Setting Goals

Eye Of The Tiger

This is the time of the year when we all start training for races that might seem so far away. It’s hard for me to imagine now, in this thick humidity, how frigid I will be on November 3rd, standing on the Ben Franklin Bridge before the 10k race. It’s also hard to imagine pounding the pavements in this heat but it is essential. I am now registered for 3 races in the fall; a 6.55 mile trail run in late September, a Half Marathon in late October and my favorite race, the Cooper-Norcross Run The Bridge 10k. I am so excited to do these races. I ran the same Half Marathon last year. It was my first. My goal will be to beat my time from last year. My pace was much better at last year’s 10k but there’s always room for another PR.

The 6.55 and the 13.1 are both held by the same group, Uber Endurance Sports. I love their races, most of which occur in Pennypack Park. There’s also the option to do a half marathon trail run but I’m opting for the 6.5. I have little practice with trail running but figure this will help me prepare for the half the following moth.  I’m also excited because I will have a good number of my friends running with me during all the races.

I also started, or I should say stopped taking my heartburn medication. I am swallowing apple cider vinegar with water after every meal, a pro-biotic twice a day, some digestive enzymes and a more alkaline based diet. I know I’m making the right decision but I must admit, I find it easier to take one pill first thing in the morning and not have any symptoms, versus taking all of this stuff. I know in the long run it will be for the best. Here’s last night’s dinner / snack, a green smoothie made of kale, blueberries, almond milk, strawberries:

It's not quite an IPA, but it'll do.

It’s not quite an IPA, but it’ll do.

I also made us healthy lunches made of garbanzo beans, quinoa, peppers, mushroom, kale and a spritz of balsamic:

garbonzo beans with quinoa and fresh vegetables

garbonzo beans with quinoa and fresh vegetables

What excites me just as much as the races themselves is setting various fitness goals for myself. When I train for races I find myself eating better and paying more attention to my body.I can now focus on mixing up my long runs, my speed drills and my recovery slow runs.  This is such a perfect time of year for nutrition with all of the fresh fruits and vegetables available. I also have another driving force for achieving my goals. Not too long ago, I was out on a run. My friends were talking about how committed I am and how proud they are of me. One of them (there’s always a neigh sayer in the group) chimed in that while I’m doing well “it’s not like he’s that much in shape”. Well, my friends, the gloves are off. I have learned to ignore the haters. They will always be there.  This one struck a nerve. I would never let anyone’s words get t best of me, but this is some much-needed fuel for my fire. In all fairness I did not hear this person utter those words.  However, it is probably what I needed to stay focused on my goals.

 

 

I am still finding myself in a bit of a runners funk but I’m hoping it will snap, and soon. Looking back on my recent runs there are several factors: the extreme heat and humidity, lots of hills, running after a rough workout as part of a cool down, traffic (damn you, red lights!) I am repeating a new mantra, “You WILL wake up early and go for a run!” Luckily, my running partner suggested we switch our scheduled evening run for a morning run. Yes! Here’s to hoping that schedule sticks. I do love my morning sleep.

This past month with my outdoor workout group we’ve used backpacks as part of a core-stabilty / military style training. I like it some days but not all the time. I especially do not like running with one on. It’s very uncomfortable and at longer runs it affects my lower back. THIS is how I feel about running with one on:

The famous Harpo Marx face

The famous Harpo Marx face

Yes, I took this “selfie” while running. I’m making that face on purpose but it sums up how I felt during this 2 mile backpack run. I had one extra added frustration that actually ended up being a fitness plus for me. There was this guy doing a power walk. His power walk was just a hair slower than my running speed that day. Whenever I slowed down to catch my breath this guy was next to me. So I would start running again. Our goal was to run 5 times around the perimeter of Washington Square Park. y the 3rd lap I was ready to say to him,

“HEY! Go walk somewhere else!”

It was really starting to bug me and when you add in the thickness of the air, along with that we just did a 40 minute workout, my mood as not pleasant. When I returned to the group, my friend, Midge, tells me that I was a pacer for that guy. I guess I just needed to cool down in more ways than one.

There was not much of a “View From My Run” this time around but I will post a few. It was a bit of an overcast day. The park is really pretty when the sun is shining.

 

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