fit in my workout schedule.

I guess I like the feeling I have right now when I run.  Like I can control what distance I go or how fast I run.  I can, if I want to, push well down into the 7s and even upper 6 minute miles if I want to.  Or, like today at Rock Bridge, I can run for miles and miles at a 12 minute pace.  My only complaint about last year was that I always felt like I had to push every run, bike or swim.  It was all about “faster”.  While it was fun to see that improvement, it was stressful.

I am in control.  I don’t have to push my training speeds to achieve some magical time goal.  If I have any time goal at all it is for the road marathon and that is to get under 4 hours.  Or, just under a 9 minute mile.  Given I ran 7:42/mi at my last half marathon, I see this as very attainable.  Could I run faster than that?  Yes, I think so.  But I don’t WANT to.  I like where I’m at.  The only thing I need to do is just increase the miles.  Slowly and carefully.  Stopping for a while at longer distances of say 18 or 20 and running those distances a few times before moving on, to get used to them.  Like I said.  Control.

And, quite honestly, now that I am comfortable with triathlons, if things fall apart and I have to back off on my main goals this year, triathlons are a great “plan B”.  No offense intended to my triathlon friends, please.  That’s not me.  But we are all in this for our own goals, and right now… mine are along a different path.  Who knows, after that first 20 mile run I may come crawling back to the pool and bike and never go back again.  But I won’t know until I try… Right?

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