Saturday, January 24, 2009

the loneliness of the long distance runner

I think that is a book or song title. Some day I will find out...for today, I want to set running goals for 2009. I feel kind of braggy and awkward doing this -- and fearful - but I think it will be good for me to write them down and make them public. Perhaps less easy for me to stop then?

Without going into gorey detail on my chubby-glasses-wearing preteen years, I'd like to preface this "2009 Goals" post with the fact I am not a natural athlete. I am very competitive. And very uncoordinated. I get VERY frustrated with sports because it takes me EONS to pick up skills. But...I WANT to be an athlete (perhaps because it is not meant to be?). After 9 years, I'm still a mediocre rugby player, and at this point play mainly because it forces me to get out of the house and socialize for 5 months a year, and because I'm stubborn and don't want to quit without a good excuse (eg, forced retirement from pregnancy!).

So, to combat the ongoing ego bashing of team sports, I took up distance running. Obvious choice for someone who is a couple dozen pounds overweight, and ran all of a 9:18 mile in gym class senior year of HS (at a rather thin weight!). But...I'm kind of good at it. Not Boston good, but decent for a 5'6", size 10/12, flatfooted person with an awkwardly long stride (aka the physical opposite of someone you'd ASSUME to be a distance runner). While I'm not at a place in my life to commit to SERIOUS training goals (like, say, striving to cut 40 min from my marathon time and qualify for Boston), I do have a few goals...

First, my PRs (more for my records, but I admit I'm slightly bragging) :)
5k - 26:28 (8:31 pace), July 08
5 mi - 40:06 (8:01 pace), November 07
10 mi - 89:10 (8:54 pace), May 07
1/2 marathon - 1:52:47 (8:37 pace), Jan 08
marathon - 4:22:06 (10:01 pace), March 08

Due to injury, the wedding, and then laziness, I haven't run regularly (which for me is ~20 mi/week) in months. Lots of months. So I'm not starting where I left off...but I'll get there.

Races planned for 09-
Frostbike 5miler (Feb...something. I need to look) - 8:15 pace.
MORE 1/2 marathon (April 25) - goal: under 2 hrs
Philadelphia Distance Run (1/2 marathon) (September) - under 1:50. I know this is a STEEP goal, considering my PR was on a downhill course, but I think with speedwork, its doable.
Philadelphia or NYC marathon (November) - 4:15. According to the calculators, I should be able to do a 3:57 based on my half time...but so much can happen in a we're going to take baby steps on this :)

I may try to fit another half in there in the summer - maybe the NYC half I missed when I broke my foot 2 days prior last year - or at least a couple of 5ks. I need the speedwork anyway...

now, to get my run in this weekend so I hit 15 miles for the first time since, oh, july!

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