One thing I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post about my goals for January is that I have some running goals too. These are actually goals for 2012 in general, so they didn’t fit in with yesterday’s post, but they merit mentioning because you’ll probably hear about them on occasion this year.
When I started running again after my knee surgery, I had pretty much put longer distances on the back burner, possibly to be tossed altogether. However, as I eased back into running, I found that slowly increasing my distances hasn’t been a problem at all. One mile turned into two, two led to four, and then one day I accidentally did five. (I meant to do four but then wasn’t paying attention to my route and ended up going further.) I next attempted 5.5, then six. Six led to seven. And when I finished that seven, I still had gas in the tank, so to speak, and knew that I could go further. So, on the first day of 2012, I ran eight miles.
Eight miles, y’all.
When I was attempting these distances a year ago, I was running, yes, but I also had walking intervals in those runs too. Now, I’m not walking at all on runs. Officially, my longest run ever was 14 months ago, when I went 8.54 miles; however, I definitely walked chunks of that, including the last mile when I was whimpering with every step. And then my Achilles tendon hurt after that, followed by my knee troubles of 2011, and I didn’t come anywhere near that eight miles again until Sunday.
You know what? I feel pretty sure that I’m going to attempt that same 8.54 mile route again in about a month and I also feel confident that I’m going to run every step of the way and make those miles my bitch.
Lest anyone think I’ve lost my mind, I want you (and my mother) to know that I’m being super cautious about these distances: I run two, three, or maybe four days a week. I always take at least one day off between runs and, if I wake up on a designated running day and things don’t feel right, I postpone the run for another day. When I do run a longer distance, I don’t push for speed. Also, I run shorter distances for a week afterward and I don’t attempt another long run for at least 10 days.
I am having no pain in my knees or anywhere else. Okay, wait, that’s not exactly true. I do have occasional pain in my right knee, but that’s due to osteo-arthritis, not the surgery. And the discomfort — because I really wouldn’t call it pain, especially when compared to a torn meniscus — seems to be related to other things, like standing for a long period of time or really cold weather.
Naturally, this all has me wondering about how far I could run. I had been planning to run a local 1o-miler this spring, but I just realized over the weekend that it’s the first weekend of our spring break and there’s a good chance we won’t even be in town, so it looks like that one is out. I am SO disappointed by this, especially since my sister was going to run it with me and I was really looking forward to it.
Me. Looking forward to a 10 mile run. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or totally messed up.
Remember how a year ago my siblings and I were talking about running a half marathon in our hometown? That never happened, because a couple of us were the walking wounded last spring. We’re talking about another half marathon this coming September, but it’s a completely different one — one that is mostly flat, rather than one big slog up and down a mountain. We won’t decide until the spring, so I have a few more months to run and see how I feel.
Here’s my tentative training plan for the half marathon: Continue running three times a week — one short run of 2-3 miles, one medium run of 4-5 miles, and either another medium run or a longer run. That longer run be approached cautiously. I want to increase my mileage one mile per month — so another 8 miler in January, then two 9 mile runs in February, two 10 mile runs in March, and one or two 11 mile runs in April. In May, June, July, and August, I’d like to push up to 12-13 miles (but not 13.1, because I’m feeling superstitious about it for reasons I can’t explain) and then do those distances once or twice per month until August, when I’d start scaling back and resting before the race in mid-September. In between runs, I’ll also be doing a lot of biking, as I train for the relay triathlon in August.
Gah. Can you imagine how fit I could potentially be by the fall?!
So those are my running goals for 2012. Whether or not they happen remains to be seen, but I’m going to give it my best.
And on that note, I’m going to end this now and go out for a short run.
What about y’all? Anyone else have any ambitious fitness goals for this year?