Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Is Off to a Great Start

And it will only get better.

I finally found a workaround until the computer is functional and without trojans or malware of any kind. I also finally have a day where I’m done with work early so I’m going to hammer out an important catch-up blog entry.

There’s so much to write! So many races on the horizon! I’ve already done three and so have three belated race reports. They were the Manhattan Half Marathon, JackRabbit Indoor Triathlon, and Brrrrrooklyn Hot Chocolate 10k. All went pretty decently and I look forward to writing an in-depth analysis of each.

First and foremost, let’s talk about the fact that it’s now 2012 and I haven’t laid out my goals for the year. Here are my A-Level goals:

• Complete my first ever Ironman triathlon in August
• Run 2012 miles in 2012
• Run a marathon in under 4 hours
• Run a half marathon in 1:55

The difference between last year and this year is that I’m choosing to focus my efforts on a much smaller number of goals. For better or worse, this is the strategy I’m going to implement. And of course, there are always ad hoc goals that show up and goals that contribute to other goals (e.g. completing my first 70.3 race as training for the Ironman).

Complete my first Ironman – This is the biggest thing I hope to accomplish this year. Once August arrives, it will have been over a year in the works. Although I still have a ton of work to do, I’ve seen my fitness and abilities as a runner and triathlete improve markedly since last year and I only expect to get better as spring approaches. I also finally bit the bullet and bought a new bike. Now, I’m learning the ins and outs of riding a tri bike and am happy to report that, so far, it’s been brilliant.

Along with becoming a better cyclist, I intend to improve my swim time significantly by taking a class. I have a few options for this and I’m looking into those offered at JackRabbit and the YMCA. If anyone has other recommendations, please share.

And although I’ll be putting time and effort into improving my skills and technique, I’m well aware that training needs to be the perfect balance of quantity and quality. I can have the best running form in the world and it’ll mean nothing if I can’t muster the endurance to run a marathon after the first two legs of the race.

Finally, I’m going to put all these efforts together and attempt completion of three 70.3 races prior to the full Ironman. The current plan is to do one in May, June and July. They’ll go a long way in preparing me for what to expect when I do the full. I want to be as comfortable with race day jitters as possible.

2012 miles in 2012 – I saw this on Twitter from a number of people that I follow in the UK and was pretty intrigued by the idea. At the beginning of the year I wanted to set a mileage goal anyway, so I calculated what 2012 miles meant in terms of average mileage per day, week, and month and at first the numbers seemed crazy. 5.5 miles per day? Almost 40 miles per week?? 170 MILES PER MONTH??? It’s more than I’ve ever done as a runner. Naturally, though, the minute I think to myself that something is crazy, the allure grows steadily until I find myself needing to accomplish it. I decided to give it a try. I still have my evening run to do, but I expect to get in a solid 6.6 miles. That’ll put me at 170.5 for the month. It’s way more than I expected of myself!

Run a Marathon Under 4 Hours – After smashing my PR at last year’s Baltimore Marathon, I started to wonder if I couldn’t really do some damage in the running department. If I can get my time down to at least around 4 hours, who knows what I can do? Maybe Boston someday!

It won’t be easy. In fact, I expect this one to be especially difficult on a mental level because I’ve always had a hard time doing specific kinds of running workouts versus simply getting the miles in. I’m only now incorporating focused speed work into my routine. Hopefully I’ll get better at working interval training in as well.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to work in a second marathon this year because of the Ironman, so I’ll most likely shoot for this at November’s ING NYC Marathon, which I’ll be running with my good friend Sharon for the first time ever.

Run a Half Marathon in Under 1:55 – Similar to running a marathon in under 4 hours, this one is going to require some focused training. The only reason I might find it a little easier is that it’s less aggressive. Where I’m looking to knock 20+ minutes off my marathon PR, I only need to take 3 off my half PR. This one is tricky, though. I achieved my last PR while training for a marathon, so I benefitted from the much longer runs that accompanied those efforts.

Well that’s that for my goals. There will certainly be more discussion and hopefully I’ll be able to tackle them head on and without too much distraction. I’m just so easily distracted…

What are some of your goals for this year?

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