I did a good job at not letting the holidays (they seem so long ago now) interfere with my workout schedule and runs. I was committed to start strong well before the holidays, I didn’t want to start the new year behind. The mild Winter has of course made it easy to get out for plenty of runs. I am still working on a race schedule for 2012 but it is looking a little disappointing. The Spring half marathon I wanted to sign up for closed almost immediately after opening. Bummer! Two of my favorite races are on back to back weekends, and we will be on a Spring Break road trip both weekends. Double-bummer! Also there is a half marathon I was considering and it falls over Spring Break too. A race a month (almost) like I did in 2011 is clearly not going to happen. Probably for the best since I actually want to stick to a better training schedule. I think focusing on the longer distances and spreading out the races will work better. I found I did not really train for the 5Ks. The closeness of the races didn’t help either.
This year my goal is to have a more consistent schedule and improve on the pace I have built up. I had a strong start last year, but slowed up and bit. I did not vary all that much and I guess the good news is I improved, finished better than I started the year.
So pace is what I will focus. I started incorporating more regular speed training runs which has made a lot of difference. I am planning to do the Lakefront 10 in April followed by the Soldier Field 10-miler in May. That’s all I have confirmed at this point. I like this distance and I love the idea of doing it back-to-back, it will be a challenge to best my time.
Still need to work on a more detailed plan, I am trying to stay focused on the short-term goals and not the long-term plan to avoid getting lost in the details. The weather this Winter has been running friendly, up until last week anyway. Though I can’t complain about the first significant snow fall and temp drops in mid-January, this is late for these parts. Gave me a chance to finally give me Winter gear a test. They all passed with flying colors! My jacket I have had for a while, it is like this one. It is warm and water-resistant and not at all bulky. I finally invested in running gloves instead of wearing the $2 stretchy pair from the grocery store. These new gloves are perfect and breath with avoids my hands from getting hot or sweaty. My body temp runs pretty high so I dress light even on the coldest days. My biggest issue is my legs, my thighs get cold and red. It isn’t an issue until I get indoors and they start to sting a bit. I invested in running pants that got rave reviews, they are awesome. Seriously the most comfortable pants! Most importantly they do keep my legs warm and protects them from the wind. Definitely worth the investment, especially now that they are on sale. Now I just need new sunglasses. Why are they so flippin’ expensive!?! I got a late birthday gift that I am waiting to arrive too, a Road ID. Good thing to have, hope I never need it though!
We got about 8″ of fresh snow out there now, can’t wait to get out in it.