change, random thoughts, running, San Francisco

Tapers and races and new goals, oh my!

Today: 9 miles in 1:13:59

1. I’m in full-on taper madness. 12 days until NYCM! This means I’m overly hyper about creaks and phantom pains, keep waffling about my goal time and race strategy, and all that good stuff. Although, the more marathons I do, the less I find myself obsessing over race logistics. Maybe that has more to do with the fact that I know New York City, I’m not dealing with any unknowns travel-wise, and I know what to expect from the expo, the starting line, and the finishing line based on the fact that I’ve run this marathon before.

2. Although my legs aren’t completely full of creaks anymore and I have felt a slight spring to my step yesterday and today, I’m still waiting for the taper to do its thing to rest up my legs while maintaining the fitness I’ve gained over the past 12 weeks – indeed, longer than that, if you count all the slow-ass base-building miles I’ve been doing since May (!!)

3. I realize I haven’t posted here in a while. I’ve been doing a lot more journaling – like the old-fashioned, pen-to-paper kind – and that fulfills some of my “must write” outlet that this blog gives me.

4. I was told the other day (yesterday?) that I seem more “bubbly” since coming out to San Fran. I think that might be the first time anyone has used that word to describe me. I think I like it. Something about this place fits me. I really think the fresh air and the ocean and the beautiful scenery and the pace of life and the people out here settle me. I’m high-strung and OCD enough on my own; it’s nice to be surrounded by that which is not.

5. Reasons why having a Ph.D. doesn’t make me a genius: last night I ran errands and could only find parking on a street where cleaning this morning started at 7. So, I had to get up early to move it – it actually made for a lovely morning because I spent sunrise at the beach – and parked it back in front of my building. Great, except it’s the 4th Wednesday of the month, which means, guess what? Street cleaning from 12-2. Which I have marked diligently on my calendar to remind me. Of course, it helps to look at the calendar every once in a while (and not just the day planner). I saw the ticket after my run today – $55 to the man for being an idiot.

6. I always start having my post-marathon visions of grandeur at about this stage of the taper. I’m trying not to go too overboard with my planning. I do know that a-if NYC doesn’t go as planned, I won’t wait until Houston for a back-up, I’ll probably register for Tucson instead so I’m not training for ANOTHER 2 months. I want to do the half in Houston and have a fun weekend with friends and not a stressful one. b-I want to focus on getting back into a strength routine and leaning up before training for Boston. I bought some kettlebells that my trainer-friend Chris is going to virtually help me learn how to use. I also think I will cut back to 6 days/week running and start swimming again on the off-day. There are public pools in the city that are $3-5 to use. I also am debating starting to run with a club. There are tons here – some more social and some more serious. I think I’m at a point in my running “career” that being around runners who are better than me to really push me would be a huge help. One of my friends out here is on a woman’s racing team, which she likes, and that would fill that criteria.

7. My online running friends are starting to plan their 2012 race calendar, and it’s super exciting to think about next year, but it also makes my head spin a bit because I’m not 100% sure where I’m going to be or what I’m going to be doing then. I know, technically, I never KNOW, but it’s kind of weird to plan without a plan. The other problem is that I’m not financially in a place to be shelling out registration fees quite yet for races a year away. I guess what I should do is map out my general running goals and then figure out which races to do. I definitely want to do a spring and a fall marathon. I’m registered for Boston, so barring a decision to run that for fun and do a smaller goal marathon, that will be spring’s race. Fall – who knows? I’m tempted to do Chicago and register for back-up a few weeks later in case the weather sucks. I definitely think I can still knock off time from my marathon PR this year, but it will mean a little more “big picture” focus instead of just winging it like I did last year. Maybe 4 marathons is not the way to go.

8. If I get to run on the beach in the morning, I always see this old guy all bundled up in a hooded sweatshirt, the hood tight around his face, under a windbreaker jacket. He always says – no, yells – “good morning” when we pass each other. Even though I’m expecting it now, it still scares the shit outta me. I’m all for greeting those around me, but I’m usually not yelling. It’s nice, though.

9. I will be flying to NYC a week from today. Holy crap.

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