Friday, 1 January 2010

GOALS

Now that I have proven to myself that I could set a lofty goal and meet it, I have decided to set just a few more for the new year. Hello, 2010. We've been waiting for you!

I will NOT be doing 12 marathons in 12 months again...at least this year. Last year was mainly about quantity, although it surely had many quality moments. 2010's marathon selections are going to be more about enhancing the total experience of each. They're about the "where" and the "who". There will be three pairs of back-to-back weekend marys in four countries, a new PR target time, and involvement in a cross-training sport I've despised my whole life.

First up, on my birthday weekend in March, the new LA Marathon. In 2004 I rode the marathon route on my bike and swore I'd never run LA because it was, quite frankly, the ugliest course I'd ever seen. It's been redesigned now, starting at Dodger Stadium and ending at the beach in Santa Monica. I am soooo looking forward to this one, not only for the sights, but also for the many folks I know who are running it, too. You know who you are. We are gonna have a ball, right? It ain't called LaLaLand for nought!

A week after that, it's the inaugural Oakland Marathon, just "down the road apiece" from my house. I have waffled of late about committing to this one, as I have used Oakland's streets as a favourite training ground for years. I've seen most of this stuff. But, my friend John has been applying gentle, but consistent pressure ever since I got on the fence. I am now off. What he does not know, until he reads this, is that in exchange for my participation, he is buying, at the very least, two rounds of beers at Quinn's Lighthouse Pub afterwards. There are a few other people I know doing it, too, including one who's using it to a "surprising" end. Gotta see how that unfolds!

Four weeks later I will be jetting off to Italy to tackle the streets of Trieste with my pal, Kari. She forced me into that marathon much like her BFF Laura did with me and last year's Rochester Marathon, and John did with Oakland. (Honestly, they didn't have to try too hard!) I could try to make the case that it's a supply mission, as Kari needs Ranch Dressing and Peanut Butter from home...but that would just be lame. I also need to reaquaint myself with carbo-loading, Italian style. Did some of that in Rome a couple of years ago before running the Dublin Marathon. I'm thinking it worked a treat.

Before my legs even begin recovering from the cobblestones of Northern Italy, I will be making my way to Prague. There's a marathon there on the following Sunday. I have a couple of friends doing that one, too. One of them is in dire need of a recipe for Key Lime Pie that he can prepare for his family in the Czech Republic. He must not be let down. Oh, I think they have beer there, too. Correct me if I am wrong.

After that, as it currently stands, I have a near-five month break from actual races. I will be in training, however, for a return to Italy, for the Venice Marathon on the 24th of October. I am running this one because 1) I am sure Kari will need more vittles and 2) if I'm going to spend the money to get to Europe to run, I can't do just one...as, you see, I will be heading to Greece (can you believe it???) the next weekend, to meet up with running dynamo, Ioanna, and her local posse. We're going to do a little thing we like to call the Classic Marathon in Athens. I mean, this is the real deal. This is where it all started. Grappa, anyone?

Whew! Anyone else feeling tired just thinking about this?

That's it for races...except for the one big hole I have yet to fill. My running club, The Goon Squad Runners, is based in the Beantown area. I have never run with them, other than in spirit. I need to get back there sometime this year. For those of you in GSR, I am scouring the calendars and trying to synch up whatever can be synched. Would love to know what some of your plans are so that I can coordinate.

Now...for the other stuff.

Even though I care not about my finishing times, I have decided to set a target time for at least one of this year's races, primarily to force myself to train harder so I finish stronger. I've done 30 marathons to date and have hated miles 17-25 in practically every one of them. They're not going to change...so I have to. Just once this year I would like to shuffle across the finish line in 4:30-4:45.

I am also aiming to run 20 miles per week...every week...except for pre-race tapers. I will be eating during those times.
I also hope to run at least one of these marathons in my Vibram Five Fingers "shoes". I love running in them but am still working my way, slowly, up to wearing them for all runs. Got's to be smartish about it.

Finally...I have taken to the pool at my new gym, although not "like a fish to water". I have never been a swimmer. My dad put me on his shoulders when I was very young and took me out into the ocean off an English beach. I guess he wanted to "teach" me how to swim. His method was to take me off his shoulders and show me the beach, saying "that's where you need to go!" I've never like swimming. Since the gym I joined has a lap pool I decided to use it. Again, it's a value for money thing. This morning I had the pool to myself. Did 12 laps. My goal is to be able to swim a mile by the end of the year. Just got to get that whole breathing thing down.

So. As my lovely wife said today...it would seem as though 2010 is taking on a "shape". So it would seem.

Hope to see some of you out there, somewhere or other. Cheers for 2010.

Gotta run!

18 comments:

meechellee said...

Awesome plan for 2010! Great job on completing 12/12, very inspiring!

rUntoNamAste said...

All I can say is - holy crap! I am so so so so so sooooooooooo jealouse but extremely happy for you. Your plans are absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to follow your 2010 journey.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll make a 'surprise' appearance at one of those marathons ;)

Víťa Krejčí said...

Wow, amazing plans! You can look forward to my homebrew in exchange for a Key Lime Pie recipe in Prague :-) Happy New Year!

John said...

Two rounds? No problem! And the peanuts are on me!

Kim said...

I also am NOT running another 12 marathons this year! Whew that was tough, but so amazing at the same time.

We are doing Athens as well! Maybe we'll get to meet up. Can't beat running on the 2500 anniversary! It's going to be amazing!

ShutUpandRun said...

Wow, you've got quite the schedule going. Italy, Prague, Greece. Amazing. One of my dreams is to run the marathon in Greece. I went to high school there and besides the historical piece, it has a lot of meaning to me. Another one I want to do: Great Wall of China. Good luck with your training!

terry said...

go, shroom, go! i look forward to following your new adventures. hau'oli makahiki hou!

Rachel said...

wow, im quite jealous of all your traveling plans and international marathons!! im sure they will be a blast. i would love to do greece one day... congrats again on the 12/12, what an accomplishment! see you in LA, should be fabulous - happy new year!!

Laura said...

Ok - the twice to Italy part really makes me think I'm missing the boat on the Trieste thing - dang!!!! I can't make it happen - unless I quite the job. So - off you go. Take lots of pictures (and I can't wait for you to meet my blogging partner and BFF!) She may not have a little boy with DooDoo in his belly, but she has a dog and a wonderful hubby.

Sky One said...

I'm not sure I'll be in Trieste (Ioanna told me about this plan) but if you want to spend a day near Milan when you'll come in Italy, it would be a great pleasure for me to show you the city (or some other beautiful landscape), to run with you and to share with you a great italian lunch (a *real* italian lunch, not an italian lunch for tourists ;-) ). Just let me know! :-)

chris mcpeake said...

Sounds like a great plan. Good luck in the new year

Michael B said...

sky one thank you so much for the offer. i will surely keep it in mind and we'll chat more when the time comes. cheers!

Sky One said...

I forgot to mention that my real name is Cristiano ("Cristiano T" on Dailymile.com). Just in case.

Karoline Steckley said...

Now I feel the p. PRESSURE to do Venice. Dayum. Gotta think. MAN OH MAN. I must do Venice too.

Bluebunny said...

Sounds like a great plan for 2010!

mike said...

What a great year you have planned! I'm already looking forward to hearing about it!

Sarah said...

What a nice surprise to find a mention of me in your blog! Good luck with a great year. See you at the Oakland Marathon! :-)

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