I raced the 3M Half Marathon this weekend and am super proud of how I did. My total time was 2 hours and 18 minutes, which translates into 10:34 miles. A year ago, my 5K time averaged 12 minute miles. Now I managed to average 10:34 miles for 13 miles, and I did that after weeks of being away and not training and after running a 10K trail race the day before. I love what that says about how my fitness right now.
Now that I’m back from Africa and finding my routine at home again, I’m thinking about goals. My race plan this year is basically a repeat of last year – the Austin Marathon, St. George 70.3, Ironman Coeur d’Alene, and the Portland Marathon. Here are the fitness goals I’m setting for myself:
- Improve on last year’s times. I don’t know how much of an improvement I should shoot for, but I know I want to improve. That’s why I picked the same races. I wanted to be able to do an apples-to-apples assessment of my progress.
- I want to feel good finishing each race. Last year, during St. George in particular, I survived the race. Just barely. I don’t want to just survive this year. I want to enjoy these races and feel strong through them.
- Part of why I did so well last year is that I lost a bunch of weight – about twenty pounds. Weight loss wasn’t a goal last year; it was a byproduct of training. But I’m making it a goal this year. I’ve been hovering at 124 or 125 pounds for the past few months. I like where I am, but I have more to lose. I’d like to see what I can do if I’m intentional about it.
- I’d like to complete one endurance trail race. I took up trail running in 2012 and have run 5K, 10K and 20K races. I’d like to try my hand at something longer this year. I’m eyeing the Warda Wild Hare, which I’ve raced once before, but I’m not settled on which distance I’d like to try.
I think that’s it for this year. Consistent with my theme of simplifying, I’m keeping my fitness stuff simple too. I want to enjoy what I’m doing, see progress, and continue to push myself towards new things. When I think about, that’s true in all aspects of my life, not just fitness.
In Africa, I thought about this year’s Ironman possibly being my last. It will be my fifth. That seemed like a good number to end on, and I was thinking it might be time to pull energy from training and focus on my relationship and my writing. I was telling myself that maybe the triathlon and Ironman season of my life was coming to a close. I know my racing is indulgent in some sense. It’s fanciful and expensive and something I’ve done as a single person with disposable income but maybe it’s time to “mature” and do other things. (Can you tell I’m not immune to the judgment I’ve heard from those who don’t race?) But the more I think about it, the more I want to hold tight to my racing.
I’ve said before that my training isn’t about training, racing, or Ironman. It always has been and continues to be about my life and the vision I have for myself. I continue to want to be someone who surprises herself and presses the limits of what’s possible. Yes, I do want my relationship and all the changes that will come with that. Yes, I do want to take my writing to the next level. But I also want to continue to dazzle myself at every opportunity.
I surprised myself this weekend. I’m proud of my 2:18. And I believe I can do better, even though I’m now 40 and even with putting time towards the other aspects of my life that mean so much to me. I believe I can do it all.
Is that selfish of me? Is that immature? Is that wrong? I guess some might view it that way. But my view is that I don’t ever want to lose that confidence in myself or that joy towards my life, no matter how old I get.