A Run A Day Keeps the Lazies Away???

I notice that the date of my last blog post is February 7th, some – uummm – three months ago. The space

1st Place AG @ Cocoa Women's Half Marathon, January 2015
1st Place AG @ Cocoa Women’s Half Marathon, January 2015

between that post and the previous is even greater! At that time, I only brought my blog up to date concerning my goal of finishing my first 50k. I’ve set some running goals and run some races between my successful Cloudsplitter 50k completion and now. I’ll recap swiftly! I set and met a goal to run a sub-two Decker Challenge Half-Marathon in December (chip time 1:56:57, 4 / 22 AG). I set and met a goal to run a sub-two Cocoa Women’s Half in January (Chip time 1:53:10, 1 / 44 in AG). I set and failed at the goal of a 4:15 – 4:30 full Austin Marathon (see Wild Hare 50k, same song, second verse as they say). I turned off at the half, and finished with probably the slowest half time since the first half I ever ran. I saved face some with the next race after that one – which happened to be the very next Saturday: the Street to Feet 5k (chip time 25:09, 1 / 32 AG). My business (ATX Ultra Eats) sponsored the inaugural Mission for Life 5k / Half-Marathon on March 21st. I ran the 5k; the half-marathon was turned into a 20 miler at the last minute, due to flooding of the course along the San Antonio River.

I placed first in AG, but I don’t remember my chip time, I never knew how many were in my AG for that race, and I can’t find the results online. I went back out to take photographs of the event soon after crossing the finish line, and I missed the award ceremony. I did receive my medal before I left the event, though : )

1st Place AG Street 2 Feet 5k February 2015
1st Place AG Street 2 Feet 5k February 2015

In April I ran the Capitol 10k, as always (chip time 52:39, 15 / 602 in AG). Now, I really claim a different pace for the Cap 10k than my chip reports. My Garmin records that I ran a bit further than 6.2 miles, at a pace a bit faster: 8:18. The reason this discrepancy bothers me (and don’t discrepancies always exist between Garmin and race chips?), is that I hadn’t had much time for speed work and such before this race. Jacob, my oldest son, graciously agreed to pace me to a sub-8:20 pace. My PR for this particular race is from 2011: chip time 48:55, and I actually placed in the top ten in AG (9th). I knew I was not in shape for that type of pace this year. I did, however, have a goal. My chip time says I missed that goal. My Garmin says I superseded my goal. I’m going with my Garmin, since it recorded a length farther than 6.2 miles, and I really pushed myself those last two miles. The most awesome event of all is this 2015 Capitol 10k, in which my son ran MY pace instead of his, and we ran together the entire time. Nothing more fine.

My muddy huaraches after the IAAP 10 / 20 Mile Trail Race April 2015

My last race of the season (since I don’t usually race during the summer months anymore) was a huge disappointment. It was the IAAP trail run at the Heritage Land Institute near the Medina River natural area. Phillip and I ran the ten miler. The trail and grass were wet and muddy from the recent heavy rains we’d had; the day was hot and muggy. I wore huaraches for this race, rather than run barefoot, since I was unfamiliar with the trails and therefore didn’t know how technical they are. The trails and grass (since much of the course was really through long grass with no discernible path) are very easy and non-treacherous. The trails in that area are not rocky with roots haphazardly appearing here and there mid-trail, as most of the other trail in Central and South Texas. Had I run barefoot, my race may have gone better. The amount of mud that caked on my huaraches weighed down my feet and greatly slowed me down. I can’t blame the muddy conditions alone, however. The day was just one of those days my body didn’t want to run. Phillip caught up with me half-way through the race, at which point I had lost the fairly good pace I had maintained since the start. The humidity was giving him real problems, so we just slogged through the rest of the race together. I ended up taking off and carrying my huaraches the last mile of the race and felt much more comfortable at that point. I finished 4 / 9 in AG in that race. I disappointing end to my 2014 – 2015 race season.

IAAP 10 / 20 Mile Trail Race April 2015
IAAP 10 / 20 Mile Trail Race April 2015

Even though my race season is over for the time being, I continue to train with two running goals to achieve for the end of 2015: to run every single day of the year, and to run 2015 miles by midnight December 31, 2015. Both goals remain challenging; I finally got my business up and running in March and it keeps me pretty busy (especially since as a new business woman I don’t really know what I’m doing most of the time). I’ve had to devote some time to family matters as well. Having these two goals is beneficial to my well-being. Honestly, some days are really chaotic and many days I’m really fatigued, and the thought of running seems surprisingly unappealing. On these types of days, I am tempted to just settle my tired self into some sedate state when I finally give myself permission to stop working for the day. I have so many days in which I am completely depleted of energy and motivation for ANY type of activity that I would probably skip running on several days of the week – if I had not set my running goals just before the year 2015 began. Without my goal to run all 365 days of 2015, and to reach 2015 miles by the end of the year, I would give in to lack of motivation and be constantly berating myself for my laziness.

The goal of running every single day of the year is a real motivator. If I miss just ONE day of running, I have lost my chance to achieve this goal for this year forever. I can’t catch up and I can’t make it up. It’s gone. That realization has gotten me out the door a number of times since January 1. Some days the distance I run may be as short as 1.5 miles, but I do run that short distance with all my might. Some days I think I have only about 1.5 miles in me, but once I get started I perk up, feel more myself, and end up running four or five miles after all. One lesson I’ve learned since starting this goal of running every single day this year is that I never regret having gone out for a run, tired or otherwise. In years past, though, on days when I didn’t run for some reason, I always regretted not having run.

Although I have run every day this year (twice, in fact, on some days), I am about ten miles behind on my goal for running 2015 miles in 2015. In 2014, I ran 1759.4 miles (according to my Strava training log – thank goodness Strava keeps track of my mileage so I don’t have to!). I need to run 255.6 miles more than last year to reach my goal for of 2015 for 2015. I have a plan for catching up those ten miles and then getting a little ahead of the game. I’m not too worried at this point. Once the fall race season approaches I know I’ll ramp up my mileage as I train for races. Also, I probably missed an average of two days a week running last year. With my commitment to run every single day of 2015, no matter the weather, my mental or physical state, my family and work commitments and such, I have a pretty good chance of running those extra 255 miles over last year’s mileage. Stating my goal in public is also a strategy I’m using to hold myself accountable.

I’m going to commit to updating this running blog more often, also. I hope that others will somehow find my posts and comment about their own running goals. People with common goals inspire each other! Please, if you read this post and have a running goal of your own, let me know all about it!

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