The Coming Year....

It's been a while since I wrote anything, but I'll continue with the theme of my last post...changes. I didn't feel like waiting until the new year to start making the changes I wanted. Well that is besides all the healthy eating. I've had a lot, and I mean a lot, of goodies around this holiday season. I have goals for the new year that I want to meet, but I'm not really a whole believer in that whole "new years resolution" thing. New Years resolutions are always broken or forgotten about. Instead, I am setting goals for myself.

One change that I DID make so far was to my hair. Yes, I know this doesn't have to do with running, but it's still a change. I've been wanting to make my hair darker for a while, but I've always been too chicken. Well, I decided to go for it. I didn't think it could be too bad, and I decided to take a risk. And I love it!
My new dark hair!

And now on to future changes. The first huge goal I am setting is to run my first marathon. I've decided I will register for the Chicago Marathon for 2013. I started running in Feburary of this year and ran my first half-marathon within 2 and a half months. When the racing season started up again I ran 5 more. And I have more planned coming up soon. Sometimes I think adding another 13.1 miles to the length I've already accomplished seems almost impossible. Then I remember I couldn't run a mile straight in Feb. So,  I run 13.1 more than I could when I started. I can double that. I just need to train and dedicate myself to it. And I will. 
I'm going to register!!

On Feburary 19, I will register for my first marathon! And what makes this more amazing, is that my cousin, Adele, says she is going to come run it with me - for her first marathon as well! So I'm super excited. I'm excited to do Chicago because it is one of the major marathons and will have a huge spectator support system. I think that will help me get through any mental blocks. It's also flat, and hopefully the temperature will be good for me to run in. It should be in October in Chicago. I run better in the cooler temps and I don't do well with hills. The race also takes place Oct 13, which is right after my birthday. So it will be a celebration for me. (I apologize if some of this is repetative from my last post)

I've been looking at some training programs and marathon training should officially start for me on June 11th! 
My training program
I've written out the training program in my planner already so I can tell when I'd be running the longer milage, so I can plan anything accordingly around it.  And so I know when I should be doing my half-marathon. That should fall on Aug 4th. Unfortunately Florida wont be having any halves in August so I'd have to travel. I'm thinking perhaps the Pittsburg Rock n Roll Half. 

Considering the fact that I have this huge goal planned for next year I am going to become more consistent with my running. I also am going to try to get stronger and cross training at the gym. I've been talking to other runners for advice and tips on training, and of course welcome any other ideas for preparing.

As for right now, I've been getting back on track with running and strength training. I've been working on my core every morning for a few minutes before work. I registered for a virtual half-marathon to support the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary. With the virtual half you don't have to do the 13.1 miles all at once, you just have to complete them by January 31. I was going to just do the whole half, but I decided to get back in the routine of running 3 times a week. 
Bib from the virtual half marathon
On Saturday morning I headed out with Anna (finally) for a group run on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. Acorrding to the training schedule I have for my next half, Disney, I was scheduled to run 10k. We decided that would work. It was cold! Considering that Florida has been so warm, 45 degrees seemed frigid! I wore two layers on top, and capris with my compression sleeves on my legs. I don't have full length tights, so that was the best I could come up with for the cold. Once I got started running I felt good out there. For a little while my foot started to feel a little numb, but it eventually went away. 
One of the things that surprised me about the run was running the overpass. I don't do well on any kind of incline, and usually get very out of breath. But each way, I kept a steady pace, and got up and over just fine.

6.2 miles towards the half, 6.9 to go!

On Monday, Christmas Eve, I headed to the gym. I ran a 5k on the treadmill. I decided that treadmill workouts bore me and I just can't wait until they're over. I did some strength training for my arms and legs.

9.3 miles done, 3.8 to go!

While walking around the gym I noticed that I actually had visible muscle in my calves. I've always hated my legs, and never had any kind of visible muscle tone. I don't have full length mirrors at home, so I can't really see below my knees. I guess I hadn't noticed that my legs were getting stronger. I guess all the miles I have been running recently have been making me stronger. This gave me more motivation. Hard work pays off!

And so that brings me to today - Christmas! Today I worked, and stuffed myself with all kinds of yummy food. I DO need to live a litte. And I like food way too much to really cut too much of it out! I got to play with Frankie - the cutest dog, that I am pet sitting. It makes me want a puppy even more than I have been lately.
Merry Christmas from me and Frankie!

I plan on running the other 3.8 miles on Thursday. And then hopefully 9 miles over the weekend. 

On another note, I was supposed to run the NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5k back in November in NYC. It got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. I never heard anything, nor did I think I would. I thought it was just cancelled and that was that. After all the commotion about the marathon I didn't think they cared much about the people who had just signed up for a measly ol' 5k. Well I was wrong, they e-mailed me a few days ago. Unfortunately I don't get a refund, I could basically just transfer my registration to another race. Which would be fine, if i lived in NY. I could do a New Years Eve run - not going to happen, a 4 mile race on Feb 2 - also not going to happen - too cold in NY, and running a half here Feb 3, the Staten Island Half - can't do, it's Oct 13, same day as the Chicago Marathon. The only race left was the Bronx 10miler. It's scheduled for Sept 8th, but subject to change. 
So, I registered for the Bronx 10miler. I figured I might as well register for the only one I could do if I wound up being able to be in NY in Sept. It's not too cold then, I have friends there. So maybe I'll go ahead and do it. But I'm supposed to be running 18 miles Sept 8! Just keeping my options open!

I also found this picture of me from the Space Coast Marathon, and I really like how my legs look.

That was a really fun pace group to run with. I couldn't keep up after mile 6, but I'm glad I ran with them!

And on a final note, I leave you all with this:

If you want something, just go for it!