Posted by: Drew | January 19, 2009

2009 goals

I’d put these up late last November as preliminary goals for 2009. I’d like to work through them and see if they still make sense, maybe flesh out some of those that are not as defined, or if I want to add any to the list. In no particular order, here they are (were?):

1. Consistency – become a true 25-30 mpw runner by the end of 1Q, and then go from there.
2. Race more in first half of 2009 at short distances, training appropriately.
3. Sub-22 5k
4. Sub-6 mile
5. Monkey IV
6. Perhaps another fall marathon (Columbus?)

Consistency

The thought process: In the 25-ish months of my semi-consistent running life, I’ve been and felt less than consistent in my training. Even in my periods of training for goal races, I’ve had trouble keeping myself on task. Some weeks, I follow my plans and will hit the 20-30 mpw I laid before me. But in the weeks surrounding the good training, I have too many 7-12 mile weeks. This is something I’d like to fix this year.

I’ve found it difficult to work running around the rest of my activities, especially during the spring and summer when softball games are ever present. I’ve come to realize that this is most likely because my priorities were not with running, but with softball/comfort/laziness/etc. This is all fine, but my priorities have changed. Now, I want to run and do well. So things have to change.

First I have to define the statement “I want to […] do well.” Do well at what? What is running to me? I’m a very competitive person, and I’ve being constantly reminded of this in recent days. My friends and family are repeatedly saying how I go all out for everything and can’t stand to lose. A more apt description from my point of view would be that I work hard enough to be good at something if I think I can be better than others around me. If I see that I cannot easily best my built-in competition (friends and family), I don’t try. That way, if I “lose” I have a handy excuse.

I’ve recently realized that at this point in my running life, running is very much about competition for me. So when I say I want to do well, it’s in the realm of competition, racing, and time trials. It’s not necessarily competing against other individuals, though it certainly can be in the right circumstances. More often than not, it’s competing against myself and striving to be the best I can be and working for personal bests.

I’m coming to realize that until I train properly, I will not improve properly. There is a lot of potential to be realized, and I’m making running a priority as far as activities go. Two to three months of consistent running with little emphasis on increasing volume or intensity should get me into a routine that will set me up for big gains in the future. I realize that I won’t set my world on fire by running 20, 25, or 30 miles per week. Delayed gratification is a very foreign concept to me. I want what I want, and I want it as soon as possible. But I’ve learned that running doesn’t work this way. I may make some gains by training inconsistently, but until I’m willing to put in regular work I won’t come close to being the runner I can be.

Decision: This is a good and necessary goal to have. I know I said that these were in no particular order, but I do feel that if the consistency issue doesn’t go away that the other goals will not be impossible but certainly more difficult to achieve. This one is staying.

Race more

I’m not sure what the magic number is, but seeing as how I’m driven in part by the competition aspect it kind of makes sense. In 2007, I ran in five races. Of those I ran four with the intent on doing as well as possible, one I was a pacer for a friend (and failed in my mission). Last year, I ran in four races. Of those I ran three with the intent on doing as well as possible, one I was a pacer again, and failed again.

This year, I’ve got five races (and one mega-stunt) tentatively planned and would like to consider adding two or three more. On the calendar so far this year:
• Couch Potato 5k – Bowling Green, OH – April 25 (goal: run hard)
• Cap City Half Marathon – Columbus, OH – May 2 (goal: new PR)
• Komen Race for the Cure – Columbus, OH – May 16 (goal: pacer, sub-30)
• Relay for Life – Hilliard, OH – May 30 (18-hour endurance stunt)
• Columbus Marathon – Columbus, OH – October 18 (goal: new PR)
• Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon – Nashville, TN (goal: new course PR)

I’d like to add a few more 5k’s to the mix and possibly a 10k as well. Perhaps integrated into the late summer / fall marathon training would be fun. In addition to “official” races, I will also schedule a few mile time trials throughout the year, along with some trials at other short distances as well.

It may seem like a lot of racing to some, but it’s what makes it fun for me. I don’t train to lose/maintain weight, for fitness, or for fun (though some training is fun). I train to race. So I’m going to race.

Sub-22 minute 5k

My current race PR is 23:20, and I’ve done 23 flat in a time trial. Both were done off of relatively light (and inconsistent) training. After three months of consistent 25-30 mpw, I’ll be jumping into a truncated 8-week HM training program. I’ll have one 5k race just before my goal HM, but will not likely be going full bore in that race, preferring to save myself for the next weekend. The month of May is full with all kinds of stuff, event-wise, but I’ll probably use this time to put together some sort of 5k training plan with the intent on going for broke some time in July and/or August. I have no idea what the 18-hour endurance event is going to do to me physically; I suppose it’s not impossible that I’ll be ready to go beforehand. But I’m not going to push it.

So why sub-22? I have no idea. It’s completely arbitrary, and it’s a full minute faster than my current personal best. It seems to be doable in that sense, but enough of a leap to make it difficult. I won’t be crushed if I don’t hit this, but I’ll be surprised if I don’t.

Sub-6 minute mile

My current PR is 6:28 set last spring in a time trial. I’m going to give this another go in early/mid April, and see where I have to go from there. If I don’t get it then, I’ll be making the next series of attempts in June-September.

Why sub-6? Again, a mostly arbitrary nice, round number. A 90-second quarter mile is a good hard effort for me at this point, and being able to push through at that pace for four laps and put up with the suffering would be awesome. I think a major key for me in both this goal and the previous is not being afraid to fail.

Fall marathons

As noted above, I’m planning on both the Columbus Marathon in October and the HHFMM in November. The goals for each will be vastly different, though. I’m going to gear my training for the Columbus race in terms of scheduling, with the intent on knocking out a huge PR in my hometown race. My current “PR” is from my first last fall, the HHFMM (4:45:29) and was set on a woeful base. I should be able to crush that time in Columbus. With the fitness base I’ll have coming out of Columbus, I’m hoping that recovering from the October race won’t have too much of a negative effect on the November race, but all I’ll be looking to do in Nashville is break my time from the previous year. If everything goes according to plan this year (HA!), that shouldn’t be a problem. At the very least, I’ll get another nice stroll through the park.

There may be more I’d like to add, but I can’t think of anything right now.

For whatever you might be planning for your 2009, I wish you the best of luck and fortitude to see it through.

See you out there.

-Drew

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Responses

  1. ’09 is gonna be better than ’08…for us both. I can FEEL IT!!!

    😀

    I love your goals. I see no reason why you won’t hit each and every one of them, either.

  2. SWEET!!!! I can’t WAIT to watch it all unfold!!! I’m EXCITED!!!

  3. K, thanks! I think you’re right. Once we escape the snow, ice, and cold, the world better watch out.

    And Shan, looks like I was right. You were excited!!!

  4. Drew this is so awesome! You’ll be reaching those goals in perfect strides. Do you mind if I’m inspired by you?

  5. AWESOME! I love your thoughts on consistancy and you are right on the money! Looking forward to watching you smash each and every one of your goals!

  6. Michelle – thanks. You can take from this whatever you feel like. If it’s inspiration, I think that’s awesome. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    Pam – I think it will be the toughest goal to acheive, in all honesty. But if that one goes, the rest should fall in due time.

    Also, I know who you gals are based on your real name. Including your RA name isn’t needed. We’re all friends, here!


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