Goals for 2013

I’ve been really, really, really giving this a lot of thought the past few days.  (I’ve been laid up with what I’m quite certain is the flu for a few days, so I’ve had a lot of time to think.)  Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Running/Fitness:

  • Get faster.  Period.  In all distances from 5K to 13.1.  And I plan to do this by …
  • Quality over quantity.  I hit my 1,000-mile goal in 2012.  Unlike most folks, I’m truly not interested in going longer or farther, and I won’t be racing as much this year.  Other than what will hopefully be my marathon redemption in February and a 10K in May, I have nothing on my race schedule.  I MAY run a half in April just because it’s local and I feel like I should support it.  Otherwise, I don’t plan on any more distance races until the fall where my goal will be…
  • A half-marathon PR.  It scares the shit out of me to say sub-2, but that is the number lurking in the back of my head.  I used to literally laugh out loud at the notion of me running a sub-2, but I’m starting to think that with the right training and right attitude that I could pull it off in another 11 months.
  • Get that damn sub-60 10K.  Third year’s a charm, right?  I missed it by 34 seconds in 2011 and didn’t run a 10K in 2012.  Actually for 2013 I feel like 60 minutes is too conservative, so this year I’m shooting for sub-58.
  • Get stronger.  Like I said, I’m not interested in running just to rack up miles this year, so some of those just-for-numbers runs will be replaced with strength training this year.  My motives here are twofold.  First, I’m hoping stronger legs will lead to a stronger, longer stride, thus helping with speed.  My second reason is pure and simple vanity.  I want a leaner, more muscular physique.  
Life in General:
  • Declutter this damn house.  My plan of attack is one room at a time, one room a month.  This is more of a goal for my husband.  I wouldn’t have a problem backing a dump trailer up to the house and loading it up right now.  Getting him to part with anything will be the chore.
  • Have a will drawn up.  Yeah, that’s a morbid thing to put here, but it needs to be done, and I’m more likely to do it if I put it on a list.
  • Get involved on some level with local rescues.
  • Just DO more.  Sometimes I feel like all I do is work, run, eat, sleep, and clean.  I’ve been making a more concerted effort to do more fun things in the past few months (as part of my whole 33 before 33 thing).  I want to carry that over into the new year as well.
Overall, 2013 is gonna have a hard time topping 2012, but hey… HERE’S HOPING!
Advertisements

Flashback: 2012 Edition

So here it is.  New Year’s Eve.  Time to flip the calendar.  (Suck it, Mayans!)  You know what that means….

The 2012 Year-in Review!
One year ago I set a few goals for myself.  Some were running related, some were not.  I gotta say, I had a pretty dang successful year.
Running-related goals: 
  • Run 1,000 miles –  SUCCESS!!!  It came down to the wire, but I DID IT!!!!  With seven whole hours to spare!
  • Run a sub-2:10 half marathon – SUCCESS!!!  I finished Rock n Roll St. Louis in 2:07:24
  • Run a sub-27 5K – SUCCESS!!!  I ran a 26:45 at a small local 5K, also securing a 2nd place AG award
  • Run a sub-60 10K – Well, this one was neither a success nor a failure because I didn’t run a 10K this year.  I was planning on one in May, but I ended up getting sick.  When I was still running fever the morning of the race, I decided not to go.  Since that’s the only 10K in the area, I’ll have to wait until May 2013 for my next shot at it.
  • Cross and strength train more – SUCCESS and FAIL respectively.  I’ve loved having a spin bike here at home and have used it quite a bit.  I definitely cross-trained more than last year, and I absolutely think that had a hand in keeping me injury free in 2012.  I totally dropped the ball on strength training though.
General life goals:
  • BE HAPPY! – SUCCESS!!!  I’ve made huge, huge strides here.  We had an incredibly trying year in 2012.  Lots and lots of job uncertainty for both of us… a layoff, talks of cutbacks and closures… but through it all, I have tried to keep a positive attitude and not worry about the things I couldn’t do anything about.  Sure, I’ve had my moments… some worry, some nearly paralyzing fear… but for the first time ever I was able to keep it from consuming me and was still able to find joy in the little things.  Very significant difference from 2011.
  • Continue to decrease dairy and processed foods – SUCCESS!!!  I consider myself an herbie now, and really the only processed foods I eat are cereal, Clif and protein bars, and the occasional vegan convenience foods, like Tofurky.  Although I do still have a weakness for Fritos.
  • Save a higher percentage of our combined salaries – FAIL.  No excuses.  Just haven’t done it.  We haven’t saved any less or spent any more, but we didn’t meet my original goal of saving more.
So I didn’t do so bad!!!  Yeah, I missed some, but I nailed the ones that were really important to me.  There’s always next year for the other ones!  Other than those, I really haven’t thought much about what I want to accomplish in 2013 yet.  I’m still kind of reveling in 2012.  A few highlights…

1st place AG!

Little Rock Half Marathon

Michele and me at the Shamrock Half
3rd place AG at a local 4-miler

Cruisin’!

Hangin’ out at the marina with friends.

Running to the finish line with a new 5K PR and a 2nd place AG award.

PRing at the Rock n Roll St. Louis Half Marathon

Lining up for St. Jude!

Celebrating 26.2 #2!

Finishing my favorite race to date with my best friend in the world!

Christmas Eve with my fabulous husband and his awesome family.

And now since I don’t have kids, you get an eyeful of my furbabies!  This year C.C. turned 13 and Bella and Harley each turned 3.

The queen overlooks her domain…

Nom, nom, nom

Always happy to go for a ride.

I am zombie cat.  Must have pink mouse brains!

Psssttt… you awake?

Is Daddy’s weed eater broken?

zzzzzzzzzz….

Move over, Mom, you’re taking up too much room in my bed.

They even hold their Kongs the same way.

I’m just gonna lay right here and wait for Santa.

Does that guy have a cheeseburger???

HAPPY 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!

St. Jude Marathon Goals

This is only my second marathon, and the first one I’ve had a time goal for.  For #1 all I wanted to do was finish under the 5:30 cutoff.  I finished in 5:27:08.  I expect more from myself this time.  I have a very specific goal in mind, and that’s why I’ve been so nervous this week.  I’ve been stalking the weather like a mad woman because I know that temperature absolutely makes or breaks me. My ideal running temp is in the 35-45 degree range.  (It was 34 with a wind chill of 24 when I ran my awesome 8 last weekend.)  I have absolutely no hope of that being the case this weekend.  I actually started my weather stalking on Thanksgiving Day, the day that 12/1 showed up in the 10-day forecast.  It showed 58 and mostly cloudy.  I was pretty dang happy with that.  Then by Saturday they had changed it to 62 and partly cloudy.  I was less happy.  Today it’s up to 68 and partly cloudy, 51 at start, 65 by 1:00.  That’s entering scary territory there.  And not what I was hoping for when I signed up for a December marathon.

Anyway…

Goal A – Less than 4:56:33.
Goal B – Less than 5:00.
Those are the only two goals I will be happy with.  Period.  But still, just in case shit doesn’t go as I’m planning…  (This IS a marathon after all… we all know how much of a tricky bitch she can be.)  
C Goal – Less than 5:27:08.
That would give me a PR at least.  Anything more than that and I just may as well DNF as far as I’m concerned.

If anyone cares to check in on me, you can track me here.  I’m #1302.  If (when) things get rough, maybe just knowing that you all are watching will help me keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Halfway There Already???? GEEZ! The 2012 Mid-Year Check-In

It is ASTONISHING how quickly this year is flying by.  Scary, really.  Everyone told me this would happen as I got older.  Damned if they weren’t right.

At the beginning of the year, I, like everyone else, set some goals for myself.  Let’s review, shall we?

Non-running:
  • BE HAPPY, DAMNIT!!!  – SUCCESS!  While I still have my moments of stress and just feeling blue (who doesn’t?) I’ve come so far with just being able to deal with it, do what needs to be done, and move on.  This has been the most stressful year at work I’ve ever been through (and it will likely only get worse from here), but I’m managing not to let it consume me.  It’s still a struggle sometimes, but overall I’ll give myself a passing grade on this one.  
  • Continue to decrease dairy and processed foods. – SUCCESS!  Processed foods are pretty much nonexistent in my diet now, the major exceptions being Clif bars and the occasional vegan convenience food like Tofurky.  And I still have a weakness for Fritos.  It could be a lot worse.  And as far as animal products go, a tiny bit of dairy may sneak past me every now and then as an ingredient in something I didn’t make myself, but other than that, I’m DONE with animal products of any kind.
  • Save a higher percentage of our combined salaries. – FAIL.  We just haven’t made this happen.  We’re still saving, but at the same rate.  I want to kick that up a notch or two.

Running

  • Run 1,000 miles. – FAIL.  I was on track for a couple of months, but I’ve fallen behind now.  I ended June with 401.7 miles for the year.  That means I’ll have to average 100-mile months for the remainder of the year.  Doable?  Probably.  Will I make the effort?  Probably not.  (Just being honest here…)
  • Run a sub 2:10 half-marathon. – FAIL.  I was sure I would nail this one at the Shamrock Half in March, but I bonked and ended up running a 2:13:20.  Next opportunity will be in October.
  • Run a sub-27 5K.  –  BOTH?  But mostly fail.  I “officially” ran a 26:31 in February, but the course was short and I don’t count it.  It wouldn’t have been under 27 anyway.  And that’s the only 5K I ran this year.  My 5K split from a 4-mile race in April was 27:11, still 11 seconds short of the goal.  So success for the official record, fail because I personally don’t count it.  Maybe this fall…
  • Run a sub-60 10K – Neither.  I haven’t run a 10K this year.  I was sick the day of the race I planned on running to meet this goal.  Since that’s the only one I know of in this area, I may not get another chance at this one this year.
  • Cross and strength train more. – SUCCESS!  I’ve made use of my spin bike and D’s Bowflex and have done some core work.  Even though I’m calling it a success, I still want to up my game in this area the latter part of the year.  Especially going into marathon training.
So overall not a horrible year.  You win some, you lose some!  And I’ve still got six months to make progress in the areas I’m currently not succeeding in!

The Obligatory Year-In Post – 2011 Edition

This time last year I posted some goals for 2011, so let’s just see how I did, shall we?

Nonrunning…

  • Be happier and less stressed.  FAIL.  Although I’ve made some small strides here, I’m just not where I want NEED to be.  I just cannot shake this job stress.  I hate uncertainty and the unknown, and I worry every day about my future with the company. 
  • Decrease meat and animal product consumption.  SUCCESS!  I went full-on vegetarian back in July and have also drastically decreased my dairy.  I love it!
  • Decrease unnecessary spending.  Meh… I’ll give myself a passing grade here, but I don’t deserve an A.  Maybe not even a B.  But I’m not gonna fret too much over it.  We don’t own a credit card, we’re ahead of term on the two small secured notes we do have, and the purchases made haven’t interfered with our savings, so eff it.  A splurge here and there won’t kill anyone.  And besides, it’s not like I’m a big spender.  When I say “splurge,” I’m talking about something like the boots I bought on sale for $60 last weekend.  Some people spend that much on coffee in a week.
Running
  • Run 1,000 miles.  HUGE FAIL.    I didn’t even match last year’s mileage.  I have no one to blame but myself.  I completely lost myself this summer (in every aspect, not just running).  I barely ran, and I didn’t care that I wasn’t running.
  • More cross- and strength-training.  FAIL.  No explanation necessary.  I just didn’t.
  • Work on speed.  I started the year off well.  I set PRs in the 5K and half-marathon distance, but I didn’t reach the 2:10 half mary goal that I had set for myself.  I hit 2:15 in April and I’d like to think I would have hit 2:10 this fall had I trained through the summer.
Okay, now I feel like that was all pretty negative, so let’s now take a look at some of the positives, the highlights, the FUN TIMES from this year!  🙂
January – My birthday month!  (What, you don’t celebrate your whole birthday month?)  And a 5K PR in my self-hosted virtual birthday race.

February – 5K PR #2.  And more snow than we’ve ever gotten in my lifetime.

March – 5K PR #3
(Hahaha… okay, if nothing else, I’m amusing myself over here by going back and re-reading these race recaps.  Do you ever do that?)

April – I ran two half-marathons in April, exactly one week apart with a PR in the second one!  (What does it mean when most of your high points are running related?)  And a girls trip to Nashville with my sister. No running for me, but we did spectate lots of the Country Music Marathon!  And met up with one of my favorite running bloggesses!  I may have laughed harder that night than any other in 2011.


May – My nice’s high school graduation and all the fun surrounding that.  (My in-laws don’t do anything low key!)
My niece and I (What better backdrop for a graduation photo than a mildewed high school field house?)
June – Family trip to the mountains for my nephew’s wedding.
July – Made the change to vegetarianism.  And taught my cat to do laundry.  (Okay, maybe not.  Maybe I just found this picture while I was looking through July’s photos trying to find something noteworthy that happened.  Nothing else did.)

August – Rescued a pathetic little kitty, nursed her back to health, fostered her, and ultimately found her a wonderful, loving home.  This was one of the few times this year that I felt like I did something that mattered!

Before – Deathly emaciated, flea-ridden, weak, and with a bacterial eye infection.  
After 3 weeks – Fattened up, flea-free, clear-eyed, and couldn’t be still long enough for me to get a picture!

September –  Got my dream car!

October – CARDS WIN THE WORLD SERIES, BABY!!!!!  There are photos from the Game 7 party at our house, but we’ll keep those off the internet, m’kay?

November – Trip to Virginia!  Too many photos to repost–just click the link!

December – Lots of family time.  Everyone was home for Christmas, including my newly enlisted niece, and it was perfect.

And now my 2012 goals:

Non-running is basically a repeat of 2011…

  • BE HAPPY, DAMNIT!!!  I’d give anything to have a job that was both fulfilling and paid a decent salary, but for now I guess I’ll just have to settle for the latter and ride it out as long as it will last, whether it’s until next year or until retirement.  Be happy TODAY for the blessings of TODAY.  Don’t worry about tomorrow because chances are it will be okay anyway.  I worried every day of 2011, and nothing disastrous ever happened, so it was all for nothing.  I WILL NOT spend 2012 stressing.
  • Continue to decrease dairy and processed foods.
  • Save a higher percentage of our combined salaries.
Running…Okay, so really this is a repeat of 2011 too. 
  • Run 1,000 miles.  This WILL happen this year.
  • Run a sub-2:10 half-marathon.  I should be able to cross this one off in March, at which point the goal will become 2:05 for the fall.
  • Run a sub-27 5K.
  • Run a sub-60 10K.
  • Cross and strength train more!  There will be absolutely no excuse not to do that because as of yesterday, D and I are the proud new owners of this
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B901 Pro Indoor Cycle!

and this…
Bowflex Revolution home gym!
The best part of this is that D is committed to making fitness a priority in 2012, too!  I would make “running a race with D” a goal for 2012, but I don’t wanna press my luck.  Baby steps, baby steps…
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

2011 Goals – a Mid-Year Check-in

Just like that, in the blink of an eye, POOF, 2011 is half gone.  I had set some goals for myself this year, so let’s just see how they’re coming along, shall we?

#1 – Be happy and reduce stress.  I’ve done what I can, but honestly as long as I work for the USPS life is gonna suck just a little bit.  They’re going to make damn sure of that.

#2 – Decrease meat and animal product consumption.  I’ve done well in this area.  I’m actually THISCLOSE to going full-on vegetarian.  I’m even taking my own “phony burgers” (as my mom called them yesterday) to the family BBQ tomorrow!  Aside from the couple of bites of chicken fingers I swiped from D’s plate last night (it doesn’t count if it comes from someone else’s plate, right?), the only meat I had at all last week was in the spaghetti I made last Sunday.  And although I am not pursuing veganism, I have drastically cut down my consumption of milk.  The taste of almond milk blows cow’s milk away.

#3 – Decrease unnecessary spending.  I’ve done well here, too.  More out of necessity than desire.  It’s been a rough year financially, so I haven’t had the fun money to blow on unnecessary things.  Even still, the only new clothing items I’ve bought have been the dress that I had to buy to wear to a wedding (I honestly had NOTHING in my closet that I could wear.) and work clothes.  And I really don’t count the work clothes, because if I’m buying something that I WANT to buy, you can bet your ass it won’t have the postal logo anywhere on it.

#4 – Run 1,000 miles.  Now where did I put that big red FAIL stamp… Not even close.  I will surpass last year’s mileage of 710.3, but I will have to put that 1,000 off until 2012.

#5 – Do more cross- and strength-training.  I’ve done BETTER here but still lots of room for improvement,  especially with regards to strength training.

#6 – Work on speed in 5K and HM distances (sub-2:10 half).   I’ll give myself a passing grade on this one. I haven’t been as faithful with a track regimen as I should be, and I plan to remedy that going into this training cycle.  However, I did get myself below a 9:00 min/mile in the 5K (8:58 to be exact), and I’m halfway to my HM goal.  When I set that goal, my PR was 2:21:13.  It is now 2:15:28.  I feel confident hopeful that I’ll see that 2:0X:XX this fall.

So bring on the second half of 2011!  Have a safe and Happy Fourth, everyone!

The Obligatory 2010 Year-End/2011 Goals Post

Okay, first thing’s first.  Is it “year-end” or “year-in” post?  I’ve seen both, but “year-end” just makes more sense to me, so that’s what I’m going with.

I can’t even begin to say how much better 2010 was than 2009.  I am so grateful because I was long overdue for a really good year!

I honestly can’t do a goals/accomplishments comparison because I really didn’t have any set goals for 2010.  But I’m happy with the way things went down.
 
On the non-running front, in 2010 …

  • I turned 30.  I know, I know, that’s not exactly something I had any control over, but it was still a pretty big deal!
  • my family was healthy.  I did have to have a lymph node in my neck checked out early in the year to rule out the c word, but praise the Lord, that turned out fine. 
  • I was promoted to Postmaster.  No more money than my supervisor job but LOTS less stress, and that is PRICELESS!
  • we added our newest member to our small furry family.  We adopted Harley from a bully-breed rescue in February.
  • I was baptised.
  • we enjoyed wonderful trips to Cabo San Lucas, Destin, and Las Vegas.
  • we made great strides towards reducing debt.  We no longer own a credit card  Those things are the devil in a little plastic suit.

And in running news, in 2010 …

  • I ran my second and third half-marathons.  I finished my third one 21 minutes faster than my first slightly less than a year prior (21-minute improvement from November 2009 to October 2010).
  • I completed my first only marathon.  Yes, I’m still saying I’m done with those.
  • I ran 710.3 miles.

Considering that I hardly ran at all in January and very little to speak of in May or June and missed SO MANY miles with my knee during the marathon training, all in all, I’m satisfied.

Now for my 2011 goals…

Nonrunning …

  • Be happy.  Simple, right?  I’m cutting ties with the people and things in my life that bring me stress, unhappiness, and drama.  Buh-bye negativity!
  • Further decrease my meat and animal product consumption.  I’ve cut way back on my carnivorous ways the last several months, and I want to continue this trend.  Also, the more I learn about dairy, the more I think I should scale that back too.  I have no desire to become completely vegetarian or vegan, but the benefits of a primarily plant-based diet (for your body, for the environment, and obviously for animals) are inarguable.
  • Decrease unnecessary spending.  Do I REALLY need that new coat?

And running …

  • 1,000 miles.  That’s almost 300 more than I ran this year, but if I stay healthy it’s totally doable.
  • Make more time for cross and strength training.
  • Work on speed.  I would like to see what I’m capable of in the 5K distance, and I would like to be under 2:10 in the half-marathon distance by the fall.

(I hereby reserve the right to delete this post and deny that it ever existed if I fall embarassingly short of these goals.)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

Tag!

Lucky me, I was tagged twice yesterday because apparently I’m just THAT cool.

Emz and Funderson each tagged me to answer a series of questions, so here goes!  Two birds, one stone.

Emz wanted to know:

What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2010?

DUH!  Wanna see my medal again?

 
Running goals for 2011?

One thousand miles.  I will end 2010 with over 700 miles, so 1,000 isn’t that much of a stretch.  I would also like to work on speed in the shorter distances and knock a few more minutes off my half-mary PR.

What’s your favorite race?

Hands down — Nashville’s CMM.  It was crazy crowded and hilly, but the course support and spectatorship were awesome, and Nashville is just a great city.

Favorite Holiday Guilty Pleasure?

CHESS SQUARES.  I could single-handedly eat a freakin’ pan of those things if I didn’t control myself.  Do they have a jillion calories?  Yes, they do.  Do I care?  I most certainly do not.  I have them once a year, and I savor every bite!

Most embarassing running moment?

I had to think on this one.  Surprisingly, I couldn’t come up with anything that has happened during a run.  I was like, “Come on, Pam, as much as you embarass yourself, SURELY something has happened while you were wearing running shoes.”  But, nope.  Couldn’t come up with anything.  BUT I did come up with something running RELATED.  I used to attend a step aerobics class, and the instructor and I were training for the Clarksville Half Marathon (this was last year, so it was my first) at the same time.  She ended up moving off for a few months and didn’t run it.  When I bumped into her in town after she moved back, she asked me how it went and what my time was.  When I told her, she laughed at me.  Yep.  Out loud and right in my face.  Looking back on it now, it just makes me wish I’d grabbed her by her cute little blonde pigtails and slammed her face into the pavement a time or two, but then it made me feel about this big.

And Funderson wants to know:

What races do you plan to complete in 2011?

That seems to be the million-dollar question these days!  As I’ve said, I want to work on shorter distances and speed.  There is a Cupid’s Chase 5K in Murray, KY on 2/12 that I’d like to do.  And there’s a Chickasaw Chase 10 miler in the Chickasaw State park on January 8th.  And I will probably repeat the Johnsonville Charge and Race on the Trace 5-milers in January and February.  For my spring half marathon, there are two I haven’t chosen between yet.  They’re both close and relatively inexpensive, so I would do them both, but they are only a week apart.  I will either be doing the Murray Half Marathon or the Andrew Jackson Half Marathon.  I’m leaning more toward the Andrew Jackson.  In the fall, I plan on running the inaugural Rock n Roll St. Louis half marathon.

Notice how there are no more marathons on that schedule?  ONE AND DONE, BABY.

What is your #1 indispensable running accessory?  #2?

Numero uno is definitely my Garmin Forerunner 305.  Second would be my iPod.

Do you send Christmas/Holiday cards?  Why or why not?

I do not.  Because I am lazy.

What do you mostly think about when training?

I’m still pretty new to the sport, so I’m not to the “mindless running” level yet.  A lot of you guys talk about how you just let your mind wander and don’t even realize you’re running.  Yeah.  I’m so not there.  I still have to stay mentally present and concentrate on form, breathing, and pace.

Is your sweetheart supportive of your extracurricular active activities?  How?

As much as he can be, yes.  He always tells me he’s proud of me and never complains about the money that gets sunk into it.  Which is more than I can say for myself.

What’s your proudest moment of 2010?

Here, let me show you again.

And now TAG, you’re it, Bobbi, Bootchez, and Zaneta!