My 2013 Goal Progress

Towards the end of each December, I start to evaluate the goals I set for the year and where I stand. This helps me to know what to strive for in the next year, and keeps me from sitting around on my rear doing nothing. I am strong believer in setting specific goals in all areas of my life. Running is no exception.

So I wrote this post with my goals for 2013, and what I thought was a wash (because of my recent cancelled marathon) is actually just one small piece of the [goal] pie. Anyway, it’s the big picture that matters. With just a few short weeks left to go in the year, I can see that I’ve met at least two of my five goals.

1. Half marathon time goal of 1:55:00: I set my current PR of 1:52:08 back in February.

2. Focus on nutrition: I have made huge strides in this area. A few weeks ago I wrote about the first time I have trained for a marathon without gaining weight.

I am trying to decide if I will be able to complete my 2000 mile goal for the year. I’m currently sitting at 1860. I did have an injury in the summer, and some ice days that thwarted running plans for several days. Not to mention the funk I settled into last weekend when I didn’t feel like running more than 3 or 4 miles for a few days. Those also sound like excuses to me, so I’m going to see what I can knock out for the rest of the year. It would  mean heavy mileage during the next two weeks, but could be good for those holiday treats. Click here or on the daily mile widget on my homepage to follow my progress.

In order to continue with the strength training, I have done better overall with my strength training, but there are still weeks that I completely miss it. Yesterday, I started a 30 day “plank a day” challenge. I decided to add a daily wall-sit to this challenge as well.

I’m not going to worry about the sub 4:10 marathon goal since my December marathon was iced out. I’m looking to knock it out of the park in Houston in January.

Over the next week, I’ll start finalizing my 2014 goals. The first half of the year looks pretty busy and I’m excited about it.

Did you set goals for 2013? How’s your progress?


The Race that Wasn’t

So, I’ve been training since August for the Dallas Marathon. I have made some great accomplishments personally with this training cycle. For the first time ever, I had fifty mile weeks over six days of running, every long run was below the 10:00 pace (my marathon PR is exactly at the 10:00 pace), and I didn’t even gain weight this time around. The taper had me a little anxious – but I think that’s perfectly normal, and I was ready for race day.

When I wrote my last post, the forecast was looking pretty good. Maybe a little cold for some, but I was feeling good about it.

Then it went south. Or north. With an arctic force storm.

On Wednesday, our temperatures were in the 70s, but they were forecast a wintry mix, ice, sleet, etc. So I filled my car up and was at the grocery store along with everyone else in town. I was mostly stocking up on my carbs: bananas, chocolate milk, pretzels…

On Thursday, the schools let out early when it started to sleet. By Thursday night, I was beginning to worry about the race. How would I be able to get my packet on Saturday? Would my husband make it home to drive us to the expo, or the race?

Friday morning was worse. Everything was solid ice. I couldn’t get out of my driveway if I wanted to.

View from my front door  Pretty, but it needs to go away.

View from my front door
Pretty, but it needs to go away.

The opening of the expo was delayed until 2:00, then sometime after noon the announcement was made that the race was canceled.  Even though I had a gut feeling since Thursday night, I still felt the punch and had my cry. I broke goal #2. Over the next few days, I went through the seven stages of grief. Denial and anger – aimed not at the marathon but the weather – arrived pretty quickly. Then I started the bargaining stage in the form of scrambling for another race somewhere in the next few weeks. Something, anything – a 10k, half marathon. There was a New Year’s double race that sold out with a wait list in no time because others were doing the same thing. My motivation was fading fast. I even burned out 26.2 miles on the stationary bike. Yes, it all makes sense in my head.


Saturday I fed my depression with the batch of Snickerdoodle cookies I made and another hour on the bike.

One is the loneliest number...

One is the loneliest number…

Sunday we moved above freezing and I decided I was going to run up and down the alley. The roads were still terrible and I didn’t want to chance a fall too far from home. Highways were shut down in Sherman on Saturday because of the ice and the roads were terrible. I went out after I saw the icicles on the house dripping water, but it was still too slick. I waited a few hours and went out again. I started with the plan to run 3 miles if I could. That 3 became 6.2 which turned into shooting for double digits, which in turn became run a half marathon. Yes, I ran up and down my alley the entire time. Yes, my neighbors probably think I’m crazy and no, I don’t care. I was desperate to burn off some energy after a three week taper and not being able to run since Thursday morning. It was slow going, but when I finished my mood was 100 times better. Today my hips are a little sore from the turning and trail-like running, and my toes hurt. On a positive note, my new gloves are great at blocking the cold wind.

Go time!

Go time!

My Icy Half Marathon

My Icy Half Marathon

Plan B is now in force. I have six weeks until the Houston Marathon. I’m no longer searching for a race, I have accepted my situation. I will repeat the last six weeks of my Dallas training with a few variations. My motivation may suffer, but I’ll go for broke trying to get a sub 4:00:00 in Houston on January 19th.

A few other notes:

Cars and trucks were stranded on highways for hours in the surrounding metroplex and the storm was an anomaly for our area. In no way could any of this be helped. I am content with how the Dallas Marathon handled the communication and making the decision when they did. They will be mailing out participant shirts and later will communicate a special deal for runners for next year’s registration along with double medals when you finish your race in 2014 if you were registered for 2013. That’s more than I would have expected and I appreciate what they are doing.

Thankfully the sun is shining today, and even though the kids are out of school again I might be able to get out. Good thing, because supplies are getting low.

How would you cope with a race cancellation?

Race Week – Dallas Marathon

It’s finally here!

On Sunday, I will be running the Dallas Marathon for the third year in a row. Right now, my biggest focus is to not obsess over the weather.

In 2011, it was my first marathon. Raining, cold (40s) and north winds made for a less than ideal first marathon experience – but I was still hooked. 2012 race day weather brought temperatures in the 60-70s with humidity. Dehydration for me.

The forecast as of Tuesday morning for this year’s race:


I’m glad I ordered new gloves last week. They’ll be here by Wednesday. I hope.

I’ve been trying to evaluate my race day goals, and I’m kind of stuck. Since Texas weather can be so unpredictable, I am rolling into what I’m calling “my marathon season.” I have Houston in six weeks, and I plan to do the Cowtown Marathon again in February. I don’t want to knock myself out completely with this one race, but I also know that I’m capable of a PR. Just for the sake of putting it in writing, here are the goals I’m going with.

1. Don’t forget anything essential

Water bottle, Gu, Nuun, gloves. I will be making my list and checking it over and over. And over. It’s okay to be OCD on this one.

2. Don’t cry.

Seriously. This applies to before the start or during the race. I will allow myself to cry after I finish only if it’s because I’m so blown away with joy from a positive race experience.

3. Beat my February PR of 4:22:12.

I have been training for a four hour marathon, and I’ve used the McMillan running calculator to predict my marathon times. According to my recent 10k PR I should be able to qualify for Boston, but something happens to me in the longer distances, and I know how my body works with this. My legs need more experience at 26.2 to get faster. I’d love to run a sub 4:00:00 but I don’t want to overshoot and go out too fast. I’m going to stick with the plan of starting my first few miles slower than goal pace (9:20-9:30) and take it from there.

Meanwhile, for the rest of the week, I’m going to focus on my nutrition and fueling properly. Right now, I feel like this:


I do feel rested after the Thanksgiving holiday, but I’ve been feeling slow with the cutback on mileage. I will remember the motto to “trust your training.”

I’m ready for race day!