New Year. New Running Goals.

race-medals-current-count

Now that I have a nifty “Magical Miles” medal hanger, it only makes sense to add more to my count 😉 #ChasingMedals

Psst…I’m baaaaack. 🙂 My, oh my, it sure has been a while since my last blog post. But with a new year upon us, what better time than now to get back in the groove and make my comeback. For the past two years, I’ve kicked things off by training for my first race of the year – the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. 2017 won’t be any different, however, I’ve added a little more to my overall race goals this year.

2016 wasn’t my best running year since catching the running bug back in 2013 and completing my first medaled race in 2014. Early last year was the ultimate roller coaster. I was debating on whether I was going back home to Ohio. I was going through career obstacles, life challenges, and not to mention moving TWICE in one year! There was way too much going on to add “sign up and train for this race” to my already complicated task list. Overall, 2016 rewarded me with a whopping three race medals – a half marathon, a 5K, and a 10-miler. Out of all three of those races, I didn’t have a dedicated training plan but still managed to get through them.

Now that 2017 is here and a perfect time to start anew, I’ve decided to task myself with a goal of earning TEN race medals (with three being half marathons), as well as bumping up to the purple run level on the Nike Running Club app (1,552 total miles by the end of the year). 2015 was my best race year where I did my first ever half marathon in March and then was crazy enough to sign up for another one in September. This year, I guess I’ve gone madly insane as I want to do THREE half marathons. (No, I still will never do a full marathon!)

492.8 down, 1,059.2 to go. Ah!

492.8 down, 1,059.2 to go. Ah!

For me, I’ve never been a sprinter or much of a fast runner in general. Slow and steady works just fine for me. I choose stamina over speed which is why I have become so attracted to long distance runs. During these runs, you can really mellow out and become one with your surroundings. Most of the races that I have done in D.C. have such a great scenic route that you don’t want to just sprint past it all. I like to soak it in, and it also helps you lose track of how much longer you have to go. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to always have a goal of the time range in which you would like to finish, however, it’s not all about trying to be faster than the person in front of or around you. No, go at your OWN pace and finish the race in your OWN time.

Since my “musically influenced” side likes to kick in from time to time, I came up with a method in which you can make sure you start the race at your pace. Running is all about cadence, the tempo in which each foot strikes the pavement. During your training, pay attention to the pace where you are most comfortable and then find a song where the beat matches your cadence. Whatever that song is, have that be the first song on your race day playlist so that you won’t get caught up in someone else’s pace and completely wear yourself out. Of course your pace may fluctuate when you get it the groove and are operating on pure adrenaline; however, it’s all about how you start. You definitely don’t want to start a half marathon the wrong way out the gate!

Now that I have a fresh new pair of running shoes, it’s about time I get started on my goals and get this training in motion. If you have any tips (or words of encouragement), feel free to comment below!

Until next time!

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