Running Goals For My Upcoming Racing Season!

Running Goals For My Upcoming Racing Season!

The air is a tad cooler…. The pumpkin spice lattes are being ordered…. The light jackets are tagging along for outings…. This can only mean one thing….

WINTER IS COMING. in Florida. 😉

And with “winter” comes what I consider RUNNING SEASON. Woop!

I believe my body has really appreciated the time I’ve taken off from running. If you keep up with this blog, you may notice I did a lot less running and a lot more strength training and yoga. I completed a 12 week strengthening program, and I’ve been to various yoga studios along with incorporating more yoga/stretching on my own. To boot, I’ve made the squat rack my best friend.

While I’m going to try hard not to lose touch with those cross-training clutches, they will lessen a bit, because I know I will be running more. I truly have missed running, and I am more ready to get back out there than you know!

Below you’ll see my racing plan and goals for the next few months. I’ve written approx 20 drafts of this post, because I’m just all over the place deciding how “hard” to make my goals and what distances I want to focus on, therefore which races to sign up for. In the end, I’ve decided to throw 1 half marathon in there, because I’m due for my yearly torture, and the rest are smaller distances. I’m not signed up for all of them (yet!) and I’m sure I’ll sprinkle some more in as weeks come and go. I’m not sure I’ll be able to achieve all my goals- but isn’t that the purpose for setting them? They shouldn’t be super achievable because then what the heck do you have to work hard for?! 🙂

October: potentially 3 races-all 5ks! Ballsy? Yes. Prepared? Meh. But I’m just that excited to get running more again. Got one to celebrate the end of my 27th year, and one for Halloween because who doesn’t want to run on a ridiculous holiday. AND ONE THAT MY HUSBAND IS JOINING ME ON(<– recapped).

November & December, I’m hoping to shoot for some 5ks/10ks to work on pacing, speed intervals, and form.

Jan 17: Clearwater Half Marathon! Woop. It’s in the same family as the Halloween Halfathon I did last year… they offer 4 half’s over a 6 month span, and I’ve chosen the most difficult one to do. What!?

Wellllll… since I achieved a sub-2 at my last half, I don’t have a time goal anymore for the half. I know, I know, what a terrible runner/blogger/human being 😉 But honestly, I’m not a fan of staring at my Garmin for half my training and during the entire race to make sure I’m going to meet a goal. So I’m going for a different challenge this year with the half marathon I’ve chosen. There are 4 ascents over bridges, making this the hilliest race I’ll have run to date.

My goal is to eat those bridges up 🙂 I will feel so accomplished if I can do just that, and make that finish line crossing just as memorable as my last two. My goal here is strength, not speed. And to survive. This flat-land girl cannot handle bridges easily. Heck, climbing the 30-odd steps to get to my condo leaves me winded (wish I was kidding…)

Feb 6: Best Damn Race 5k/10k. I ran the 5k last year and loved the course and atmosphere. The weather was perfect. And it was my personal best! I’d consider the half marathon, simply because the weather is ideal during this time, and it’s a neat area of town to run through,however it’s so close to the half marathon I’m already signed up for that I don’t think my body will be recovered and ready for those miles by then. We’ll see though!

Feb 21-22 Gasparilla. Gasparilla is a running highlight in Tampa, and I have plans to partake in it again this year. Last year I ran the 15k+8k combo, and I’m not sure if I’ll do that again, or just sign up for one individual race. They offer distances 15k, 5k, 13.1, and 8k.

March. Sooooo many options I’m looking into for March. Some are past races I’ve done, but I’m also considering the Gate River Run in Jacksonville! I feel like this month is too far out to decide on which race(s) I want to do, and what distances I feel I can tackle at that time. But there will be at least one!

Come April it’s getting hot here and my running basically stops- hah! #HardCoreRunner.

There’s a good chance a lot of all the above could change— but for now, this is what I’m looking at and mentally preparing for.

My main goal here, friends, is s t r e n g t h. I’ve worked harder than I ever have before on toning up and making strength training a regular part of my routine. Along with various workout classes, I’m really hoping my strength will pull me through these races, not just fast times- which is what I was chasing (pun intended) in the past.

Of course I would like to become faster and graduate from the “middle of the pack” ….but right now it’s important for me to keep my muscles strong and secure and to avoid injury. Thankfully I haven’t been injured in a long time, but I want to keep it that way! I know my body, and I know running endless miles will only hurt me and not help me become the overall fitness gal I long to be 🙂 Of course it would be nice to run a  personal best in one of the distances (c’mon sub-25 min 5k!), but we will see where my training takes me.

Besides for feeling strong through my training and racing, I’d like to see my form improve. Race pictures in the past have made me cringe, and it’s not like I’m going for “cute” here, I just don’t want to look like the hunchback of Tampa Bay. I’m big on posture as it is, and I’d like to see it reflect when I’m running. (See: any past race recaps) 😉

Also… I want to be able to negative split the majority of my races! Negative splitting is running the second half of your run faster than the first. It’s easy to start out strong with the crowd during a race, only to realize you’re going too fast and ya slug through the second half. (Just me?) I want to work on pacing and finishing strong. Stay tuned!

So there’s my novel on my racing season that probably nobody cares about but me but I’m still typing all this out because it excites me and pumps me up for the upcoming season. Boom.