Greetings from Rura Penthe! Wish you were here.

6 01 2014

Just kidding.  I’m not at the Klingon penal colony.  It only looks like it outdoors, thanks to Winter Storm Ion.



My poor husband who had to shovel

We’re in the middle of what the Weather Channel has called an Arctic Blast.  First it snowed about a foot, then the winds kicked up to maybe 30 mph or so and finally the temperature dropped to minus-17 degrees last night.  I’d call that the perfect weather to think about 2014’s races (since the only running I’ll be doing for a few days will be on the dreadmill).

It’s got to be just about laughable at this point that I’ve signed up for a full marathon every year since 2011 and haven’t managed to actually do one yet.  The first time, what I call the “Berlin Boondoggle”, went awry because I hadn’t factored in 7 hours of jet lag and no sleep on the flight to Germany.  I ended up running but not finishing.  In 2012, I registered for the full and later dropped to the half at Kiawah Island, SC, due to work obligations interfering with training.  And in 2013, it was an injury that caused me to lose 2 months during training and drop from the full to the half in Meridian, MS.  Being the stubborn kind who doesn’t take “no you can’t” for an answer, I’m going to try again this year.  I just can’t rest until I’ve conquered 26.2.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because it seems so impossible.

Anyway, this is the plan so far:
January = two races in Chicago (Polar Dash 10k  1/11/14 and Frozen F*cking Freezing Half Marathon 1/25/14)
February = no racing but I’m going up to Wisconsin for a winter sports weekend to try out cross country skiing, dog sledding and ice-fishing which I’ve never done before
March = Charlotte NC Half Marathon 3/8/14
April = Springfield IL  –  Abe Lincoln Half Marathon 4/5/14
May = Green Bay Marathon 5/18/14
June = Valentine NE  –  Sandhills Half Marathon 6/8/14
November = Savannah GA  –  Rock n Roll Half Marathon 11/8/14
December = Memphis TN  –  St. Jude’s Half Marathon 12/6/14

2014’s overall goal is to arrive uninjured at the start line in Green Bay by doing 2:1 run/walk intervals according to Jeff Galloway’s training plan, and then work on speed over the summer with shorter races.  I purposely chose a race with a generous time limit so I wouldn’t have to worry so much about pace.  As always, improving my fitness via weight control, cross-training and flexibility work will be keys to that as well so I’m taking measures to ensure those factors don’t fall through the cracks (as they too often do).

A secondary goal is to become less of a solitary runner by becoming more engaged in the local running community.  To that end I have joined a nearby running club which has circuit races in my area and a Facebook group where I can get acquainted with people I may eventually meet in person.  I also did something else just for fun: I joined a group called the Moon Joggers who sponsor a competition to commit to a goal which, taken cumulatively among all of us by year’s end, will equal the number of miles it takes to get to Venus.  I pledged 1000 miles for the year, and had to submit a photo with my name and goal.   It inspired me to download a fre trial of Photoshop and learn it.  Fun!

moonjoggers venusSo that’s it thus far.  I’m sure there will be plenty of smaller races and maybe even one more half marathon in the fall but those are the goals with which I start 2014.  Like all sports bloggers, I’ll be back with every moment of trial and tribulation to share with my fellow athletes.  I am going to make this a good year and finish those 26.2 standing up.

Live long and prosper.