Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking ahead

Well, it's New Year's Eve. A new year, and even new decade are sitting out there on the horizon. I know many of you have been reflecting on the past year and setting resolutions for 2010. My friends and I have all been working on our 2010 race schedules. Below is what I have been throwing around in my head, pending time and finances of course. (Except for Florida, all of the races are within a couple of hours drive and at most require one night in a hotel.) The main goal after the Disney Marathon is to keep my long run mileage up in the low teens so it won't be too drastic of a jump in mid summer when I need to start training for the Marine Corps Marathon. So, what better way to do that then sign up for a bunch of half marathons, right? ;) Obviously some of these will be nice, slow, steady "training runs" rather than an all out race.

There are some 5K's and a couple of 10K's in there, too. Those are mostly a chance to play with speed, however, the majority are for causes I care about and want to support as well, thus the heavy focus on police charities and women's races. The women's races are part of the Maryland RRCA's Women's Distance Festival Series. The WDF races are alot of fun, and I enjoy spending the time with the other members of the Striders' Joe's Girls Grand Prix team.

Hope to maybe see you at some of these!

01/10/10 WDW Marathon*
02/07/10 Superbowl 5K
02/13/10 Annapolis Striders Valentine's Day 5K
03/07/10 WDW Princess Half*
03/27/10 Marine Corps Run to Register 10K*
04/11/10 Cherry Pit 10 miler
04/24/10 Ocean City (MD) Half
05/02/10 Frederick Half
05/15/10 National Police Week 5K
05/16/10 Marine Corps Historic Half*
06/06/10 Zooma Annapolis 10K
06/19/10 Baltimore 10 miler
06/27/10 Baltimore Women's Classic
07/04/10 Arbutus Firecracker 10K
07/10/10 Annapolis Striders Women's Distance Festival 5K
07/11/10 Howard County Striders Women's Distance 5K
07/??/10 Rileys Rumble Half
08/??/10 Frederick Steeplechasers Women's Distance 5K
08/29/10 Annapolis 10 miler
09/12/10 Howard County Police Pace 5K
09/19/10 Rock N Roll Philly Half
10/03/10 Annapolis Striders Metric Marathon
10/16/10 Baltimore Half
10/31/10 Marine Corps Marathon
11/21/10 Cold Turkey 10K
12/11/10 Rehoboth Beach Half
12/??/10 Celtic Solstice 5 miler

(*Notes races actually registered for at this point)

And yes, a 2011 list has started as well. ;)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And so taper begins

With the prospects of nearly 2 FEET of snow arriving on the same weekend as my last long training run, I took Friday off with the intent of getting my last 20 mile run in. I knew I could do the 20, but since it had been about 5 weeks since the last time I did it, mentally I needed to do this before taper hit. Snow two weeks earlier interfered with my attempt to get 22 miles in, having to cut the run short about 17.5. I was disappointed, but at the same time knew that accomplishing that distance in those conditions was no small thing either. Last weekend, cold and very wet weather made even accomplishing 5 miles difficult, and again caused some doubts in my mind about what I am trying to do.

With so many other Disney runners hoping to get their last 20 in this weekend, I was extremely lucky to have the company of both of my marathon partners, as well as a couple of my friends from the Striders. We weaved all over Annapolis - back and forth over the infamous 450 bridge, around the Naval Academy, and through the streets of Eastport and West Annapolis before calling it quits around mile 13. The temperature was quickly beginning to drop and the cold and rough hills and bridges had taken their toll on us. While we were slightly disappointed not to get our full distance in, at the same time we knew the smarter thing to do was to listen to our bodies and not risk injury. We also knew that that run was more about quality over quantity. We found hot soup, and cheered that taper has begun.

Taper is when you scale back your mileage before the big race, typically for a couple of weeks, in order to rest your body. For some "taper madness" kicks in as well - doubts start forming about the months of training you've done, you worry about injury/illness/etc., etc., etc. I'm hoping to avoid much of this and generally stay calm. As many of you who know me though, this is not typical of my personality at times though. I keep reminding myself that I truly have done everything possible up to this point. And, I have the most amazing support system that will make this an experiece truly to never forget.