Boston, Trails, and Pondering Goals

The Boston Marathon today was amazing, from Meb winning to seeing/tracking many friends cross the finish line. Marathon Monday is always one of the most inspiring days of the year for running. It was especially weird this year; I kept remembering being there in person last year, cheering for everyone, and of course the sadness that ensued later in the race. I can't stop thinking about how scared everyone was and how eery the evening became. But all in all, the positive vibes and messages today were an important reminder of how strong the running community is and how every comes together. I love being a runner, and I love the community of runners. A big congrats to everyone who finished the Boston Marathon!

Oiselle teammate Ellen is in this photo on the far right by the clock. Love the live stream!

Sporting the Boston shirt for Marathon Monday.

In other news, I tried trail running again last weekend. Although it left my hip flexor and adductor a little more sore than usual afterwards - not to mention the fact that my trail running self is out of shape - I thought it went very well. That said, my ankles and calves hated me for the entirety of last week after being on the trail. I suppose it's been a while since the body dealt with the uneven terrain and climbing (although this was a only moderate climb trail run, about 900 feet in 5 miles.) I'm running a trail 10K with my friend Alisyn this weekend at Folsom Lake, so we'll see how that goes. I'd hoped to return to my 50K goal during 2014 but I'm having second thoughts.

So what are my race goals? I'm still trying to figure it out! Of course, the NYC Marathon is a huge goal for me in November. My 50K goal, which was supposed to be in June but was tabled due to injury, is up in the air. Just a couple of weeks ago I thought I'd go for it and applied to the McKenzie 50K lottery, but I found out this past weekend that I didn't get into the race. (Side note, I should give up on lotteries. I'm 1 for 6 in race lotteries and haven't 'won' since 2011.) As I look for other potential 50K races, I find myself wavering on what I really want long term. I still have some fear that my injuries came from trail running and I seem to be a huge klutz with falls and ankle twists lately.

I'm also registered to run the SF Marathon in July and haven't yet decided what I want to do. I'm tempted to drop to the half, although one reason was so I could focus on trails and a 50K in the fall. If I decide not to make my goal for the year a trail 50K, maybe I want to run the full in SF? I keep thinking of a conversation I had with Erin after Ragnar and her great advice: think about long term goals, what you want from running. If I'm worried about too-much-too-soon and re-injury, maybe the full at SF isn't the right goal this year. If a fall trail 50K is my big goal, maybe I train more slowly for that instead. Then again, maybe neither one is what I want right now and I make NYC my only marathon for the year. I'd be ok with that. I'm still pondering what I want most from running in the near future, and I change my mind (too) often right now.

Does anyone else change their mind on running goals often? How do you decide what you really want to do?

Ending with a cat selfie, because he posed so well.

  1. Choosing races and deciding on goals is hard for me too! I usually pick a few lofty goals but then still want to race leading up to them - I just try not to do too much so that I can actually get quality training in for the goal race. I don't really like to run races without knowing I can do my best but I also like racing quite often....it's really too bad we can't just race all the time and get PRs and never get injured isn't it!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a good point - pick the big goals and try not to race too much. In the past I've been bad about the 'not racing too much' part because I get excited and sign up for everything!

      Delete
  2. A few years ago, I realized that decision making is a bit easier for me if I ask myself, "What would I regret more?" In terms of running and athletic endeavors, when you're a little old lady looking back on it, what will you want to make sure you'll have accomplished, or made a valiant effort at? If you can answer that question, start there, no matter how big the goal may seem. Sure, you can add other goals along the way, but do the big ones. If there's a race you really want to run, a number you want to reach (time or numbers of races), or a distance you want, then make that the first priority. As I have unfortunately learned, you never know when it will get taken away from you -- so don't waste time on things you think you're "supposed" to do. Go after what will make you the happiest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right. Especially after your comment and one other (plus my discussion with Erin mentioned in the post) I'm thinking that slow will be better. SF Marathon will be there next year, better to take the big goal at NYC later in the year and give myself time. I'm so sorry you are still injured. :( I think of you a lot and hope for the best.

      Delete
  3. I know its so hard!! I want to run everything!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It IS hard!!!! Especially after I sign up for something - I never want to bail even when it would be in my best interest!

      Delete
  4. I find this super confusing as well! Last summer and this summer I seem to be giving up my dream of a half marathon PR in favor of marathon training. During the winter I focus on snowboarding, so the half PR dream seems unattainable given my other goals/priorities!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally get that - I also usually focus on skiing and not running in the winter, but stupid hip flexor hated skiing too! Haha. Hard to do too many things at once.

      Delete
  5. I've thinking about my fall racing schedule and am also experiencing some indecision about what to do. My original plans included a trail marathon in October and possibly running CIM in December. However, I'm getting a little burnt out on marathons (I'll have run 2 in 2014 by the end of this month), so when I heard that some friends were signing up for a half marathon in October, that made me rethink my schedule. Now I'm leaning towards doing the half in October and running a trail marathon in December. My reasoning is that I immediately felt *way* more excited about the new plan, which was a good sign, and I always prefer racing with friends versus solo.

    My 2 cents: in light of your injury/recovery, I think it might be wise to drop down to the half marathon for SF. Rebuild a solid base slowly and I think you'll have lots of successful running in the fall and beyond. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feeling excited matters a ton - when I think about that after reading your comment, I realize I'm NOT excited to train for a full right now (SF) and that I'm much more excited about the idea of running the 1st half in SF and taking it slow. Thank you for the comment!

      Also I hope you figure out your decision as well, burned out is never good. Racing the same places as friends is so much more fun.

      Delete
  6. My racing schedule has been up in the air since Jan 1 and it's constantly changing. So much that I miss out on the 'planned' goals I wanted ie. Surfer's Path Marathon. Now I'm trying to decide whether or not to sign up for SFM full or just do a half (eventually I want all 3 done). Add triathlon desires and it's a boatload of crazies here. :\ I feel like i need/should do one more full before other possible life changes next year. argh.

    I agree with those saying to drop down to the SFM half. Build yourself back up and focus on that awesome goal of NYC. If you really really want the 50k to cap off your running year, then a fall/winter one would work best after NYC (used as partial training?) or a great way to start 2015.

    I know how hard it is to want to do ALL THINGS. Frustrating, isn't it? lol.

    I just got the email you're not doing Ragnar Napa? :(

    ReplyDelete
  7. Goals are what keep running interesting for sure. They don't always have to be about speed or PRs of course.

    I think it takes at least a few years of consistent training to 'toughen up' the tendons and ligaments that hold everything together. So my advice is don't be in a hurry doing too much too soon especially if you had some grumbling from your body recently.

    I think running the half is a good idea given that you are on the comeback trail. SFM is not an easy marathon even running it at an 'easy' pace.




    ReplyDelete

What are you thinking? Let me know!

Popular posts from this blog

  • As you may remember, I've been doing my best to follow the Hanson half marathon plan for the last couple of months with a race goal of the SF Half Marathon . The Hanson plans focus on building cumulative fatigue, and let me say right now I'm finding out how that works. My legs and body really feel it with every run at this point, and dare I say I haven't even run the plan to its fullest. There are quite a few things I love about the Hanson plans and also a few parts that have been very challenging for me. What I love. Training paces: The book outlines training paces based on your goal times. Although I initially thought they sounded too slow, I'm learning that keeping these paces isn't always as easy as it sounds once the legs are super tired. The paces start to make sense. Hard days versus easy days: They focus on hard effort days followed by easy effort days, meaning the hard days are really hard and the easy are really easy. I love this. I feel like I have
    Keep reading
  • This post is dedicated to a few friends who have recently started running or will be soon - they know who they are. And they ROCK! Running has done so much for my life, and I want people to know why I love it and to encourage others to stick with running too. The story of how I started is in the 'Why I Run' tab of this blog, but for this post I'm focused why I keep running. Here it is, not necessarily in order of importance. 1. Running relieves stress. When I feel anxious or have had a rough day, running always helps. I often can't wait until it's time to run that day, and sometimes I sneak out at lunch instead of waiting until after work. It makes me feel amazingly focused and happy for the rest of the day. I don't even run with music - I enjoy listening to my footsteps and freeing my mind in the great outdoors. 2. Running makes me happy. The runner's high is real, and I'm addicted. I love nothing more than feeling the exhausted-happiness I get af
    Keep reading
  • On Saturday, I ran the Lake Chabot Trail Half Marathon in Castro Valley, CA. It was my first Inside Trail Racing event, and I was very impressed with the race organization. I've been trail running for a few months now, but this is only my third trail race event; I love how much more laid back the races are and how everyone seems really into it. I know I am! Exploring new trails and parks is a fantastic way to spend a day. I didn't go into this race with specific goals, I wanted to run the hills as much as I could and use it as a hard training run. I ended up feeling really good, the weather was cool but sunny, and the lake views were pretty. This half didn't have as much elevation gain as many trail races and parts were on paved bike trail, so it was definitely easier than the other trail races I've done. The drive was only about 40 minutes from San Jose and I was there in plenty of time to get parking, pick up my race bib, and to chat with friends. I knew quite a f
    Keep reading