Ever since the last couple of races I've run (the Monroe Half and then the Turkey Trot 10K), I've been thinking of pretty much nothing but racing. I took almost all of 2014 off of racing (the races I did were just for fun, so I wasn't really pushing myself), and running the last couple of races hard felt SO good. It made me want to set all sorts of goals and do a lot of racing next year.
I was toying with the idea of running a half-marathon each month for 2015, so yesterday, I found all the half's that I want to do, and I'm "officially" setting that goal. Here is my half-marathon-per-month plan (which could always change, of course; I'm only actually registered for two of these right now):
January: Rock 'n' Roll Arizona (my friend Sarah and I were born 3 days apart, and she lives in Phoenix. She thought it would be fun for us to do this half for our birthdays this year. She doesn't run, so we're going to walk it.)
February: Ice Cube Half Marathon
March: Rock CF Half
April: Martian Half
May: Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon (with my Sole Mates!)
June: Lake Cadillac Team Marathon Half
July: Hungry Duck Half
August: Boy Scout Half
September: Brooksie Way Half
October: Heroes on Hines Half
November: Monroe Half
December: Santa Hustle Half
A few of these races are more than a short drive away, so I was thinking that Jerry and I could take the kids and make a short weekend trip out of those ones. Since we went on a big vacation this year to Punta Cana, we don't have plans of a big vacation in 2015; it might be fun to go on a few weekend trips instead. When the kids went with us to Cleveland for my first marathon, they had a blast, and they talked about Melt Bar & Grilled for two years after that ;)
I'm hoping that by May, I'll be under 2:00 for my half marathon time. And then maybe by the end of next year, I'll be able to set a new PR (currently, my PR is 1:52:07). Yesterday, I wrote up a year's training plan to include the races. Instead of alternating between tempo runs, interval runs, and hills, I decided to include the tempo runs in with the long runs (for example, I might run 10 miles for my long run with 4 of those miles at goal race pace); and then on another day, I'll alternate each week between intervals and hills.
I also switched my long runs to Sundays instead of Fridays, because most of the races are on Sundays. Today, I started with an 8-mile long run, with just 1 mile at goal race pace (sub-9:00). It was super nice outside today--55 degrees! I wore long sleeves, but I should have worn a tank, because I was pretty hot after a couple of miles.
I didn't want to do my first mile at my goal pace, because I didn't want my legs to feel very fresh; but I didn't want to wait until the end, either, because it would probably be really hard on tired legs. Instead, I just ran at what felt to be very comfortable for the first few miles. I didn't even glance at my Garmin, and just ran by feel.
About a half-mile in, I saw some hunters walking along the edge of the woods, looking around at the ground. I see hunters around there all the time, so it wasn't anything new. A couple of hundred feet later, I heard a rustling and then a doe ran through the woods along the edge of the field. I must have spooked her as I ran next to the woods, but when I saw her running, my heart dropped. She had a big hole in her side, just behind her rib cage, where I'm assuming she had been shot. My guess is that those hunters knew they shot her, and were looking for her :(
I was so sad for the poor deer, and I hoped that she'd get away. About a mile later, I heard eight gunshots in a row, so I'm guessing they found her. It was upsetting, and I just kept picturing her running from me because she was scared. I know animals in slaughterhouses have it much worse, but it still makes me sad to see people hunting.
Seeing that kind of ruined my run. I tried not to think about it, but I just kept thinking about that poor deer. After I hit mile three, I sped up to a sub-9:00 pace for one mile, and then ran easy for the last four miles. That last few miles, I really tried to enjoy it, because this weather was so nice! It's supposed to get really cold again tomorrow.
My November goal was to stick with riding my bike once a week. In short, I totally failed. It got super cold and snowy/icy, so I didn't do it for the last two weeks.
I've been giving some thought to my December goal, and I've decided to post my daily food logs on my blog--every single day--for December. Whether I'm on track with counting my points or not, or if I binge, or if I overindulge, I want to track it and post it for accountability. I already know that my diet is far from perfect, but I'm hoping that knowing it's going to be posted will help me to make better choices.
I still think it's so hard to believe that tomorrow marks the first day of the last month of 2014!
Don't forget, tomorrow is Motivational Monday, so if you have a photo to share, please email it to me ASAP!