This past year has been very rewarding, much of the running and fitness changes I made in 2012 showed up in my 2013 results (qualifying for the Boston Marathon, running 4 marathons and 2 ultras (40 & 54 mile) . I am thankful my health has been good, as I have tried to take 1 day a week to rest. I also have taken to heart the training philosophy of “Make easy days easier and make hard days harder.” Most days (recovery runs) I am focused on enjoying the company I am with and the view versus my running pace.
My challenging days have been and will continue to be- Tuesday: Track Day (intervals), Thursday: Tempo Run (5 miles or more) and the last 5-9 miles on my long runs on Saturdays.
I started cross training with BOLO (dragging my tire), weights, plyometrics and cardio (bike, stair stepper & elliptical) at lunch during the week and I think it has allowed me to increase my mileage and expand into Ultra (longer than marathons) races without injuries.
I am committing to the following in 2014:
· Walk/Run at least 1-mile everyday this coming year: On days when I am taking a rest day, I can still take Luther for a walk around the neighborhood (1.2 miles). It only takes 20 minutes. If I can’t find 20 minutes a day for my fitness then my priorities needed to be reviewed. My hero, Bill Shire from Charlotte, is coming up on 10,000 days straight of running. I should be able to do 365 days straight. It will also give me more time to spend with Anne on days when we walk Luther.
· Go to Yoga (Body Flow) class at least once a week: Flexibility is an important part of being an efficient runner and I have not focused on it as much as I should have. Working on gaining more flexibility is another way to increase my chances of not being injured. One theory for the high percentage of knee issues is a result of flexibility problems in other parts of the body.
· Run on the local trails at least 2 times a month: Any time I can get off the road, my body will appreciate it. Running on trails is also great cross training as it uses different muscles especially in the hips, ankles, and feet. Salisbury Community Park on Hurley School Road has some challenging trails courtesy of the Mountain Bike Club. The park has at least 6 miles of well-marked trails in the woods and at least 8 miles of bike paths.
· Volunteer at 3 local races: I need to do a better job of giving back with my time to my local running organization (Salisbury Rowan Runners) which has helped and encouraged me.
· Continue to run with beginning runners: It is so important that I remember how hard it was at first to make running a part of my life. I ran/walked for months before running was bearable and fun. Running with others who were patient with me was the key to me sticking with it.
I am not as concerned about the number of miles I will run in 2014, as I do not have total control as to what happens with injuries. I just want to continue to be excited about running and share my love with others who are willing to get off the couch and strive toward their dreams.