Friday, May 19, 2017

my spring goal race is over - now what?

Hello friends! My big goal race of the first half of the year is over and I've finally written all of my posts recapping the experience. If you're interested it's the Illinois Marathon expo + pasta feed, Illinois 5k, and Illinois Marathon. I was extremely pleased with how I did at the marathon – I beat my main goal by over 3 minutes when I wasn't sure I'd even hit my goal during the first half of the race (it was very windy and I just had a lot of doubts rolling through the brain). 

I'm not even sure I've fully processed it yet, as it's been a whirlwind since. The day after I 'ran' another half marathon (with shin pain half way through I pretty much walked the second half... slowly I might add), took a week off, and then was back at it with a half marathon the next weekend, and then a few days later I flew out to California for runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, where I spent a lot of time on my feet at the expo, parks, running all three races, and what seems like hours spent in line for everything (purchases at expo, corrals, security, to get into parks, and then waiting for all of the rides). I had some sore feet, let me tell you.

Anyway, I have three more weekends of races and then will have a bit of a break in the summer (it gets too hot here, and with humidity (I get sick in that kind of weather) I only do a few races throughout the months rather than every weekend haha).

Upcoming races include:
Chicago Spring Half Marathon on 5/21 (use code BRCHI17 for $10 off) 
Soldier Field 10 Mile on 5/27 (use code BibRaveSF1017 for a free water bottle)
Ridge Run 5k on 5/29
North Shore Classic Half Marathon on 6/4 (use code BibRaveNSC17 for a free water bottle)
Chicago Bears 5k on 6/24
Rock n Roll Chicago 5k on 7/15 
Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon on 7/16 (use code BIBRAVE15 for $15 off half valid until 7/9)
Burgers and Beer 5k on 7/17
BTN Big 10k on 7/23 (use code BibRaveBTN17 for a free water bottle)
Chicago Half Marathon on 9/24

Ok, so maybe more races than I let on haha, but it's not EVERY weekend like this past month has been so it seems like less to me.

Those races will be for fun. I never push too hard during RnR weekend because it's usually 90 degrees and 100% humidity. Ick. I'm supposed to be in recovery mode, and instead of short miles on the weekend, I'm running half marathons. So far my body is holding up, but I think not pushing too much is the key. Not running for PRs here, and for runDisney I ran with my mom and we stopped for photos.

So other than these fun races I'll be doing, what else is on the agenda? Well, my next big goal race is Chicago Marathon. I'd REALLY like to get under 6 hours. I'll have to shave off 6 minutes from my current PR, and about 16 minutes from last year's finish time. I think it's doable, but closer to race day I'll talk strategy and finish times with my coach and see what he thinks is realistic. Training should start up next month I think.

I wasn't great about keeping up with my hydration game during vacation (I mean, I can only buy so many bottles of $3 waters), so my goal for the rest of the month is to get back to where I was before the marathon and drinking at least 64oz of water a day. I should be drinking more based on my weight, however, getting to 64 is a big deal for me, as I used to probably only drink 20oz a day. Once I can hit 64 consistently, I'll try upping it. 

Another thing I need to start focusing on again is strength training. I haven't been doing a great job with that in a while, and I need to get back in the habit. Not only to strengthen the muscles I need for running and to stay injury-free, but I also would love to lose some body fat. Going along with this, I want to focus more on my nutrition. I need to get back in the habit of weighing and tracking all of my food to make sure I'm getting the nutrients I need and not too much sugar/unhealthy fats. This is tough for me, as I absolutely love unhealthy foods. I don't drink as much beer as I used to, but I certainly enjoy it so that can add up to. I hate tracking it all, but I know it's the best way to be conscious of what I'm putting in my body and how much of it.

Do you set different goals throughout the year or have a few that you maintain all year round? I tend to need to re-evalutate throughout the year to help keep me focused. What are you hoping to achieve the second half of 2017? I know we are still in May, but with my goal race over, it was time to look again and see what I wanted to do for the rest of the year (besides having fun, of course).

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