Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Looking Ahead, But Not Too Far

You shouldn't focus so far out you miss what's right in front of you...
As I said, Monday I had planned on running nine miles of trails with a group.  I thought I understood where we were meeting, and looked forward to the route I believed we were going to take.  As it turned out...I had never been where we went.

When I'm running on trails I'm not familiar with, I pretty much look at what's right in front of me in any given moment, focusing on where my feet will land next, with an occasional scan ahead to see what's coming up in my near future.   I have to stay short-sighted, without any thought to what might be waiting for me later on (a monstrous hill or perhaps a smooth decline where I'll be able to relax and just mindlessly RUN).  It's very different from running in familiar territory (where I can anticipate obstacles and challenges), or even on unfamiliar roads (where it's usually smooth, allowing me to set goals for myself to reach--run to that mail box, speed up down this hill).

For me, this year will be like running on completely new trails.  Whereas this time last year I was planning out goals for the full calendar, this time around there are too many unknown variables in my life for me to plan that far in advance.  Monday, I believed I'd have time (and ability) to run nine miles with the group.  As it turned out I only got in 3.5.  Several things happened to prevent me from finishing what I originally thought might happen, but because I held on to my highest priorities, I was able to accomplish what I wanted to. ((Details of this are on the last post, written in blue.))

One of the problems I've had in the past is not making decisions about what I ultimately want causing me to change course mid stream because I hadn't clearly targeted where I was going.  Another huge problem is giving up on what I want because getting there is too hard, or will take too long.  Monday might have appeared as though either of those things were going on to the people I was running with, however the truth is, I knew what my goals were for the day ((again...details on the last post written in blue.))  Running those trails with them was a delicious add on (like whip cream on a latte!)  And...the "whip cream add-on"--trying to add too many goals to my plan--is another weakness I have.

So...with those dangers in mind (not making decisions about what I want to do, giving up on what I ultimately want, and adding too many things to the list) I am looking ahead at 2012.  I plan to:
  • consistently work toward my goals, even if that means allowing the iron to get red-hot in the fire.  The difficulty with this will be knowing what pieces to work (goals to work toward) and which ones to stick back into the fire.  (See my last post if this doesn't make sense.)
  • add P90X to my training plan for strength workouts.  I wanted to do this last year and tried for a while, but it became too hard to manage.  The difficulties with this will be scheduling (there are only so many hours in a day), and making sure I get enough (quality) calories to support all the work.
  • follow the training plan I have outlined from now til my first half iron race (April 22), maintain my fitness level (coast) until after my daughter graduates from high school in May and THEN make decisions about the rest of the year/what comes next.
  • come up with a nutrition plan so I don't end up drinking a venti soy latte for breakfast and eating potato chips for lunch (as I have done today).
Here are the races I have planned:
  • McKay Hollow Madness -- March 24th.  With that in mind, I hope to run most of my longer runs on trails.
  • IM70.3 NOLA -- April 22nd.  With that in mind, I have a detailed training plan on my Training Peaks calendar that starts Sunday (January 8th) and runs through race day.
  • Frank Maples -- ??.  I'm not sure when this one is, but I know I want to race it this year.
  • Cotton Row -- May 28th.  Time goal: under an hour.
  • Wet Dog -- July 14th.  Time goal:  better than last year! :D
  • Hood to Coast -- August 25th.  Time goal:  every leg with an average pace under 9:30.
  • Frantic Frog -- September 8th.  Time goal:  better than last year.
  • MAYBE Beach to Battleship -- October 20th.  I'm going to wait to pull the trigger on this until after IM NOLA.
  • Turkey Chase -- November 22.  I'm a streaker on this one (I've done it every year it's existed) so this one will certainly be on the list.  Time goal:  Sub 23:30 and beat my husband who has said he will run it this year!! :D

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon...I have a few more irons in the fire I'll tell you about in the coming weeks.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  2012 is going to ROCK!!


  1. Hey Dana, thanks for using TrainingPeaks to train for NOLA. We've heard great things about that race!


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