Since New Year's fell right at the end of my marathon training, I put off thinking about goals and plans for 2013 until after the marathon. Then I went and got the flu (or maybe a ridiculous cold, my doctor wasn't sure), which put any thoughts of 2013 out of my mind. This past week I finally had a chance to start thinking about what I want for myself this year, and it was so much fun to think about. I'm in a great place right now: happy with my family and my job, healthy and grateful for it, and hopeful and excited about running.
While I was lying in bed for a week, it occurred to me that it’s time to find a coach. I want to take it to the next level with my running. I thought about all the coaches I know of, from twitter, blogs, and word-of-mouth, and I started talking to Sean about them. After about three minutes, I had figured out who I wanted to coach me. I emailed Erin right away and she emailed me back even faster. I thought I'd shop around and talk to different people and think about it for a week or so, but when I got that email I knew right away that I didn't need to look any further.
After 20 months of running on my own, I have a coach! I am so excited about working with Erin. She's been where I am, running-wise, in the not-too-distant past. She understands having other commitments besides running (she has 12 kids!). She's one of the most positive people I've ever encountered, online or off. And she knows about working hard and improving, which is exactly what I want to do. I can't wait to start my training with her!
The second thing I thought about after getting a coach was food. I eat like crap. I'm vegetarian and I don't think I eat too much or too little, but I eat mostly white, yellow, and brown foods. Hardly any veggies or fruit. Almost all starch, and mostly wheat. I understand the concept of eating well, but it seems like too much work and not enough fun. But if I want to take my running to the next level, I know I need to eat better. More green smoothies! Less bread and potatoes!
The next thing I started thinking about was racing. My long-term goal is to qualify for Boston, and in the short term, I want to PR in the 5k, the mile, and the half marathon this year. The Boston thing seems far away given my current marathon PR of 4:23 and the fact that I'm a 37-year-old new runner who has zero in the way of talent, but this goal is about the journey. I love training more than I love racing (although I do like racing a lot), and I know that running has been really good for my MS and my health in general. So even if I never actually qualify for Boston, it will be worthwhile to try.
So far I've registered for a 5k in March and a half in April. I'm looking forward to running shorter distances and working with my coach to improve my speed. I thought I wouldn't want to run another marathon in 2013 when I finished Disney, but I'm starting to think a fall marathon might be reasonable...
So what's happening with running now? After Disney, I took two full weeks off. The first week I did some light cross training; the second week I had the flu. Last week I started recovering and running again. On Monday, I ran a really easy 3 on the treadmill. It felt really hard because of the long break and because I was still sick, and I was really proud to finish that little run.
Tuesday brought another easy 3, and Wednesday I planned 4 but only made it 2 miles on slushy, slippery sidewalks. On Thursday I took the day off, and yesterday and today I ran 3+ around 9:00 and 9:10 pace respectively. I'm starting to feel like a runner again, and I'm looking forward to the hard work that's coming.