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Running Goals 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

January 3, 2012

Today I begin Week 2 of Couch to 5K. This is my fifth year doing it, but I’m starting much earlier. Usually I start in April. One of my goals is to run a 10k this year. I found an article in Runner’s World –,7120,

- that recommends running 20 miles a week with a long run of six miles. I would do the six miles on a weekend, I think. Then that leaves 14 miles to divide over three additional days of running. That’s a lot for me – if I can accomplish this, it may be my year!

First things first, I must finish the C25k. I have a race planned for February 26th. I should finish Week 9 right before the race. I wanted to do a race to benefit cardiac research this year and found only one – thankfully it is in Chicago and accessible. It’s an inaugural race at McCormick Place, running indoors. Max is 2500 people. Should be interesting.

The article recommends simple yoga twice a week as well. I keep hearing this and need to find a decent yoga DVD. I have P90x yoga, but is 1.5 hours long and is difficult. Definitely not for beginners. I put a request out on a few Spark running forums for recommendations.

The same article recommends higher protein to preserve lean muscle mass and control appetite. I know I don’t get enough protein but this is something I will specifically work on.

“Include protein in every meal.
A 2010 study found that athletes were more successful losing weight with a diet that was 35 percent protein than one that was 15 percent protein. "Protein preserves lean muscle mass and controls appetite," she says. But it should be lean, such as poultry, fish, lean meats, beans, lentils, soy food, and yogurt.”

More water is a must. I also know I’m not staying hydrated. I can’t stand drinking water when I’m not thirsty, but I’ll also work on this. Ugh.

From the Article -

“Be More Consistent
 - Ask elite runners for the number one "secret" of their success and the most common response is one word: consistency. "Consistent training promotes the physiological changes which are necessary for better performance, while inconsistent training stresses the body and can lead to injury," says Robert Martin, a San Diego running coach and personal trainer.

"Start with a reasonable goal, develop a plan, then record your workouts and progress," says Martin. "If that's not enough motivation to not skip workouts, find a coach or a training buddy who can help you keep your feet to the fire, and announce your goals to friends, family, and coworkers." Social media is a good place to declare your running plans, too, whether it's Facebook, Twitter,, or (Forums or The Loop). If all else fails, for every mile you run reward yourself with $1 toward a trip or something else you desire. Just don't confuse consistency with rigidity. It's okay to skip a run for a legit reason; it's not okay to repeatedly skip them if your reasons are as thin as an Ethiopian marathoner.”

I usually do the Metlife Duathlon every June (run 2 miles, bike 11, run 2 miles) but I really enjoy trail running. I found a race in northern Indiana that is quite small and is a 5k trail, bike 12 miles, 5k trail. It describes the trail as “challenging” with a “thigh burner hill.” Should be interesting!

Some good advice on Trail Running –

Try Real Trail Running -
Melody Fairchild had success on the track as America's first high-school girl to break 10 minutes in the two-mile, and then on the roads as a frequent race champion. But one of her favorite surfaces is the trail—twisting, turning, undulating paths, not smooth rail-trails or dirt roads.

"Constantly adjusting your stride to maneuver over rocks and roots forces you to run more on your midfoot and forefoot, which teaches you to run more efficiently," she says. "After a trail run, your muscles feel completely worked because you're going up, down, and sideways. It's the fast track to gaining fitness. Plus, driving to a scenic trail makes it an outing."

Find nearby trails at, or ask at a running shop. Fairchild, who leads trail-running camps in Colorado, says to gauge your workout by elapsed time, not distance—otherwise you'll get frustrated because you'll compare your pace to road runs.

Spend enough time off-road and you may want to consider buying trail-specific running shoes, which have better traction and are made of protective material that shields the feet from sharp objects.

Trail races (5-K to 100 miles) are also an option. Train for one to two months on similar terrain to condition your body to the special demands of running off-road."

Last year I became a Garmin addict. This year I’m running without it. I was so intent on improving my 5k time whether it was a “training” run or an actual race. Ridiculous and most likely sidelined any potential success. This year I’m running for enjoyment. I want to try a few cross country races and the duathlon I mentioned above. I would also like to do a 10k race. I will wear my Garmin but not until I’m done with the C25k training plan and then only once a week for my long runs.

From the Article - "Developing leg strength with hill running, core strength with core exercises, speed with intervals, and improved fitness with recovery days are all important when you pursue a PR," says Mike Norman, head coach of Chicago Endurance Sports. "Training consistency and good nutrition are also important."

Oh I would love to do a 30-minute 5K this year. Sigh. I should probably change that to “I will do a 30-minute 5k this year!”

So here are my goals for this year. I’m sure they will need a bit of tweaking or some creativity along the way, but I feel good about having a plan.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NATPLUMMER 1/12/2013 12:07PM

    Looks great!!! You've got this!

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ELDORADO_MOM 1/16/2012 6:51AM

    Love this blog! Thanks for sharing, a lot of good info for me as I consider doing a triathlon this summer.

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LOGOULD 1/15/2012 5:09PM

    Sound like some great goals and a solid plan to achieve them. Here's to that sub 30 5K! This WILL be our year!

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    Awesome! Sounds like you are motivated, woohoo! I find that reading this kind of stuff motivates me too. I am reading whatever I can get my hands on at the library right now and I am motivated also.
Sounds like you have an interesting year ahead of you!

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REEKU731 1/4/2012 9:36AM

    OMG I love all your goals! This is an amazing plan for this year!!! I truly think you're going to ROCK all of these things and I can't wait to hear all about your progress as the year goes on!!!


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SALEE100 1/3/2012 11:36AM

    I love all the research you've done. You've inspired me! Good luck with your goals! emoticon

I'm currently unable to run due to a knee injury. I'm having knee surgery next week and I'm hoping the knee will allow me to run in the not too distant future! It's amazing how much I miss running when I'm unable to do it.

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Motivation, new goals, new playlist

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Do you ever feel like you're constantly fine tuning this whole healthy living thing? :)

I've been looking for new sources of motivation, revisiting old ones to try them on again. Finally I decided to go back to simplicity. I came across an article with eight simple Pilates moves to try. What's funny is these exercises are some that I used to do in high school before the word "Pilates" was used in every day conversation (I find it amusing - not sad that I'm that old ;)

I did the exercises today and found I'm lacking some strength I used to have, but still have some nice definition from running/biking. Well, yay!! My Spark buddy Hillary (REEKU731) had a goal of doing a tripod head stand earlier this year and I was very impressed. I gave it a try today to test my ability and that's when I realized some work in the strength department is in order.

So goal #1 - Tripod Headstand

I'd also like to do a bridge up. Gave it a try. Uh-uh....not going to happen in the near future, but possibly in the far.

So goal #2 - Bridge Up

If you're reading this and think "Hey, I have a goal like that!" let me know. You can never have too many goals and I depend on my Spark friends to broaden my horizons!

Now the new playlist - These songs are a little faster. I originally created the list for running/biking but also found it's effective for just about anything (like mowing the lawn).

Distance - Christina Perri
A Praise Chorus - Jimmy Eat World
The Boys Of Summer - Don Henley
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Turning Japanese - The Vapors
Runaway - Linkin Park
The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
Leave Out All The Rest - Linkin Park
Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Dog Days Are Over - Florence + The Machine
Pain - Jimmy Eat World
Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down
Lump - The Presidents Of The United States Of America
My Sharona - The Knack
I Ran (1982) - A Flock Of Seagulls
Break on Through - The Doors

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOGOULD 12/11/2011 10:16PM

    Great goals!!! I love the idea abiout not making all about the scale! My winter goal (besides consistency with getting to the gym) will be to learn to cross country ski....and if I make it through the winter with a 120 day or better exercise streak, I'll look into a pair of cross country skis (used of course) as my reward.

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    New ideas and changing things up is a great way to keep motivated!

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Riding out of the dark

Monday, October 03, 2011

With the myriad of adventures that have gone on in my life this past year, I've wrestled (and usually lost) with negativity more than ever. Even the 5K that I ran last month felt so heavy. I ran with a friend thinking that would boost my energy level, but I still felt that dark cloud over my head. A lot of my training runs were not joyous but felt like defeat. I tried mixing it up - running intervals, running hills and even not running at all.

A few weeks ago, I decided to give up running for awhile and switch to biking. When I was a kid, my bike was always my escape. I'd spend all day on it, exploring places I wasn't allowed to walk to and pushing every limit I could come up with. Why couldn't I relive that kind of freedom now?

I spent a bit of time trying to figure out the best way to get out to the bike trail near my home. It's a relatively new, limestone path that runs for 26 miles. One of the old railway lines that is now a bike trail. I found that it's 3.6 miles from my house and I'd have to take a rural road to get out there. I headed out with my Garmin set to "bike" and my mace strapped to the bike (safety concern is animals on this route).

I made it out to the trail with no problem and set out to see what I could do. It was a beautiful ride. Fall flowers are blooming, there were deer on the path, a few snakes and rarely, another person. Although most people wouldn't find the Midwestern cornfields beautiful, they truly are...and smell heavenly.

I ended up doing a 20 mile ride and felt beyond renewed when I returned home. Now I use this as my "escape" when I start feeling a little dark. I'll eventually incorporate running again, but for now the satisfaction I get is a huge motivation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREECLOUD 11/6/2011 9:41PM

    "I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it wear I want" :) Thank you, ChangingHorses.

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    Sounds very beautiful to me. I feel like a kid again when I ride also. There is just something carefree about riding my bicycle. "I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike".

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SARAHANN32 10/7/2011 2:18PM


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LOGOULD 10/4/2011 9:29PM

    Glad you found your release and escape! It's great just to be able to get moving and feel the accompanying freedom!

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It's my pity party...I can cry if I want to

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We've all had those times when life really seems to pile up the bad stuff all at once. I'm going through that right now and have been for the last few months. Patiently waiting for things to improve has been my way of coping...but so far life has just gotten more overwhelming.

I recently gave in to all the bad feelings and spent the day on the couch, getting up only to indulge in refined sugars and bad carbs. I watched bad TV and took three naps. I ignored the phone - I didn't feel like spreading my misery as I prefer to wallow in it alone. I expected this to feel luxurious but in reality, I felt like crap (sorry, it's the only word that truly fits the experience).

During my pity party, I began to realize that some things are just not within my control, but others are. Taking one day at a time isn't just a cliche but actually good advice. I started with a mental inventory of all the reasons why I am a very cool person and what I have to offer the world. Then I counted my blessings - which also sounds cliche-y but I'm desperate here!

The day on the couch helped me realize that I can't sit and watch life pass me by and knock me about the head while it does. I'm a runner and have goals. A friend just challenged me to a half marathon this year and darn it, I'm going to do it! My husband's heart problems have advanced and I need to be at my best to be able to motivate him. Together we can do this, but he can't do it alone. I'm recently unemployed but hey, that gives me more time to train for that half marathon while job searching. The medical bills piling up will just have to sit until we can pay them. Life is too short to worry about being sent to collections because I can only make $50 payments every month.

Taking a deep breath now and moving forward....because idling and waiting for life to get better on it's own is NOT an option. Proactive, not reactive :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAHANN32 3/29/2011 6:01PM

    I was laid off a couple of years ago and was looking for a job in the spring too. I did about the same thing as you - I had my vent session/pity party/multiple days on the couch and then I started the C25K program. You need lots of energy and exercise and to look and feel your best as you are job hunting.

March has just been a rough month for so many people not only on here and within my friends and myself but across the world. Take care of yourself dear :) I'm virtually here for you if you need to talk. Not sure what you are looking for, saw you had "healthcare" on your page, but if you are interested in doing healthcare consulting/tax/auditing there are 67 job listings on the website if you live in near a big city. Kind of tough to get in and get an interview, but good benefits etc.

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COOKIEGRANNY 3/28/2011 8:39PM

    We've all had those periods in our lives when the bad things just seem to pile up. But, you WILL get through this. I admire your attitude. And I don't blame you a bit for your day on the couch. I do that sometimes even when things are good! Hang in there, and I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.

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    Hang in there and keep taking care of yourself. Rough times come and go and the better we take care of ourselves the better we handle them. Sometimes very hard to do when you are in the midst of a pile of crap but you'll get out it.

I have been thinking about a half also and will be "watching" you train for yours! : )

emoticon emoticon

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FREECLOUD 3/24/2011 9:16PM

    Thank you all for responding to my blog today. It felt good just to write it down and get it out. We all go through rough patches, but it's nice to have the support here at Spark from people like you. Can't tell you how much it means to me today emoticon

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LOGOULD 3/24/2011 3:35PM

    Sorry to hear that you are going through a rough stretch....keep the focus though and stay in that "one day at a time" mindframe. It IS true. Staying focused on what we are blessed with and have to be thankful for right now really help to carry you through the rough patches. Here's hoping and praying that things get better fo ryou soon!

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REEKU731 3/24/2011 11:12AM

    I am sorry to hear that March has been overwhelming for you as well. I can relate. I've learned that its only worth stressing about the things you can change. If you can't change it, its not worth wasting the energy on.

I can't wait to hear about your training for your half marathon! I think that sometimes adding a new goal to your routine is the best way to break out of a rut!!

I'll be sending happy thoughts your way my friend! Have a great day!


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GAL7288 3/24/2011 11:07AM

    That is alot on your plate right now... sorry a bit of humor only to cheer you up though... emoticon, I'm not sure if it is working. Anyways, i'm glad you put life into perspective and that your thinking about yourself and not bill collectors or money. If your not well then everything falls apart. Good luck in your marathon and train hard.

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Running goal met - after three years

Monday, August 23, 2010

Every year in April for the last three years, I've been doing the Couch to 5K program and then running 5K races throughout the summer to keep fit and keep me motivated. When the cold weather hits, I hang up my shoes and hibernate from running (although this year I'm planning a Turkey Trot run!).

Every year my goal is to complete a 5K without walking. Every year I've been unable to reach that goal....until yesterday. I received an email from my running buddy who informed me that she had successfully run 3.1 miles without stopping in 36 minutes. The challenge was on! I went out last night and talked my way through all 3.1 miles and ended with a time of 39 minutes. I didn't beat her time, but I did it. I DID IT!!!

This year I've worked on my mental attitude towards exercise. I've realized that it's more of a mental adventure than a physical one. I've always let my body dictate when to stop, when to slow down....but it's my head (and my heart) that should be in charge. Last night, my head called the shots while my heart worked very hard to keep up.

Saturday is my next official 5K. Now I know there's no reason I can't run the whole thing and shoot for a new personal best.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HSMOM2FOUR 8/24/2010 8:31PM

    WTG! That's impressive!

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THENEWCINDY 8/24/2010 7:53AM


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GRATEFULADY 8/24/2010 12:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonGood for you!!

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 8/23/2010 10:07PM

    Good for you!
It is hard not to lose momentum during the winter... I know because that always seems to happen to me!
Let's both stay with it this year! emoticon emoticon

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COOKINMAMA 8/23/2010 9:40PM

    That is so cool! I'm doing my first c25K program now hoping to run one in November. You inspire me! emoticon

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PSSN4FITNESS 8/23/2010 2:03PM

    Congratulations!!! That is the best feeling. I remember when I got to my last week of C25K I was just like, today is the day. And I did it! You are so right that most of the battle is mental. You are going to rock your race this Saturday!

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GEMINIS_25 8/23/2010 10:13AM

    Oooh...I remember the first time I ran a mile without stopping. I was literally jumping up and down!! I couldn't do that today.

I think it's awesome that you can pick up where you left off every summer and get remotivated each time.

So happy for your accomplishment! Good luck this Saturday!!

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SAISHA100CJ 8/23/2010 9:39AM

    emoticon Congratulations!!

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COLBERGL 8/23/2010 9:38AM

    Way to go!!!!! I am running in my 2nd 5K in a couple of weeks. That has been my goal all along to run the entire 5K. Still have not made it. I'm getting closer. It is a mind game. Congratulations, I'm proud of you.


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