This is a hard post for me to share because once I say it I have to follow through with it. But here goes: I am not going to run any full marathons in 2014. Instead, I’m going to concentrate on improving my speed for shorter races – all with a goal of a sub-2:00:00 half marathon.
(Yes, I know I just said “shorter races” and “half marathon” in one sentence. I don’t think that’s an oxymoron because I’m a crazy runner!)
There is a part of me that doesn’t want to do this. There is a part of me that wants to push myself to the limits and run as many full marathons as I can. But I have to ignore that part of me and instead listen to the part of me that keeps reminding me of the struggles I had in 2013 when my health (and visa waits!) let me down over and over again causing me to miss both of my intended marathons for the year as well as a handful of shorter races.
Thankfully, the bigger part of me is saying that this half marathon plan is fantastic!
You see, I do really well with half-marathon distances. They’re certainly a physical challenge, but they’re easier on my body and easier to train for because I can keep up on my training even if I have to take a couple of weeks off because of a low platelet count.
My best time for a half marathon distance (currently*) is 2:16:57, but I admit that I hadn’t actually been training or focusing at the time so I am convinced that, with proper training and dedication, I can manage my goal of a sub-2:00:00.
I am dedicating February to re-prioritising some stuff in my life, and included in that is getting back into a proper running habit. I am extremely out of shape, having neglected my running since the summer, so it will be hard work to get back into the swing of things, but I’m going to do it! I have two training runs in for the month so far with a commitment to run at least three days a week all month long.
But most importantly, I’ve already signed up for two half marathons and am considering a couple more for the summer and autumn months.
And if I manage to beat my time goals this year, then I will start working for my sub-5:00:00 full marathon in 2015.
Anyone wishing to join me in a race – either as a participant or a cheerer – is welcome to come along. And if you can’t be there in person, please feel free to cheer and offer encouragement the old fashioned way: Through the Interweb!
* When I was a teenager and active runner, all of my running times were much, much better than they are these days. But that’s when I was young and fit and (believe it or not) even more stubborn than I am now.
[That’s a photo of me nearing the finish line on my fastest half marathon. That was such a great day!]