One of the most difficult things for me, as someone who likes to make a plan, and then see it come to fruition, is the occasional crushing disappointment that comes with a relative inability (at times) to “go with the flow.” As I think ahead to 2015 and the things, I want to do, I am trying to embrace this conflict a bit more, rather than avoid it.
It is an incontrovertible fact that, for a great many things, “going with the flow” doesn’t cut it. Planning for retirement, air travel, and most of what I do on a daily basis for my job serve as good examples. Waiting to see what happens in many circumstances makes you a victim of them, and then often ends up costing you more. I am wired to plan, and I am not ashamed to admit it is because I want to control a predictable outcome.
This is the cross I bear…
My lovely bride serves as the yin to my yang, and I definitely want to do more to make her happy and less to disappoint her. So with that in mind, I can be relatively confident that the plans I am making for 2015, which in this venue are almost exclusively running and fitness-related, will not conflict with her carefree, happy-go-lucky nature that can be both endearing and maddening at the same time.
I cannot look forward without a look back because 2015 is somewhat of an anniversary. Ten years ago this year, I think I was just about at rock bottom in terms of life and happiness. My first marriage was careening towards its eventual end, and I had reached a point in my health where I likely wouldn’t have had too many years left to be miserable. I was nearly 240 pounds and my exercise regimen consisted largely of 12 ounce curls and straining to pull open the next bag of Doritos. It was not a pretty sight.
2005 – Pushing maximun density
What happened after that was something I wrote about in my very first blog, and for a few entries after that. I got my s**t together, albeit with a few bumps along the way, and starting dropping weight. I was challenged by others to run so I did, and my dad and I ran together in my first race after that.
First race. The Phoenix New Times 10k (Tempe). November 2007
Not too long after that 10k, I met my lovely bride. In much the same way that I got my physical self back together, she was the one who really got me 100% back on my feet. In 2008, she gave me an early birthday present – a Garmin Forerunner 305, which today would feel like a microwave oven strapped to my wrist. On March 29, I logged my first “official” run using it – a 3.4 mile run from home that I still remember today. I was training for my second race, the 2008 BolderBoulder 10k, and was running religiously at this point. I never really gave much thought to doing anything more than a 10k. Who on earth would want to run farther than 6.2 miles???
Funny how that works. I ended up running that and several 5k and 10k races over the months ahead. When my bride and I decided to make it official (she lived in Seattle at the time…ask me sometime about long distance relationships) and she was to move to Denver in June 2009, we coordinated it so I could run my first half marathon – the inaugural Seattle Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon and Half. It was the first of many sacrifices she has made for me to pursue an avid running schedule.
She still likes to talk about how when asked by her if I ever was going to run a full marathon, I told her I really didn’t consider myself a real runner and that half marathons were the most I would ever do. She saw right through that, and 6 months later – nearly 5 years ago today, I ran my first marathon in Arizona.
First Marathon – 2010 Rock ‘N’ Roll Arizona.
Planning marathon #10 and everything else
I don’t know what the next 10 years will bring, but I can at least plan the next 12 months – as much as possible. This year brings another milestone, in that the next marathon I run with be my tenth, and I want it to be as memorable as possible. The ultimate goal for 2015 is to run a PR and sub-3:10:00 marathon this fall, and I want to it to be the Twin Cities Marathon.
First things first, though. For a lot of 2014, I referred to trouble I had been having with my running health, which I attributed to a lot of different factors. My PR at the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon took a toll, but there are a lot of other factors in play. As I begin 2015, those have not necessarily been resolved and the price has been decreased running health because I ran very few miles after October.
To ensure I didn’t totally fold up like a paper airplane, I signed up for a winter series. I ran a 5k in December, and there is a 10k at the end of this month, as well as a half marathon at the beginning of February. I wanted to make sure that I had targets on the calendar to keep me focused on a goal and to make sure I didn’t totally slack off. I also wanted to plan something beyond the winter series I signed up for to keep the train on the tracks. That’s a good thing because the slowdown in activity, plus the joy of the holidays have conspired to set me back a little further. Now I am “running heavy,” and will have to address that along with tackling other aches and pains that have subsided very little for over a year.
So here are the goals/races/plans in no particular order:
- Get my fitness house in order. More cross training and exercises to balance out the imbalances in my body due to running being my sole activity.
- Triage on my training diet. I used to have a good one – I currently do not.
- Yeti Chase 10k – January 25, 2015
- Ralston Creek Half Marathon – February 8, 2015
- Phoenix Half Marathon – February 28, 2015
- Attain my target training weight sometime during the summer months – 182 pounds. I’m not going to disclose where I am at now, but let’s just say I have some work to do…
- Twin Cities Marathon – October 4, 2015. Goal: PR, sub-3:10:00
It is an ambitious plan for me, but it is the right plan to get things moving back in the right direction. Plus, the greater the challenge, the sweeter the reward!
October 4, 2015