Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Starting Fresh . . . Sort Of. And a tentative list of goals.

Alrighty gang, it has been well over two years since my last post, which is terrible, terrible, terrible thing since lots of wonderful, wonderful, wonderful things happened.  However, instead of scrapping my old blog and starting anew, I decided to revive this one.  True, I am not running as much as before, but I still feel like a joyful ultrarunner.  So what if I took a little break from ultrarunning due to my pesky c-section recovery?  It's all good!  After all, my last 100 miler took place literally two weeks before I got pregnant and my next ultramarathon (Umstead!) is scheduled in a few months.  I am totally registered and everything - we even have a hotel booked!  In case you couldn't tell, I have relatively big plans for 2016 and I want to make sure I do everything I can to keep myself accountable.  

For the two or three people who are not immediate friends and family reading this page and do not know all this already, here is a quick recap of my life since my last post:

Life highlights:

(1) Rob and I adopted Yossarian, a floofy miniature golden doodle who can outrun us any day of the week and has the awards to prove it.

As I type this caption, Yossi is curled up at my feet.  Such a good dog.

(2) Rob and I got married.

Best day of my life until January 1, 2016.  (See No. 4.)

(3) Rob and I decided that we liked our current city so much that we bought our first home together.

Hooray for marital debt! ;)

(4) Rob and I welcomed our first son, Soren on January 1, 2016.  Although technically Soren was due on that date, it still boggles my mind that we have a January 1st baby.  And no, we weren't even close to being the first baby born in the year :).

Many people have said that one day I will pay for this photo.  Guess what?  I've paid for this photo and then some in all the hours of sleep I've missed since this little dude was born.

And now for some running highlights:

(1) Did not complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in 2013, alas.  But I swear, as Cthulhu
 as my witness, I *will* complete it one day.  

(2) Ran six 100 mile races in 2014 and 2015: Rocky Raccoon 100 (2014 and 2015), Umstead 100 (2014 and 2015), TGNY100 (2014), and Vermont 100 (2014).

Pre-race photo at VT100 2014.

(3) Rob and I ran two races during our honeymoon in New Zealand and Hawaii, the Kepler 60K Challenge and the Honolulu Marathon.  The Kepler Challenge was Rob's first ultramarathon trail and he rocked it.  And the Honolulu Marathon was his first back-to-back weekend marathon!

My first ultramarathon was nine relatively flat loops in Central Park.  His involved climbing up and down a mountain.

(4) Ran my first sub-23 hour finish at the 2015 Umstead 100.

(5) Paced a bunch of races including the NYC Marathon and the NJ Marathon.

(6) Was selected to be an Altra Ambassador.  

Altra sneakers are the *best*.  And I'm not just saying that because they're giving me free and discounted sneakers for 2016.  I probably would have given up running if not for these amazing sneakers.

The absolutely silly thing is, I wrote about many of the above events, but didn't choose to hit the "publish" button because I get so incredibly self-conscious about my writing.  Well, I decided to change all that.  Not the feeling self-conscious part - I know that I will always feel that way.  But I decided to start publishing my posts again.  As I mentioned before, I have some major running goals for 2016 and I believe making them public will make them more likely to happen.  

So what are these goals?

As most runners know, we have goals and then we have goals.  In every race, I have a Goal A, Goal B, Goal C, and a Super Secret Goal Z.  Goal A is usually something pretty basic; Goal B is something a little less attainable; Goal C is juuuuuust out of my reach; Goal Z is a goal that most people would laugh at me for even considering.  For example, during my last Umstead 100, Goal A was to finish happy and healthy; Goal B was to finish in under 24 hours; and Goal C was to finish in under 23 hours.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you what my Super Secret Goal Z was, otherwise it wouldn't be Super Secret.

So here are my tentative goals for 2016:

Goal A: Recover well from pregnancy.  C-section healing is no joke and I cannot stress enough how serious I am about making sure that I do not impede my overall progress by being too impatient with getting back into full-on running mode.
Goal B: Get back into my 2015 pre-pregnancy running shape by June.
Goal C: Finish a Western States qualifier (Hopefully Vermont 100!)
Goal D: Finish a Western States qualifier in less than 24 hours.
Goal Z: I'll let you know if it happens.

When does my post-partum training start?

A lot of the above depends on how well my six-week check up goes with my doctor tomorrow.  That said, I am feeling pretty optimistic that she is going to give me the all-clear.  Therefore, my hope is that my official training will begin tomorrow!  And I can't wait!  Although my core muscles are still incredibly weak (hardly unsurprising since I had major abdominal surgery), my legs, despite running zero miles since Thanksgiving (This was not entirely pregnancy-related; I happened to break my toe while tripping over luggage), feel pretty awesome.  I discovered that because my body has gotten so used to carrying additional weight, I have become an excellent speed walker.  I am hoping that my newfound leg strength for walking will translate to faster running as well.

And that's it for now.  Wish me luck for tomorrow!  Cannot wait to get back to real training again!  

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