Monday, February 10, 2014

Why I Love To Run & 2014 Goal Update

Ever since I started running, I often get the question, "why do you love running so much?" Well over the past few weeks since running my first marathon, I've really been reflecting on that question. Truth be told there are several reasons, but one has been really sticking out to me -

Running has taught me that nothing is impossible.

It has taught me that hard work, determination, passion, and commitment can get you anywhere you want to go.

Two years ago I thought running a marathon was impossible for an average person like me. I thought you had to be naturally athletic to ever do something like that. Someone like me, who was never any good at sports, couldn't ever run 26.2 miles. Running 1 mile was a stretch, let alone a 5K. But over the past year and a half, that "impossible" task of running a marathon, not only happened, but it didn't even seem "hard". Now, I'm not saying that running a marathon is a stroll in the park. But all those hours of logging mile after mile, of getting up at 5am to get my run in before work, of spending half of my Saturday running - it was worth it. As you continue to build a running base, things that once seemed impossible (running 5K, then 10k, then 10 miles, a half marathon, a full marathon), they don't feel that hard anymore. Of course there are days they can feel hard. And there are things I can do to make them harder, such as pushing my pace, covering more elevation, etc. But the point is, if you actually work towards something, you can do it.

Running truly has taught me that I can do anything. 

Which is why I set a pretty big goal for 2014. One race per month, the majority of which are fairly tough races. But I know I can do it. One day at a time, one mile at a time.

Which brings me to a few updates on my 2014 goals and plans that I discussed in a previous post. I've decided to change a few races and a few goals.

For starters, I'm going to remove my mileage goal (after completing 1700+ last year, I had set a goal to log 2000 miles this year). I still hope to log a lot of miles, but I don't want to be so incredibly focused on that specific number this year. If I feel like I need to take a rest day, I want to be able to do that without worrying about whether I'm going to hit my mileage. If I want to do a hill workout, which takes more time and effort but covers less miles, I want to do that. If I want to stop my run a mile early to get in strength training, then I want to be able to do that.

Second, I changed a few of my planned races. The main reason for this, is that I am now a member of the Colorado Beef Running Team! Which means, I get to run in certain races that they have pre-selected - so that factored into my plans a little bit. I think for the better though! They have some great race options and I'm looking forward to being part of a team and representing the Colorado Beef Council.

So, here is my, for the most part, finalized 2014 race schedule. The only months not completely solidified are November and December, plus I may add a few local "fun" races in. Bold races mean I've already put in the big bucks and registered.

1/12 - Walt Disney World Marathon (check!)

2/8 - Black Canyon Rim Romp 8K Snowshoe Race
2/15 - Moab Red Hot 33K Trail Race

3/22 - Gemini Adventures 24 Hours of Moab 50K

4/19 - Gemini Adventures Desert RATS Trail Running Festival - Trail Marathon
(I will also be volunteering the next day at the Half Marathon & 5 Mile Races)

5/3 - Girls on the Run 5K (I am also coaching - so I will definitely be more focused on being with the girls on my team and less on actually "racing")
5/4 - Cimarron 50K (Probably didn't need to do this one, but I couldn't pass up a 50% off coupon - the plan is treat it more as a training run for Leadville).
5/17 - Black Canyon Ascent
5/26 - Bolder Boulder 10K (with my Dad!)

6/14 - Leadville Trail Marathon

7/19 - Aspen Valley Marathon or Full (I am going to sign up for the full, but may decide to switch to the half closer to the race date). This is a Team Beef Race!

8/16 - Pikes Peak Ascent (again, if I get in - registration opens March 12 and sells out FAST). Also a Team Beef Race.

9/27 - Bear Chase 50 Mile (wasn't going to sign up for a 50 Miler until after my first 50K...but I once again couldn't pass up a good coupon code...I think I may have a problem)

10/5 - Black Canyon North Rim 20K
10/19 - Denver Rock-n-Roll Marathon or Half (again, will register for the full, but may decide to switch to the half closer in). Another Team Beef race.

11/9 - Rim Rock Marathon or Relay OR Moab Trail Marathon or Half - my plan is to keep this month open for awhile and get through a few tough months before deciding what I want to officially do.

12/6 - Westminster Fa La La Half Marathon

So there you have it. I know, to the non-running eye, I am what some might consider "crazy"...but to a lot of other runners, I'm not too bad ;). I'm just having so much fun pushing myself to new distances that once seemed impossible! It's a cool feeling - trust me!

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