Sunday, January 31, 2016

Goals vs. Priorities:Thoughts that made me go, "Hmmm..."

Hmmmmm....

There have been a lot of things on my mind recently, and a lot of interesting things happening regarding my goals vs. my priorities.

First, we have that impossible-to-predict weather. December was very mild in Iowa (no snow on the ground until Christmas Eve). January has been very cold, but the snow hasn't been too bad. We are expecting a big storm to dump on us starting Monday evening, and it's supposed to last through sometime on Wednesday. My goal is to always run outside, regardless. My priority, though, is to be safe. Ugh. I may be hopping on the 'mill (again) this week.

More snow is on the way....I'm glad none of my winter gear is packed away
Then, there's that little thing going on with my off-season. The off-season that had a record number of streaking miles (This old gal ran 92 miles from Thanksgiving Day through New Years Day). I even ran a last-minute 15K (and a 5K) while on vacation in California at the end of year. All of this happened and I was able to maintain my injury-free status!! My priority has been to remain injury-free...so far, so good!

Another thing that's been a little out-of-the ordinary for me is the fact that (as of yet) I have no big goals for 2016 ....and we're already entertaining February. I have several mid-distance races on the calendar (most of which are bought and paid for), but I'm not feeling the urge to over-extend myself (or impress anyone) with countless events and races. Let's be honest, racing does not come cheap and it's a serious time commitment as well (not just in training, but in travel time). Again, with being injury-free a main priority, I am choosing to cut back on the racing and training.

That said, I am in search of a destination race (or maybe a couple). I had hoped to venture back to Duluth and do Grandma's Marathon (only this time I'd have a better spring training regimen to get me there)....but "procrastination karma" kind of bit my buttocks. The registration for Grandma's sold out a couple months ago, so that won't be happening for me in 2016. I am planning on returning for the Christmas in July Ultra and reuniting with the gals from last summer, but I'd like another big event to do as well. Last year, Grandma's was four weeks prior to the CIJ, and the training/taper worked well for both of these because I ran each race for endurance and not for speed. So, my tentative plan is to find a race within 5-6 weeks (before or after) July 16th (I'd consider that a definite goal). Any suggestions?

While at the Christmas in July Ultra, I felt the need to give Santa a U of I Hawkeye tattoo (someone had to do it)
Also, I have been enjoying the pure bliss of being (mostly) injury-free. Sure, I have had some aches and stiffness, but they have been very minimal in comparison to what my body has become accustomed to dealing with. And I know it's probably because I have been actually following my own advice....listening to my body and not ignoring my gut instinct. My mileage has been consistent, but I have kept it at a minimum. And, I have been doing a lot more yoga and stretching (Mind you, I still need to be more disciplined showing my muscles some love, but I'm doing it more than ever before).

Yoga has played a crucial part in minimizing injury
In years past, I had the mind set to always be in training. Granted, I take my off-season seriously and scale back the mileage.....but come late winter/early spring, I'd jump right back to half marathon mode. Most of the time, my endurance would be able to handle it, but my body would usually rebel a little. This year, I am considering a different approach.....not necessarily starting over, but instead, gradually easing back to the longer distance runs. I know I can run 10 miles without much (additional) effort, why not just take it easy? Even if I have a goal to run 13.1 miles (a tentative half marathon in April), I need to do it wisely. Preferably injury-free.  A priority? I think so.
 
Something else that caught me off guard this weekend was my online shopping purchase. Now, I am a huge advocate for supporting your local running store, and it's always best to try before you buy (especially when we're talking about shoes that you'll be wearing for 400-500 miles). That said, an ad popped up on my Facebook news feed this weekend, promoting a sale on my current running shoes from the Brooks website. (gulp) I clicked in, and there they were....my Adrenaline GTS-15's. A $42 savings. Free shipping. Free returns.  These weren't the pretty turquoise/purple ones I've had since August, but they were the same model (albeit a different color). Hmmmmm. Having worked in a shoe store (many, many moons ago), I know that not every make and model is an exact duplicate. I'd be taking a chance without trying them on....but since there was a free return policy, I was willing to take a gamble on them. Comfort. Zone. Violation.

My first-ever online-purchased running shoes...due to arrive in a couple days
So, there you have it. Goals vs. Priorities. It certainly has had me going, "hmmm..."

I'm linking with Holly from HoHo Runs  and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap. It's always a lot of fun reading what they have been up to, as well as all the other fabulous blogs linking up with them. Go ahead, head over and enjoy some reading!



How about YOU? Ever thought about your goals and priorities being in sync? Ever bought running shoes online (with success)? Do you honor an "off-season," or do you train hard-core year-round?








29 comments:

  1. I love your approach to training and racing this year! It's so easy to get caught up and feel like you need to run a million races or have to run a lot of miles to keep up with everyone. I don't have a single race on my calendar this year and am totally content with that. I told my husband that I was eyeing an Easter weekend 5k as my come back race...I've been in physical therapy with a knee/hip injury and haven't really run since my marathon in October. Hope you have a great week! -C

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    1. Thanks!! I hope your injury continues to diminish ;-) The running/racing thing is a total Catch-22. I've done a few marathons, and now that I know what they're all about, I feel like I need to keep on doing them.....but, I also know just because I know I that CAN doesn't necessarily mean that I SHOULD. I'm working on the fine art of moderation ;-)

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  2. Depending on how I feel after Big Sur, I'm still hoping for an Iowa race with you!

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    1. I am crossing all my fingers (and most of my toes!)....I'd LOVE to have you come for a visit ;-)

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  3. Looks like this storm has some real potential! Can't believe that Grandma's fill so early! I luckily signed up early. I thought they were bluffing when the said it was near full at Christmas. I don't think it even filled last year.

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    1. Yes, I totally was way too laid-back on getting registered for Grandma's this year. I know it's a big anniversary (the 40th?), and they had a promo to get a free jacket with the registration...apparently a lot of people took advantage of that! I know I'll definitely go back someday...it was such a great event (even in the rain).

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  4. My off season is usually during the summer when it's too hot and humid to blink. I'm usually itching to race this time of year, but it's just not there. Maybe I'm still fatigued (mentally) from the marathon? Anyway, it's odd. I am looking at a few destinations races too. I like the REVEL series of downhill racing. Have you thought about one of those? I buy my Mizunos online. I just can't pass up the deals! Thanks for linking with us Kimberly!

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    1. I have never heard of REVEL....I'll have to look into that. Being in Iowa, destination races aren't just a few hours away for me, they're several hours away. UGH.

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  5. We've had crazy weather here in the NE. No Snow. Cold temps then warm temps. Hard to dress. I have to go to Florida to run a half which I am during on Sunday. I'm running another in March, then May and one in Sept.

    13.1 is as long as I'll go.

    You should come east!!

    I just bought shoes online but they were the same ones that I am wearing but in a different color.

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    1. I definitely want to come out east!! I'm eager to get out of Iowa and do some races in other states ;-)

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  6. I'm lucky to be able to run outdoors all year round. That being said, I wish sometimes I had a really good reason to hunker down and forget about racing for a season. In So Cal there doesn't ever seem to be a time to have a good excuse to take a step back to regroup.

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    1. With so many available races, it would be tough to take a step back from the racing. We have year-round races in Iowa, but the bulk of them are 5K's. I much prefer longer distances...10-milers and halfs ;-)

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  7. I had a bit of an offseason in December and January, and prior to that I had a short break in July. I don't think I can stay away from it too long, now that I'm healthy enough to run year-round! I would have recommended the ZOOMA Cape Cod (I'll be there!) but it's all the way in late September.

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    1. I want to do a ZOOMA race sometime ;-)We have two kids in college right now, so...yeah. My destination racing budget is a little limited, and I don't like being away from the family, especially on my own (#momguilt).

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  8. I never really run high mileage, but I do drop it at the end of the year when I'm not training for anything. Injury free is priceless, and I'm aiming for my second year of that!

    It's always really hard to recommend a destination race for others. I know what *I*'m looking for, but no idea what you're willing to spend, big/small, how far away, etc. etc.

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    1. I'm hoping to do more races out of state.....when I say "races," that in no way means I want to "race" them, though. I prefer running them at a conversational pace, because usually I'll be meeting up with a fellow friend and will want to have some chatter ;-)

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  9. Once I've been fitted for shoes, I almost always buy them online. I didn't make any "real" goals for 2016, either.

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    1. I'm eager to see how these shoes work out. The odds are good they'll be fine....I just know too much about the shoe industry from my stint at the shoe store LOL

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  10. I've heard great things about Grandma's. Sorry I don't kn ow of any other races in that time frame. Seems like most are May or October in my neck of the woods (West Michigan).

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    1. I'd LOVE to do a Michigan race someday! I lived in the East Lansing area for several years, but wasn't a runner then. Michigan is such a beautiful state!!

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  11. Great way to look at goals vs priorities, Kim. I'm afraid the answer is obvious on a July race and that is not down South for sure. In fact after first of May the longer distance races drop off considerably with the heat. Other than a few 5k's we don't have races much down her from May - September. I'm actually looking forward to just running without a plan. I'll have a plan of course, just not A PLAN. :) We'll see. I've still got 4 paid race tickets and I'm looking at maybe another 3 before May! Thanks Kim or linking !

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    1. We're traveling to Florida in early March for the national swim meet for our son's college team...and I found a race in the exact town we'll be staying in! My first Florida race!! #giddy I expect the weather will be a bit more comfortable than Iowa ;-)

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  12. Congrats on staying injury-free! That's huge! Hope that streak continues for you :)

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    1. Thanks!! I hope it continues as well. I've seen what happens when I ease up on the mileage.....even though I don't have crazy high mileage in my "racing" season(s), I have to go with what works for me ;-)

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  13. I am about destination races this year too! I am bored of doing the same ones each year. Yay for injury free!

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    1. I have so many "routine" races I do every year (that I LOVE), but I really want to try more other things. Also, there's no pressure to PR a race course if you're running it for the first time ;-)

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  14. I love the shoes! I always online shop now that I know what models work :)
    All I have been doing is thinking about what I will do if I can heal up enough to run again. I have a feeling I will cut my mileage a lot and probably distance runs..my body just does not appreciate double digits right now. Your doggie looks so cute in the sweater :)

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    1. Double digit runs are great, but only if your body is ready, willing, and able. As you know, there is no shame in running shorter distances if you're able to do it pain-free ;-)

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  15. I'm impressed with anyone who continues to run in the cold and snow. Glad you've stayed injury free. It does the body good to step away from racing and focus on just running. I have a tough time with that though. There are so many races that attract me. My off season is usually May-August. It's so hard to find races down south in the summer months. I've had good luck purchasing shoes online in models that I've already tested. I like Running Warehouse because Half Fanatics get a 15% discount which comes in handy.

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