Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012: The official goals post

As this is auto-posting, I'm getting back into a familiar routine.

While most of the world is sleeping in on Saturday morning, once again I'm up early. Before dawn early. I'm putting on my cold weather gear, packing a bag of warm clothes to change into after, and warming up the Fit.

I'm driving 40 minutes to join the long procession of cars turning into Thomas Worthington High School for the Marathoner in Training program (MIT). Jeff's going to gather all 400 of us in the gym to kick the winter season off. He'll call out "10:30s!!!" then we hit the Olentangy Trail, sun, rain, sleet or snow. We'll yearn for the heat of summer, just as we yearned for the cold of winter in August.

I'm going to stop with the "I must be crazy for doing this" posts. It's a foregone conclusion. We're all crazy in our own little ways. I just choose to blog about it.

All 400 of us share one same personality trait: We're all goal oriented, some to the point of obsession. The magic number is called a PR, a personal record, and each one of us is there because we're determined to beat it.

The PR could be a goal distance, for many first timers it's simply to run as far as you can, to the marathon or half marathon point. That was my ambition my first season of MIT, training for Cleveland

But once you complete that distance, you now have a time to beat. Some simply want to beat their time, others set a new goal time. I ran a 4:32 in Cleveland, and sought to run Columbus in 4:20. That was the number that was burned into my head in my second season of MIT. I smashed through that goal, running Columbus in 4:13.

This year, I'm training for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon in 4:10. That's about a 9:30 pace. But this race will bring about a new challenge: Hills. That's why I'm only seeking to shave three minutes off my time, not break the coveted four hours.

To accomplish this, I'm going to shift back and forth between the 10:00 and 10:30 pace groups. I'm also bumping up to the "experienced" marathon schedule, which will mean speedwork and more hill training. In fact, I'm making it a goal to run up some kind of hill during every training run. It's easy to do when you live in Licking County.

On my way to the Pig, I'm going to do three other races, all with solid goals attached: 

The First on the First: The annual New Year's Day run. My goal will be to beat my 5K PR of 24:27 (yet another number seared into my brain.) To do this I'm going to run with a couple others with the same goal.  

CRRC Winter Run: When a race is in your backyard, it's hard not to do it. I did this 15-miler last year too. My goal will be to beat last year's time of 2:24. 

Earth Day Challenge Half Marathon: The goal is just to relax and have fun with the race. I know it sounds crazy but when you have that number on, it's easy to get carried away and burn out. I have a lot of friends doing this one, so I'm going to stick with them and take it easy.

I've set five other goals, the kinds that do not have a time attached.

Complete an Olympic-distance triathlon: I have the running thing down, clearly. I'm starting to get the biking thing down, thanks to my mom giving me a bike and more spin classes than I can count. This leaves the swimming part. I'm making slow, agonizing progress, but I'm going to keep plugging away, and maybe take some lessons, until I can get it right. My goal is to swim once a week, and ride outside once a week when the weather gets nicer.

Get stronger: I'm so excited about a post I'll probably get to write in a week or so. I've been doing this weight lifting program that is getting me results. My goal is to complete the six-month program. I'm three workouts away from being done with the first stage.

Learn to teach something new: I love teaching spin. I adore teaching spin. And now I want to branch out. The Y offers a number of certification courses. I want to get certified in group fitness so that I can teach some boot camp or circuit training classes.

Be lighter: I don't want to downplay my marathons. Completing two in one year has been a huge accomplishment. But, when I put those aside, 2011 has otherwise been a pretty crummy year. Stress leads to weight gain, and I've put on 15 pounds. I've simply been eating too much. Those pounds need to come off. I'm going to make it an overall goal to get down to 120 pounds by the Pig. That's one pound per week. If I start tracking my food again, I know I can do it. I may even do a food post once a week to help me along the way.

Get 1,000 hits a month on this blog: I've been on this streak. I just want to continue it. Every month I'll do a special post when I hit the magic number, and I'll post more frequently to get there.

So there it is, kids. It all starts today.


  1. Great goals, Jess! I know you can do it!


  2. 2012 is going to be your year to shine! so proud of what you have accomplished this year, and can't wait to see what 2012 will bring!

  3. You don't lack ambition, do you? :) Good goals and good luck meeting them!!

  4. Awesome, my friend! These are great goals and I can't wait to go with you on your journey of attaining them. YOU ARE AMAZING! This is a great post - can't wait to see you out on the trails! I saw you and the pup on Saturday, but you didn't see me. ;)

    Here we come, 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!