Tuesday, January 10, 2012

To Keep Running

Almost to the finish line!
January 9 - Last year my major running milestone was running my very first half marathon. This year (cross your fingers for continued healthy running) I will attempt to run THREE half marathons while keeping up with my goal for 2012: TO KEEP RUNNING

After taking some time off from running to let my shin heal once I completed the half marathon in August, I basically had to start over.  It is amazing what a couple of weeks without running can do to your body! I had no idea. Since  then I have been running non-stop. Through the fall and winter I ran a bunch of 5Ks and a couple of 10Ks.

To keep me motivated (and prevent the whole starting-over-again thing), I am attempting to run a race every month. This requires planning. Here is what I have scheduled: (highlighted = races registered/finished):

January 1 - First Run 10K - Lowell, MA - 58:09 PR
February 19 - Half at the Hamptons - Hampton, NH
March 11 - St. Paddy's 5 Miler - Portsmouth, NH
April 21 - Stonyfield Earth Day 5K - Londonderry, NH
May 6 - Cox Rhode Races Half Marathon - Providence, RI
June ? - Kickoff to Summer 5K - New Boston, NH
July 3 - Manchester 5K - Manchester, NH
August 19 - Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon - Providence, RI
September 22 - Zooma Cape Cod 10K - Falmouth, MA
October ? - My Dogs Are Barking 5K - Bedford, NH
November 11 - Newport Pell Bridge Run - Newport, RI
December 1 - Santa Shuffle - Manchester, NH

For me to complete the above schedule I have to focus on my training and stay healthy.  In "How to Run Injury-Free" on Active.com, Jeff Galloway offers great advice to runners on how avoid overuse injuries and enjoy years of running. The main points Galloway makes include:

  1. Train fewer days during the week
  2. Slow your pace on long runs 
  3. Take walk breaks 
  4. Massage instead of stretch
  5. Prepare for speed training
  6. Stop if you experience pain
Also, on his blog Galloway stresses the importance of resting after long runs to allow muscles to recover, rebuild, and reduce the chance of injury. Rest days are great for doing some light cross training activities. I have found some good workouts on the Nike Training Club app. 

One thing I know that will help me achieve my goal to keep running is to let go of the idea that a "real runner" doesn't need to stop and walk. If I want to stay injury-free and enjoy all of the races I signed up for, I have to listen to my body. If I need to take a break in the middle of an 8 mile run, it's OK! I'm still running 8 miles, right?  

What do you do to KEEP RUNNING?


  1. I did the Lowell 1st Run 5k, I was the one in Feetie Pajamas! I will also be doing the Manchester 5k and the Santa Shuffle too, maybe I'll see you there! I did the My Dogs Are Barking 5k last year, and will likely sign up for it again, running with a friend's dog. I sign up far in advance so that I can't slack off, planning = sticking to it for me!

  2. Planning definitely works for me too. Lowell First Run was so fun! It was my first time there, and a great way to start the year! So warm that day! WOW.

  3. I always find a lot of recovery from a foam roller after long runs. Have you ever tried one? it is blissfull.

  4. Ahhh, the foam roller. I do have one, but...do I know what I'm doing? Not really. I've watched how-to-videos, and I still think I'm doing something wrong. I still try to use it, so maybe I'm getting something out of it ;) Maybe you can share some tips!

  5. This is a great idea! I ran my first half in November and that's been my struggle too: to keep running. I also took two weeks off in December to let an ailment heal, but am back at it and planning a half for February (we're in Florida so it's the best time!).

    I'm just hoping to keep running after THIS half because I was *this* close to quitting after the last one ... I do miss the gym and yoga classes - running for long distances takes so much time I'm not able to do those things (and enjoy time with my family).

    I think I'll go sign up for a few races in March/April/May just to keep myself up to the challenge. (Although the REAL challenge comes in July/August when it's 85 degrees at 5 am. That's tough running.)

  6. I've run on the Lowell course several times! There's an awesome Turkey trot there on Thanksgiving. If you've watched foam roller how to videos, then you're probably good. There's not much to it. Generally though, it doesn't feel good...

    I love the idea of running a race a month. Not too much, but enough to keep you motivated. :)

  7. @ Andi - running in the summer is much harder! I trained last summer for my first half in August. Lucky for me it rained on race day making the run nice and cool!

    @Katie - I didn't realize the roller would hurt quite so much or be so awkward to use! I'll stop whining now ;)

  8. I'm a HUGE goal person...if I dont push myself toward a goal - I get very lazy. This year the BIG goal is my 1st half marathon - in April.

    xoxo from Trinidad

    1. Good luck! Will it be really warm in April?

  9. I do the same as you! Sign up for a race, since I hate wasting my money, and a extremely competitive with myself. I'm also looking into the Cox & the Providence RnR Halfs this year!

  10. RnR Providence last year was my first and I had so much fun! Guess that is why I signed up again ;) Loved Providence so I think Cox will be just as awesome. I'm impressed with the race mgmt.

  11. Yay!!! Another new england runner:) I'm finding a lot of non new england runner's out there via blogs, so I was happy to see another north eastern-er:) looking forward to reading your blog!

  12. I noticed the same thing :) Going to head over to your blog now!
    Thanks for stopping by mine.

  13. I'm also a huge goal person so I set the race schedule pretty early. Keep up the great training and enjoy!


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