Monday, December 17, 2012

Live Like There's No Tomorrow

With many running friends on Facebook, I'm always seeing quotes and motivational statuses being posted.  Quotes about living like there's no tomorrow and things to that nature.  I'm guilty of it myself.  There's nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned quote to get you fired up, but many times I find myself reading or posting a quote to feel good but not really taking its meaning to heart.  It's easy to dream and to come up with goals, but another to actually follow a plan and reach your goal.  It's hard to truly love what you do day in and day out.  I'm sure many of my running friends if given the chance would love to quit their day jobs and travel the country running a new trail every day.  However, I think it's the challenges in life and less desirable moments that make the time on the trail and time with family and friends more meaningful.  If you can find meaning and joy out of the daily interactions with others in every way, the happier you'll be.  Often times it's all a matter of perspective.  If you have a bad outlook on people in general, you'll only see faults and not the good in them.  More times than not, a friendly smile or hello can lead to a conversation you wouldn't expect.  It's easier to contact people you care about in the technology-driven world we live in now.  Faster and easier doesn't always mean better though.  Take the time to talk to a stranger or call that old friend you haven't talked to in years.  Living like there's no tomorrow, to me, doesn't mean skydiving or buying a Ferrari, but instead means taking time each day to focus on the things that really matter.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

New year, new goals

With the end of the year approaching, I've given some thought to what races or challenges I'd like to take on next year.  A few months ago after finishing the Oil Creek 100K, I would've said a 100 miler was in the plans for sure, but after the usual soreness of doing an ultra longer than 50K went away I realized that the 100 mile distance was something I neither desired nor was ready for at this point.

My IT band has hurt since the 100K and I haven't run any significant mileage since.   However if I could do Oil Creek all over again, I wouldn't change anything except maybe lift more with my legs in the months leading up to the race.  I had IT band problems last year on the other knee which seemed to linger.  I'd like to get back to running, but have enjoyed the break from it.  I've been lifting and swimming laps at the rec.  One thing I've definitely noticed from swimming in the past is that it's a great workout and a great substitute to running when injured.  I've swam for months in the past while injured and when I came back to running, I felt like I lost nothing aerobically.

So next year my main goal is to get back to running and do it consistently and get back to doing it for the pure enjoyment of it instead of getting caught up in the number of miles run.  Nothing is better than the feeling of being in top shape, not from a short two or three month training plan, but from the fitness that results from month after month of slowly building up strength and endurance.

My second goal is to get a road marathon PR.  This is something that I've wanted to do since my last PR at Cleveland in 2009.  And not getting any younger, I feel like next year is as good as any to try and break 3 hours for a marathon.  Eight minutes is a lot to cut off, but we'll see....

My third goal is to try a new race.  Something out West like Pikes Peak would be great, but even a smaller race in PA or another close state would be fine.

The last thing (at least that I can think of now) that I'd like to do next year is to camp more, either in a tent or a cabin, near trails like Mohican or the Laurel Highlands and make it into a running/hiking weekend with friends.