Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking Back and Ahead

2012 was a good year. The highlight was definitely standing atop the world podium with my awesome USA teammates at the 100k World Championships. TransRockies was also an epic week, and in some ways, it truly was life changing. I ran 15 races in 2012, which included a 3k cross country race, a local 5k, several 50k's, a high altitude 50 miler, two 100k's, a trail 100 in a dreadfully slow time and a track 100 in a fast time. I traveled to Italy, California, Arizona, Washington, Texas twice and Colorado twice for running events. Certainly not the globetrotting a lot of top ultrarunners are doing these days, but I feel lucky to get to any new place just to run, even Texas! (Just kidding, I have always loved the winter trips to Texas).

I think it is a good idea to be continually setting new goals for oneself, rather than just putting together resolutions for the new year. However, January 1st does feel like the beginning of a new cycle, especially since I am just coming off a couple of down weeks and am getting ready to ramp things up a bit. So here are my running goals for 2013:

1) Run 3,000 miles. In general, I don't care about my mileage all that much. I track it, but if my week ends at 59 miles, so be it. And when I am tired I take days off. In fact, I take a lot of days off, because after races, I am tired! But I have been within 200 miles of 3K the last three years (last year only off by 31 miles). So this year I plan to be over...just because.

2) Race fewer miles. Note that I did not say race fewer times! I love to race and I usually rise to the occasion. I like the anticipation, the strategizing, the feeling of giving it everything. I also like running in different places and seeing different people. But I almost felt like this year, I was recovering or tapering all the time, without very many solid blocks of training, one of the reasons my mileage stays low. Also, I did a few races where I was not at my prime and my results showed it. Substituting a few 10k's and half marathons for 50k's hopefully will scratch the racing itch, but allow me to get back to training more quickly.

3) Nail Western States. I don't have a place goal or even an exact time goal (though, at least sub-20 hours). I don't care if I miss the top 10, I just want to finish the race and feel like I had a really good run for me. So far, I have struck out! Maybe 4th time is the charm. I know a lot of people obsess over Western States, and I agree it really is something special, but I am ready to mix things up a bit and try something different than WS. But first, I want to feel like I ran it one time really, really well.

4) Another gold for Team USA. The US women should be fielding another very strong team this year. The British team is also likely to be very strong, especially if Ellie is on the team. But hopefully, the US can hang on to the gold and I certainly like to do my part to see that happen.

5) Break the 200km American Record. This was my goal for Desert Solstice. I got a little greedy and let another goal get in the way. I am not unhappy with my decision or the outcome (well, ok, I wanted sub 15 hours, but I am still happy). However, I have unfinished business, so it looks like 500 laps on a track is in my near future. Shocking that more people don't attempt this, huh? ;)

6) Nutrition. Good goals are suppose to be concrete and measurable. I don't really have one for this category as I am not trying to hit a number on a scale or follow a specific diet plan like Whole 30. But I eat too much junk food and it is all sugary sweets. I have no desire (or will power) to cut out all treats, but I need to get rid of the attitude of, "Wow, somebody brought doughnuts to work, so this must be a sign from the Heavens above that I should eat a doughnut today." Mostly, I wouldn't care, except a lot of people are talking about nutrition helping with recovery. I don't think my recovery is great. Time to stop whining and start trying new things.

7) Do Yoga. I hate to stretch. It is boring, it hurts and it is a painful reminder that I am as flexible as a 2x4. So I bought a ten punch card to a local yoga place. I plan to use it once a week. If I still hate it, at least I can say I did yoga for a while whenever someone else suggests it to me.

8) Address my lower ab/groin/hip pain. I always call this my pelvic pain, but I don't know that it has anything to do with my pelvis. My lower abs feel tethered; I get a pinch in the inguinal region when I lunge or step up on something high. This started last year around CIM. It bothers me, but it doesn't stop me from running. It was at its worst right around Bandera, but it has never gone away. So I am going to have my C-section scar dry needled (needle in a haystack??) and will see PT if that doesn't work. Again, time to stop wishing and start doing. Besides, the wishing didn't work. :)

Hope you have some great goals for the New Year, too. So much to look forward to in 2013!


Anonymous said...

Hi Pam--I'm an ultrarunner, mom of 1 living in Springfield (also a PT, but on sabbatical while SAHM)... anyway... pinch in inguinal... could it be Femoral anterior glide syndrome (or femoral anterior impingement = other name)... usually that's a wee bit more lateral than directly along the inguinal region, but still possible... wouldn't give you a "tethered abs" feeling however... just a thought... lots of post hip stretches, capsular mobs for rx. Happy racing and training!
Kristin Z

Pam said...

Kristin- thanks for the idea about the hip stuff. I will have to look into those things. Happy New Year. And happy training and racing to you, too!