RLaG in 2010: Plans and goals

My goals this year are modest. In years past, I had ambitious goals that revolved around mileage and race times. Not this time. Here are my goals for 2010:

  • Enjoy running, training and racing again
  • Avoid injury
  • Listen to my body and rest so I don’t get overtrained
  • Don’t race another marathon until I feel ready to do so

I’m exiting 2009 in a state of extreme rest. This was the year in which, if I ever wondered what my limits were in terms of training, I found out.

For now, between recovering from the CIM race, a head cold, work pressures, terrible weather and the holidays, I’m not worrying about running. I’ll get back into it in January. I accept that I will have lost fitness and will need to have some patience with myself.

The plan over the next few months is to get back into marathon training, but incorporate a lot of shorter races. I have no spring marathon planned. As for those shorter races, I don’t expect to pick up any PRs early on, but perhaps by sometime in late March or early April I can make some updates to my Stats page. Mostly, I’m looking forward to having fun racing again and not having all my eggs in one basket.

I’m awaiting the new training plan. But I do know that the mileage will come down in both peak and recovery weeks. That should help me avoid both the overtraining and injuries that have plagued me this year. I should be racing at least 2-3 times a month from February into April.

I’m registered for the full NJ Marathon on May 2, but I’ll be deferring my entry until 2011. If I’m feeling good in April, I may race the NJ half instead. The room’s reserved, so I can play things by ear without having to scramble for accommodations.

I’m also picking up a pair of inexpensive racing snowshoes. These will allow me to view a coming blizzard with delight rather than dread. The running path from Hartsdale to Valhalla allows for a good 10 mile out and back, except when it isn’t plowed (which is throughout the entire winter). Now I’ll be able to use it.

Plus, there’s this race. I’d have to drive for 2+ hours each way. But it’s at 11AM and it would be a new adventure.

Another decision I’ve made is to stop combining a major marathon with a vacation. Who wants to spend half or most of their vacation exhausted and in a crappy mood? So that era is over. I now get why people fly in and out on marathon weekend. In fact, I may not do any major travel at all in 2010. I spent six+ weeks and more money than I want to ponder on travel this year. My house needs attention and I need a break.

Looking farther down the road, we could Amtrak it to this race in the fall. Small, good course, and many good reviews. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Sitting here with a head cold, knowing my fitness is leaking away just a little more for every day I’m not running, it’s easy to feel stuck. But I suspect this rest is doing me more good than harm, and I’ve got a plan for next year, however loose at the moment.

10 Responses

  1. Snowshoes! That looks like fun. I wonder if there’s much of a learning curve with those things?

  2. Good plans en more fun(marathon) and not so many training week miles(120km ) at the last weekd before the marathon is oké!.
    I hope to speak you at the Newyork marathon in November!.
    Have a nice cristmas.

  3. Running is supposed to be fun. Sounds like it will be for you in 2010. Best of luck with it.

  4. Julie, I admire you. It’s not easy to go from 90+miles/week to “just chillin’.” Let 2010 unfold with grace and surprise–it may end up one of your favorite years of running ever!

  5. Sounds like the perfect plan for a great running year. “Enjoy” is an excellent touchstone for whatever may come, I will share that goal with you. The snowshoe race sounds crazy!

  6. It will be interesting to see what knocking the mileage down a smidge will do. I’m still testing that ceiling myself, trying to decide if 90 mpw is better than, say, 75-80. We shall see.

    There’s a lot to be said for a nice, close-by race. I would stay in Boston a few extra days, in part because I lived there for a bit and enjoy being back. Other than that, it’s been in-and-out with Memphis and Huntington (obviously, no reason to stay there).

    The fitness will come back quickly if you can just avoid doing anything silly during January. You know, like snowshoe racing.

  7. […] those will get posted on Thursday or Friday, but so far I’ve drawn some inspiration from Julie’s goals. If ever there was a [non-elite] female runner I want to emulate, it’s her… I […]

  8. That looks like a plan — I hope it’s a good one, without any fear.

    Re the mileage — my take, having followed your career for a while. I’d say you respond well to ‘high’ mileage, but my guess is there’s a tipping point (different for all), beyond which, improvement is not guaranteed.

    The more frequent racing should be fun (and revising those PBs), as will the showshoe training.

    On the fly in/out thing. I know a bloke who flew in to the US from Aus just for the weekend a number of times to race the St George marathon. Not sure if that’s a great idea! Go for the close to home ‘thons.

    • Oh, god, now I have a “career” (derisive snicker). That’s too much pressure!

      I agree on the mileage tipping point theory. I don’t think you know what yours is until you go over the edge. For me the mystery has been figuring out when that will happen. Six months without a break is too much. Is four? I’m not sure yet.

      Hope you’re enjoying the holidays…

  9. A friend of mine swears by snowshoeing in the winter. He does more of that than running and says it gets him into far better shape. I can totally see why too: Its hard! I tried it and fell on my face. (Note: my snowshoes are not running ones, and I’m kind of a klutz.) Sounds like a good motivator, which is always key in a plan…

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