Two weeks into my training schedule and BAM! Smacked to the couch with a high fever and body aches. I didn’t hurt that bad after running the 50k in September. I did some easy yoga stretches to help get the blood flowing and alleviate some stiff muscles. On the third day, I got myself out for an easy 1.4 mile run through the neighborhood and nothing ever felt so good. After 72 hours and lots of hot tea, Theraflu, water and rest, I have had plenty of time to think about my real goals for the year. It was like an early-on perspective check.
I like to set a total miles goal for the year, if for no other reason that it makes me realize how far I’ve come in a short time. When I set my 600 miles goal for 2014, it was aiming high. I ended up with 710. My goal for 2015 was 1200 miles. I could be disappointed that I came up short with only 1144 miles, but really? Over 1100 miles in one year? I would have never thought it was possible for me.
And now here I am setting a goal for 2016 to run a total of 2000 miles. I’ll keep track of my miles on Runkeeper again this year, but will also be tracking them on my training schedule.
I can not believe that I am actually planning on running a hundred mile race. If you know nothing about this race, watch the video. If you know anything about me, this race has my name written all over it.
I first learned about this race by following Catra Corbett. She is extreme and athletic and bold and 50 years old and vegan and runs Javelina, and I think she is amazing. Then the universe did its thing and I find myself connected to Christina and Melissa – also amazing and athletic and vegan – and we are planning on running the race together. We are also documenting our journey to Javelina on a new podcast, Ultra Ordinary Running.
North Fork 50
I know I don’t have to do a 50 mile race before I do a hundred but I feel like I should, since 50 by 50 has been my ‘cool impossible’ goal for a couple years. So this week, I registered for the North Fork 50 Mile Trail race to be held on June 4 in Pine, Colorado. I chose this race for a few reasons – location, reviews, course profile, and because Melissa is doing the race also.
When I started training for my first marathon in 2014, I started eating a vegan/plant based diet. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve taken a few breaks from that eating strategy since then, but I keep going back because of how much better I feel when I eat a plant based diet. My goal for the year regarding fuel is to simply renew and refine my commitment to this eating style.
In addition to clean eating, I also want to minimize my consumption of alcohol. I don’t drink a lot but it is not uncommon for me to have a couple beers or a glass of wine on a nightly basis. I would like this to be a weekly event, not a nightly event. Being sick this week gave me an easy opportunity to get a jump start on this.
With these lofty mileage and racing goals on my calendar, I have got to stay healthy and uninjured, which means a focus on rest and recovery. My goal for this is to learn how to nap. Yes, you read that right. I am not a big sleeper. I have been an early riser since I was a baby. I don’t like to sleep in and I feel like I’m wasting time if I nap. After a 20+ mile training run this fall, I actually took a nap afterwards and it felt fantastic! If I’m going to train hard, I have got to give my body the rest it needs to recover. So I will be learning to nap this year.
As I mentioned, I have found myself connected with two fantastic women, Christina and Melissa. I feel so privileged to be a part of this Ultra Ordinary Running project with them. I feel like such a rookie in the world of running, and these two women have such great experiences for me to glean from.
A carryover over goal from last year is to make running friends. I want to participate more in the local running club, Mesa Monument Striders. I want to run more with my IronMan friend, Lisa. We ran the new year in together and I’m looking forward to supporting each others goals this year. I also want to volunteer at some local races to encourage other runners.
Outside of running, I have connections with friends and family that I have neglected and avoided over the past 9 months. With no regrets, I have focused my energy on myself and my marriage and my immediate family this last year. There will be those that understand and there will be those who won’t. My goal is to reconnect as my heart and soul has the strength.
If 2015 taught me anything, it was to appreciate and enjoy every moment we are given – to look to the future, but to live in the moment. Life is short. My goals are flexible, not set in stone. I run to feed my soul. I run to be happy.
Thanks for reading.
What are your goals for the new year?
6 thoughts on “Let the Games Begin”
Too many to list in your comment section, but my two running goals are to hit 1500 miles while keeping to the 80/20 running/training philosophy (80% low intensity, 20% mod-hard intensity) and to keep a somewhat detailed running journal for the year. I’ve never documented more than just miles run on the calendar, so writing down the details of each run may be interesting. Will see how it goes!
I’m keeping a journal this year as well. My friend Lisa got me the Believe journal that Lauren Fleshman put out, and I love it. You’ll do great this year with baby girl a little bigger. I’ll have to check out the 80/20 – I think I tend that way anyways. Thanks for sharing!
Wishing you a happy year Angela! I’m super excited for you and the goals you’ve set. All the training and dreaming and planning and visualizing for a big race is almost as fun as the actual race.
Here’s to 2016, Angela. Great motivating post. I, too, am setting a year goal for distance, and including ski distances. We’ll see how it goes!
When I found your blog the title picture for this post is ‘Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity’. I have followed that idea since I started losing weight and setting running goals. More often than not I reach my unrealistic goal and people are really surprised, but I have never been surprised. Great blog and keep up the good work. My very first ultra experience was pacing 50 miles at Javelina 100 in 2010 and it was a blast, you will have lots of fun 😀
Thanks so much for the encouraging words Ryan! We are capable of so much, and I’m finally tired of selling myself short. I’m so excited to get to Javelina!!