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Martini Fridays: GOOOOOALs.

By the time you read this, it will be a new year. I hope yours has been pleasant so far. Mine kicked off with a long, sleepy drive back home after a wonderful few days in the mountains. I’m not quite back on my game yet so bear with me.

I’m largely indifferent about New Year’s Eve and the celebration thereof. I don’t really drink anymore — the White Russian I quaffed on Christmas is the more booze than I’d had the previous six months — and I can’t stay awake much past 10 p.m. My first thought most New Year's Eves is “Thank the heavens I’m not in Times Square.”

You know you want to party with me. And by “party,” of course, I mean “sit around and drink fancy coffee and turn in at a reasonable hour.”

Who doesn't love a vacation run around a lake?
Who doesn't love a vacation run around a lake?

I’ve been running a bit during the weeks since we last “spoke” but nothing to really get excited about. Just end-of-the-year-no-real-goal maintenance runs to keep the grumpies at bay. With one exception, they’ve all been perfectly fine.

The one exception was a Thursday morning run two weeks ago that was awful in nearly every way a run can be awful. My body didn’t feel like mine. My clothes irritated me. My belly was unhappy. But I ran anyway. While I want to say I felt some kind of great satisfaction at having pushed through, I didn’t. I was really just glad I was back at my house (and my bathroom) where it was warm and there was no more running.

We’ve also fully transitioned into the time when outdoor runs are simply fraught with peril and I’m spending more time on my college’s indoor track. It’s not ideal but I can endure it if it means I don’t fall on my arse because some slackers don’t shovel their sidewalks.

The oh-so-thrilling view from the indoor track.
The oh-so-thrilling view from the indoor track.

Yes, I own and use Yaktraks. But those work best when everything is snowy. In our neighborhood, however, some patches of sidewalks never do get shoveled and simply become icy sheets. Running in the plowed road is a bad idea because the piled-up snow makes the streets extra narrow, which means the cars are even closer. Which is a long way around to tell you what I’ve already told you: the indoor track is the best of the unpleasant options most days.

Not only is this the time of treacherous footing, it’s also the time of year when a young (I know. Let me have this.) mother runner’s mind turns to goals for the next year.

I’ve already committed to two big races for 2015: the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in May and the Wineglass Half in October. My standard running goal is to make it to the starting lines of each in good enough shape to make it to the finish line.

Something happened in November 2014 to make me rethink my standard running goal. My Philly Half experience of pacing Kelly for the first half of her full made me realize that it’s OK to set the challenge bar up another notch. I know. I’m not sure who I am anymore either.

No, I’m not running a marathon in 2015. It’s not lack of desire but a deficit of training time. There may be a year in the future when it will work out. This is not that year.

I would, however, like see how fast I can get this body to go before another year passes. My say-it-out-loud goal for Pittsburgh is to see how close to 2:15 I can get. I ran my last half in 2:30 so that seems within the realm of possibility.

Or I could be completely delusional. I’m good with that, too, if only because my delusions keep me entertained.

adrienne resolution

As helpful as the AMR Race It plan was for my 2:30 finish, my brain still had to process that training details, like how fast and when and where, that I’m not even a little bit qualified to figure out. A recent mother runner podcast made me realize how useful a coach could be. So I found one — and as it happens, said coach Sara (yes, another Sara) is about to become a new mother runner herself.

Sara, who will need a good nickname, has already loaded the first few workouts I need to do. My relief at not having to think about them is nearly a tangible thing. As is my fear of the first one, which is a standard heart rate test that “I should feel like I’m going to die” by the last couple of minutes of.

Remind me again how this is a good idea? Rest assured that I’ll be blogging this journey, too, if on an every-other-week schedule for the first few months of the year. Misery does indeed love company.

As for my other goals, I intend to rest on rest days like a mighty thing that rests. I’m also going to recharge at a certain retreat in April, which should fall just before my pre-Pittsburgh taper. I suspect I’ll be looking for some company on a long run or two, even if I have to go to Arkansas to find it.

This year, too, I want to find a way to give back — but I’m not sure yet what that will look like. I have a box o’ gear to send on to Heart Strides but can totally do more. So, mother runners, how do you give back to the running community?

Above all else, I will enter every race intending to earn my chicken, which has become my race mantra. What does it mean to earn your chicken? Pay for your post-race bagel, chocolate milk, soft pretzel, or, yes, chicken lunch by pouring all you have into each step.

Even if that’s all I manage in 2015, it will still be a fulfilling year.

11 responses to “Martini Fridays: GOOOOOALs.

  1. Oh, I forgot that you were interested in the Pgh Half! I’m (knock on wood) running the full, and another BAMR is coming in for the half. I hope we can all find a time to meet up!

    Looking forward to reading more as you train on, Martini! 🙂

  2. Watching Times Square on New Year’s Eve (I’ve been there on a normal day and was claustrophobic) all I can say is ‘You couldn’t pay me to be there.’

    If you’re thinking of adding an extra challenge, how about The Runner of Steel Challenge at the Pittsburgh Marathon? 5k Saturday and either the half or full Sunday. I am registered for the Challenge (and the full, depending on how training goes.)

    Looking forward to some ideas from others on to how to give back to the running community.

    Happy running in 2015!

  3. You sound like exactly the person I would like to party with. But no caffeine for me after 3 PM, I don’t want to be kept up too late, you know?

    I have been running indoors too. I have a very close relationship with a certain treadmill at the fitness center I go to.

    Best of luck with training in 2015. A marathon is not on my radar either, due to time constraints. I have a young son, and the extra long runs on the weekends are not something I can do right now. When he is a few years older and wants nothing to do with me, I will consider that distance then. But for now, half marathons are where it’s at!

    I am planning on volunteering at races in the future. That’s how I plan on giving back!

  4. I’ll never apologize for running inside or on a treadmill! I slipped on ice while walking (walking!!!) injuring my hip yet again, and setting me months behind as far as my hamstring injury. Winter and ice blow.

    Love your posts, that you share the good and the bad I. Such an honest, fresh way. Can’t wait to read more of your 2015 journey, including the good, bad and ugly!

  5. After a few years back running half marathons, this year’s goal is to run faster, especially since I am in a new age group. I am also signed up for Wineglass and the “spring” Syracuse half (it snowed last year) and planning on some others.

    I try to run outdoors all winter. I am running in trail shoes this winter and that helps a lot on the never ending snow and ice. As do the Knuckle lights, since it is dark all the time, or so it seems.

    I sent a box to Heart Strides as well. With so many races now providing tech shirts, I had more than I could use, so I was happy to put them to good use.

    For giving back, when I can arrange my day off mid-week (I work 4 10 hour days) I run w/ dogs from our animal shelter.

  6. I’m running the Pgh Half this year as well (my second time; first was in 2013). Will you plan an AMR get-together? I live an hour away, but would love to hang out!

  7. I want to train for a 1/2 marathon this year. When will your training plans start? Do y recommend any races in the upstate of sc? Do u have any contacts in sc? I would also like to do the Disney 1/2 half? Can u give any recommendations

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