When setting goals, it helps to remember your accomplishments...

I hardly ever take a long time thinking things over; I'm a VERY decisive person.  To give you an idea: I tried on maybe five wedding dresses before finding 'the one' in one appointment, at one salon.  I (along with my very similar husband) took no time at all deciding on what apartments to rent, what house to buy, or to get married, for that matter!  For the most part, I know what I want (and usually want it ASAP; but that's another story...) 

Funny Somewhat Topical Ecard: ''Fuck it'' My final thought before making most decisions~.
This attitude helps, too.

For some reason, however, thinking about whether to stick with my goal of a sub 2 hour half marathon is a decision that has been PLAGUING me.

After the See Jane Run half in July, my left leg just felt all out of whack, but I got back to feeling normal by August.  In early September, after the Labor Day 4 Miler, I must've tweaked something because I felt like I had a constant cramp in my upper hamstring.  I finally made an appointment for some physical therapy.  Doing my PT exercises and taking a couple of breaks over the last few weeks have me feeling almost back to normal.  But enough to run a goal half...?

After taking time off to heal, and travel to Chicago, I've only done ONE long run since early September - and that was 'only' eight miles, over a week ago.  It was not a pretty run.  So I decided to bag the half and switch to the 10K.  Then, two days later, I had a really great six mile run with four surprisingly speedy tempo miles.  And of course I thought, oh, I should totally just go for it and stick with my goal!  I was bound and determined to get ten miles in this weekend, as a last long run before the race.  THEN I got a nasty cold and could barely breathe.  ARGH, I couldn't make myself run those ten miles.  Hrm, maybe I should just run it for fun?  But, I have a hard time holding back and if there's a 10K why not just run THAT for fun?  I'm driving myself crazy!  Who is this person with all these conflicting thoughts??  So, I did what any normal type-A crazy person does to get themselves on track: I made a list! Here's a list of 'pros' for each option.

Switching down to the 10K:
  1. less risk for injury - with my sights set on a marathon and hopefully a relay next year (we hear about our Hood to Coast application early next month), I'm really averse to aggravating anything before I even start my training for future goals
  2. opportunity for another PR  - my last 10K was a year ago at 55:43
  3. can put more effort/focus on Seattle Half next month  - yes, I've got another half just next month! (although based on the hilly course, I'm just shooting for a course PR, not sub 2)
  4. have an opportunity to check out the Snohomish River Run course in the event I DO run the half next year  - it is an inaugural race and who knows what kind of hiccups and such might need to be ironed out..
  5. still get to enjoy the flat and pretty course, fellow runners and a medal (yes, I believe even the 10K folks get a medal!)
Running the half:
  1. have a flat and fast opportunity to meet my gooooaaaal

It's a pretty clear choice and I think that I need to take a chill pill on this arbitrary time limit that many runners set for themselves.  I should probably be content with how far I've come in the last 11 months and focus on my accomplishments over the last year: with another list!
  1. ran my first half marathon (looking forward to celebrating my 13.1 anniversary and giving the Seattle half another go)
  2. ran two more half marathons for a total of three in one year
  3. PR'd by more than ten minutes off the first one in just over four months (2:13:35 to 2:02:54)
  4. PR'd my 5K (25:29)
  5. PR'd my Labor Day 4 miler (32:08) while also running my fastest 5K time in the process (about 24:45)
But, man, those 2 minutes and 55 seconds are just TAUNTING me...  I know I have it in me to accomplish it, but I think I'm gonna put this particular goal on the back burner for now.  I suppose always having that dangling carrot is one of the many great things about running, or fitness, or LIFE.  I hope I'm always chasing at least one big fat carrot.


  1. I say give the 10k a go first, see how you feel afterwards, and if you still feel good, give the half go. That sub-2.00 will come. Just give it time.

    1. I suppose I never came right out and said so, but yes, that's the plan!

  2. I can understand your rationale in everything you wrote. If you don't feel up to par for this particular 13 miles, then definitely don't set it up to be one to try to do anyway. I think smart running is always the best strategy - and we can't always PR. I know it's easy to tell the brain that, but make the brain believe it is another story :) I have some mental brain work to do myself ... I have one more half marathon coming up to finish the year of racing, I would like it to be faster than my last one, but on the flip side, my last one was a big PR from the one even before it and I don't think I've had enough time to work on pushing even more in time. So, I'm going to do my best to just run the race and see it as keeping good miles on the legs. If during the race I feel strong and things are going right, I'll push for it. If not, I'll just push to finish and treat it more as 'training' :) ... you know ... for those Full Marathons we're planning ...