I need goals – I love challenges and pushing myself. I have many goals in life – parenting and family goals, work goals, character goals, spiritual goals. I need running goals to give my training focus. This fall I have been uncertain of my race goals, and I found this very unsettling. After having completed my first three triathlons this past summer, I found myself wondering what I will focus on now. Will I have target running races again?
The marathon is calling to me again. I am relieved to finally have running race goals – I have chosen my target races; there is direction to my training once again! I am focusing on long distances again, with a few shorter races that will be dispersed throughout my training to work on speed building. My target races are in the spring. After years of struggling through freezing cold winter races, I have finally decided that I will no long race longer than 5km in the dead of winter. Last year I ran a half marathon on a -20 C day and it was miserable. My feet were numb and my fingers immobile and white. With the exception of a local favourite Valentine’s 5km race, hosted by the St. Catharine’s road runners, I am now a spring to fall racer!
Around the Bay 30km race – A local favourite and a race which has the challenge of tough hills at the end. This race is excellent preparation for the full marathon. The race goes around the Hamilton Bay and runs through parts of Burlington where I grew up. I love the local hype to the race and the fact that I often run into people from my childhood and teenage years, having grown up in Burlington. Read my race review from last year, and look forward to future articles describing training leading up to the 30km distance.
Mississauga Marathon 42.2km race – truly a favourite marathon of mine. I love the course, with the downhill coasters in the middle of the race and the scenic second half along the Lake, finishing at the Lakefront Promenade Park. This will be my fourth time running this marathon! I won it once (2013) and ran it with my friend last year to get her qualified for Boston. I think I will have to train for a PB marathon time on the course this year. That will be a challenge. Now that I am 40, I wonder if I can do it. Read race reviews from last year and get ready to follow training tips leading up to the Marathon. I hope to see many of you out there with me in the marathon this year!
Half Ironman: Last summer I completed my first half ironman in September in Muskoka. It was a great highlight of my year, so I will train for another Half ironman (or two) with the goal of improving on my time. The beauty of a first race is that it is always a PB (Personal Best). Now the challenge will be to get quicker at all three sports. My biggest disappointment in Muskoka was actually my run. After the 94km bike, my legs simply would not respond as quickly as I expected them to (what a surprise, really, after swimming and biking!) so I will be working on improving my leg speed after cycling. I will focus on combining the three sports and improving on my technique.
Races are essential for providing focus to one’s training and keeping most of us motivated. Join me in setting some goals!