I had posted a couple/few months back that I had some time goals for different distances. Those were:
• 5K – 26:41 for an 8:36 pace
• 10K – 55:24 for an 8:56 pace
• half marathon – 2:03 for a 9:24 pace
• marathon – 4:20:00 for a 9:55 pace
All of these goals are completely doable for me…with the proper training. I had originally hoped to hit all of these goals by the end of this year. I am super close to hitting my 5K goal (or I was a back in May when I ran the Stand Up 5K in 27:14…a mere 33 seconds off my goal time), but with this break, I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull it off by the end of this year. (I do have two 5Ks planned for September.) But I won’t let that stop me from trying to hit the 5K goal this year. That being said, beyond my 5K goal, I have abandoned all time goals for this year. I have made this decision after a lot of thought and soul searching. Because of the break I’m taking, I will lose some speed. I will be able to pick it back up, but it will take a little time. I’m completely okay with this.
I have reset all my current time goals for next year. And I have come up with just a marathon goal for the following year. I want to be able to complete a marathon in 3:42:00 or faster by September 2017 so that I can qualify to run Boston in 2018. That won’t be easy. And I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to do it on my own. A while back, I joined an Austin Runners Meetup group, but haven’t gone to any of the runs they’ve posted. So, I’ve decided that next year, I will start joining them for runs and will make a point to pick people that are faster than my comfortable pace to run with so that I can get a good tempo run workout in when I run with them. I don’t think this group does track workouts or any kind of structure speed workouts or fartlek runs, but maybe some of the members would like to meet up once a week to do those kinds of runs. Worst case scenario, I ask the other members and none of them are interested in doing speed work. But, I’m pretty sure that at least one person would like to join me for speed work.
I also want to add hills to my weekly workouts next year. I’d actually like to add them this year, after I’m done with my break. I recently went to a wedding out in the hill country to the west of Austin where the rich people live. The hills there are fantastic. Let me tell you that I could probably do 2-4 miles of hills in this area and be completely spent. Totally worth the 30-ish minute drive each way to run them, though, even for the short distance I’d be able to do. There is also a nature trail near the country club where the wedding was that I’d like to check out and see if it’s runnable. There is also a nature preserve in the same vicinity that I have gone on hikes in previously that I know is runnable, so that is also an option for trail/hill work.
So, add in some fartleks and hill work after my break and make an effort to start running with the Austin Runners Meetup (ARM) group for some tempo and long runs (hopefully…not sure what their idea of a long run is…might be doing those on my own). Next year, more fartleks and hill work and running with ARM. Also, next year, I will PLAN to take a 1-2 month break from running, most likely during July and August. Those are the hottest months of the year and therefore the most miserable to run in. I use that time to focus on cross training with cycling and more gym time and rowing and stair climber and workout DVDs.