Three Goals for Runners

My first half marathon (the Athens Half) is one week away! For the past 11 weeks I have followed a training plan adapted from Hal Higdon. I recommend his training plans if you are looking to get into running or step your training up a notch. Those plans are great, plus I also just love following plans in general. (It’s the J in my Myers-Briggs…)

Athens Road Runners at Sanford Stadium

12 m group run with ARR!

As the half is coming up I have been thinking about my goals. It really helps me to set goals for projects, running, and life. To work on setting goals for my first half-marathon I talked to my dad and learned “DT’s three goals for beginner/new runners”:

1) Finish – The first goal is to finish the race. The philosophy is that as a beginner running a race distance for the first time, the goal of finishing is an amazing accomplish in itself.

2) Realistic goal – The second goal is a goal that you are pretty confident you can meet. It is a goal that feels comfortable given how your training is going. This is good for those (AKA: me) who like to feel confident about their ability to meet a goal.

3) Stretch goal – The stretch goal is one that would be a challenge to meet. It is a goal that can be met if you run your best, but does require a lot of factors coming together.

Using DT’s guidelines for goal-planning, here are my goals for the 2013 Athens Half:

1) Finish the race
2) Sub 2:10 half-marathon
3) Sub-2 hour half-marathon

What is your running goal philosophy? Do you have any current running or fitness goals? I am excited to run my first half marathon in one week!

No excuses. #safit in August

It used to be really easy to prioritize anything and everything BUT exercise. In the past, when life got busy, exercise was the first thing to go. Since starting graduate school running has provided “me-time” and proved something I wanted to keep on my calendar.

RunningUGA1

Running early in the morning is the best! Sweaty & hot in the Georgia humidity

August is a crazy month for many professions, including student affairs. August means students returning to college campuses and includes activities such as RA training, move-in, welcome week programs, organization retreats, the beginning of class, and much more. I am training for a half marathon and did not want to let August get in the way of my training plan, so here’s what I did:

I prepared for my training presentations in advance and went to bed early every night.

I woke up early (5 am early) to run every morning. My speed workouts are at 5:30 am on Wednesdays so it was not a major adjustment.

Lastly, I did not let anything (including a 4 hour duty call) stop me from my scheduled run!

Now, some of my dedication was a little crazy – I probably should have slept in after the all-night duty call…. But running and this training plan have provided me an outlet for relaxation and de-stressing.

Thanks Evan!

Thanks Evan!

My commitment to running the past three weeks is proof that I can find time to run during the busiest times. It was also helpful to have an accountability buddy. I owe a lot of this to my friend Evan for making sure I was downstairs to meet him at 5:15 am every morning. My August philosophy was a little different than my experience this summer. Read my post about adjusting to a hectic June schedule when I was working Orientation at UNCG.

What works best for you to stay healthy during busy times? Do you prefer to exercise in the morning or at night? No matter how busy you are, try to do “just enough to stay sane.” And even if it’s training week or move-in, put your health first when you can!

Running Quotes

It’s important to remember that each footstrike carries you forward not backward. And every time you put on your running shoes you are different in some way than you were the day before. – John Bingham (Source: Runners World Motivational Quotes )

Sometimes, on good and bad days, I search “running” on Pinterest to find quotes for inspiration. What is your favorite quote about running?

Orientation Programs and Running

I knew the long hours of orientation would challenge my running schedule this summer. My Nike+ data shows it too: 56.9 miles in June compared to 76.8 miles in May. As a runner, I was feeling down about the missed days, missed miles, missed personal reflection time, missed exercise, and so-on. Running a race on the day after our last orientation session was the perfect way to re-energize, re-motivate, and re-inspire the runner in me. Why? Because it proved that I could still run a 10K. It provided an outlet for me to relax and release all the stress of 8 amazing (but long) orientation sessions in June. Lastly, I ran it with no goals or expectations for finishing time – making it my most relaxing race yet! I plan to keep this in mind as I plan for the future or experience other extra-busy life moments (month after comps? Let’s run a race!)

2013 Freedom Run with my Dad

2013 Freedom Run with my Dad

A little about the race: the Fun Fourth Freedom 10K is a Greensboro tradition. It takes place the Saturday before the Fourth of July, which is usually a really hot day. This year the temperatures were pleasant and mild at the start, but warmed up quickly as the race went on. This course starts in downtown Greensboro and takes the runners through neighborhoods, so most of it was in the shade. One of two hills I distinctly remember from the course was near the finish and the volunteers cheering us up that hill really helped me finish strong.

I hope that no matter your responsibilities you are finding ways to relax and reenergize this summer. Participating in a 10K, even with limited training, was the right activity for me. What works for you?