With the impending training circuit coming up for the Eisenhower Half Marathon in Abilene, my first of the year, I stop to look back and think that it has been exactly three months since I completed the KC Half Marathon. OK, enough of that. It's time to look ahead.
What I'm looking for with the next 4.5 months is a couple of things. First, I need to stay healthy. Last year, starting up running out on the pavement and going basically 6.5 straight months to train for a half marathon led to all sorts of nagging problems. Shin splints in June, foot problems in July, IT Band problems in August, etc. It basically led to me taking it very easy in September, which I needed, otherwise I might not have been able to run in KC. Luckily, I was able to heal and rest up after the race, and now I feel as good as I have since I started. Second, I need to make sure the training schedule works for me. I moved a lot of days around last year, and it seemed to be easy to keep up with, but I'm not sure that it was all that great of a schedule since I did have some injuries, and would often follow up a long run of 8 or 10 miles by having to go to work and spend the night on my feet for 8 hours. Hopefully I'll be able to keep with long runs on Sundays, giving me basically a full day of rest to keep my legs fresh.
The third thing I need to do is make sure I do not push too hard, too soon. I won't lie. I'm pretty excited to get out there and start training again. Check my times, work on my pace, look to improve...the whole nine yards. But, between Abilene and Hospital Hill, I've got 5.5 months worth of Half Marathon training, as well as several other shorter races, to consider. So, there is not going to be much reason for me to come out and try to hit 24 minutes on my first 3 mile run. The difficult part is going to be putting in the miles at the beginning and knowing that I just have to complete them, not try for a great time. I think I can do it. As I've said several times in the past, doing this training is nearly all mental.
I had some ideas for time goals in my head, but I really would hate to put them out there right now because I have no idea how training is going to go. All I know is that for the next 5 months, I'm looking at logging a few hundred miles, trying to lose a few extra pounds (weighed in at an even 170 this week, folks!), and have some fun out there doing some races and meeting some other runners through the Daily Mile, which at first I did not think I would use, but it is actually a pretty neat tool for tracking your workouts, receiving feedback and motivation from other runners, and meeting people you will be running with in future races. All in all, it should be fun for a while around here. No more boring, content deficient posts for a while, and you'll get to read about me flailing through some tough workouts. Until next time...later.