Monday, January 2, 2012

2012: Lookin' Forward....

20122011: ...Lookin' Back

2011 was a great year for me running-wise. What am I shooting for in 2012?

Goal 1: Miles, Miles, Miles

I can't tell you how pumped I was last fall to be able to run enough miles to train for a marathon without ending up hurt again. It was kind of like magic. Schedule-wise, though, it was tough at times. I had a training schedule with specific distances & paces each day, and if I couldn't get them done (or at least most of them), I knew I wouldn't be ready for CIM. It was also mentally hard to look a schedule that was already planned out & force myself to stick to that, day in & day out, without negotiating. (Though, I'll be honest -- there was a bit of negotiating at times.) This is a big part of the reason why I was soooo ready for a running break after CIM.

In 2012, while I don't (yet) have a marathon to train for, I want to try just increasing my casual mileage (ie, runs that are not speed work or threshold/pace runs) without worrying about a specific schedule. I want to try being creative & flexible with when & where I run. If I have a morning meeting at Stanford, maybe I take my running clothes & do a few miles at the Dish or around the campus loop. If I'm in San Mateo or Burlingame, maybe I head to Sawyer Camp trail for an hour or so. Maybe I set out without a clear plan of exactly where I'm going to go & how far & improvise some new routes. And maybe--shock of shocks--I occasionally talk myself into getting up early for a short run. (I'm toying with the idea of making one morning run per week my goal, but I'm not ready to commit to it yet. Maybe once every two weeks. Or once a month.)

snow kitty

I've heard folks get all kerfuffled when your blog posts have too many words and not enough pictures. Here is a picture of the snow kitty Don made while we were visiting his parents in Washington over Christmas.

I've never really tracked my cumulative yearly mileage, but with all the time I spent recovering from hip problems at the beginning of last year, I was kind of shocked to see that I still managed to run about 1,320 miles (~25/week on average). This year, I want to shoot for 2,000, or ~38.5/week. I have no idea what kinds of craziness my year holds, so it's completely possible that circumstances could conspire to make this impossible, but for now, that's my goal.

Of course, if I'm going to up my miles again, I'll need to make sure to keep up my...

Goal 2: Strength Training

Boy, have I learned my lesson about THAT. It's no coincidence that my hip issues started just a few months after I kind of abandoned my cross-training activities; for basically all of 2010, I couldn't run more than 20-30 miles a week without ending up in pain. Or that, after six months of aggressive strength work in 2011, I was able to go back to running 45-55 miles a week with no problem. I've actually been reasonably consistent about it, so my goal this year is just to try to do at least that well & slightly better. I haven't decided on the specifics yet, but I want to try to do core work every day & hip, glute, & hamstring work maybe 4 days a week each.

Goal 3: 1:39:xx Half Marathon

'Nuff said. A "B" goal is just to beat my current PR of 1:46:10, which by now is SUPER old.

Goal 4: 21:xx 5K

My current PR of 22:00 is also getting a touch old, so I'd really like to see this one drop, which will mean at least 2 months of serious speed work at some point during the year.

Picture break:

yummy goose

Eyeing the Christmas goose.

Goal 5 (maybe): Marathon #2?

If I were to run a second marathon this year & try to beat my time, it would probably be CIM again in December. My half marathon & 5K goals are more important to me right now, so race-wise the year is more or less spoken for through August (more on that in another post). Our fall travel plans are also up in the air right now as well, so depending on how all that shakes out, training for a marathon may be out of the question anyway. If I don't run a 2nd marathon this year, I'll probably target one early in 2013.

Goal 6: Eat Better!

It's not that I eat all that terribly (especially compared to the average American...), but I can always do better. I'm still thinking through the specifics of what I want to commit to, but here are some of my ideas:

  • 1 - Eat More Fruits & Vegetables
    • Whenever possible, fill my plate with half fruits & veggies & eat them before anything else.
    • Keep them easily accessible & ready (and with me, if I'm gone long) - I do my worst eating when I get hungry unexpectedly.
    • Snack on fruits & vegetables.
  • 2 - Eat Less Filler
    • Cut out any parts of a meal that offer little nutrition unless I'm actually excited about eating them (eg, I tend to mindlessly eat rice with certain Chinese or Thai dishes because that's how you're "supposed" to eat it, not because I particularly enjoy it all that much or miss it if it's not there. Same thing with deli sandwiches - I actually enjoy them more if I throw out the top piece of bread.)
    • When I'm not actually hungry, satisfy salt cravings with chicken broth (which I actually really enjoy).
    • Put on my plate everything I intend to eat for a meal, then stop (except for fresh fruit/veggies).
  • 3 - Drink More Water
    • Carry my water bottle with me regularly. (I did this the week of CIM & without even trying ended up drinking ~2 liters a day.)
    • Start & finish every meal with a glass of water.

That's probably enough to be getting on with for now. Happy 2012, all! :)


  1. "If I have a morning meeting at Stanford, maybe I take my running clothes & do a few miles at the Dish or around the campus loop. If I'm in San Mateo or Burlingame, maybe I head to Sawyer Camp trail for an hour or so."

    NO! If you are in the Peninsula, you will let me know so we can have lunch or dinner. :)

    I also have strength training and better eating as my goals for 2012. I tend to eat out of boxes, and I can't cook so I think healthy meals will be a hard goal for me to make.

  2. Great goals. I have a feeling that with eating right and keeping up the cross training both your marathon and your 5K goal will be very attainable. Happy New Year!