Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

2009. Already. It's come way too fast but at the same time you can't beat that feeling of a fresh start... out with the old, in with the new... For me the 'old' are a few bad habits including sugar, chocolate and over-training! I have to say for the first time in my life I think I actually over-dosed on chocolate while back in Ireland for Christmas. It was pretty bad. So that's my first resolution (along with 90% of the population) - Healthy Eating!! As for over-training - I think (hope) I have learned my lesson from the past few months. Everything went great up to Sawtooth but Oct/Nov/Dec were a bit of a mess. Sure, I had a good time at TCM and IM AZ but I was bordering on hurting myself and ended up doing just that over Thanksgiving. Which resulted in 3 weeks off running. Which of course turned out to be a great thing - got me back swimming - and finally got my ass to the gym for strength training. Susan put it best when she said that she didn't know me anymore - I was enjoying swimming, actually using my gym membership - and was bemoaning the fact that I couldn't use my new treadmill!! I'd been thinking about investing in one for a while and because I seem to have lost all interest in running outside this winter and mostly because I want to train for an early summer marathon I decided to take a look in 2nd Wind on 'Black Friday'. And sure enough I found a good deal on a 2nd hand True, trading in my completely under utilized stairmaster while I was at it. And then proceeded to look at it lovingly for a few weeks without being able to use it! The first week of no running was the hardest. But then it was the Holidays and things were busy back in Ireland. And I still getting my anerobic threshold buzz in the pool. I wanted to wait until I had zero pain in my shin walking/stretching/jumping etc and by last weekend that was the case. So Monday I ran the mile down to my neighbours house (my family live in the countryside!) and back again. Then I got back here and christened the treadmill with a 5 mile run on New Year's Day. I like it! And the squirrels outside the window were equally fascinated with my new toy...

The next few weeks will be all about building up a base and easing into the New Year. I don't think I'll run further than 10-12 miles. Then at the end of the month I leave for a trip of a lifetime to climb Aconcagua in Argentina. It's something I've wanted to do ever since a trip to Kilimanjaro just before moving here in 2005. Even though I feel out of running shape right now I should be fine for the climb. The altitude of course might be a problem but altitude doesn't care about fitness. I didn't have any problems on Kili until the summit climb once we got over 18,500 so I'm hoping it will be the same here. And then I'll just have to take it easy the last few days to the top (unlike Kili where we were trying to keep up with the cute French dudes who were making a documentary). Hopefully the weather will cooperate. It's 18 days on the mountain which includes a few days at camp for inclement weather. Once I get back I'll have 9 weeks until Chippewa. Thrown in there for my long 'training' run is a trip to Virginia (had to use the Hellgate flights for something...). Still undecided on which marathon I'll do - the timing (and past experience) of Grandma's are compelling but not the cost. Stillwater doesn't look as bad a course as I was expecting. And then there's the Minneapolis one. Madison, Rochester... funny to have so many choices all of a sudden!

So with resolutions of better diet, more focused training and less racing I guess a few goals for the year are a marathon PR (3:12 would be nice!), beat current CR at Voyaguer (and yeah a win would be nice too!), and run AC-100 in under 24 hrs (ambitious but it's January 2nd so I'm allowed to be!).

Hope 2009 is a good one for you all.