Friday, July 16, 2010

Refocusing this blog - Running History ... And current goal - Qualify for Boston

Ahhh, yet another attempt to start blogging again! We'll see :) But I hope to be dedicated to not only blogging but commenting on other blogs actively. It's a big goal of mine. But below I'll talk about my current biggest goal:

My current goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. In order to do this, I need to shave 30 minutes off of my current Marathon time. Now I’ve only run one marathon and finished it in 4:10:47. I need to run a 3:40:59 to qualify for Boston. I’m aiming for 2012. I know I won’t be running Boston in 2011 because I’d need to run a qualifying time by October 2010 and that’s not going to happen since I’m not planning on running another marathon until January 2011. So I have some time but I need to get committed. I’m currently training for a half marathon in October and focusing on increasing my mileage and doing some speedwork.
I suppose I should start by describing my running history before I start blogging about training to qualifying for Boston because I will qualify, it’s just a matter of when. If I have a goal, I’m going to get there and it’s not like the Boston Marathon is going to cease to exist, so I have my whole life to get there. Although if I’m honest, my goal is to qualify for Boston before I have my first child. We’ll see though. Anyway, back to my running history.
I started attempting to run in 2007 as a sophomore in college. My boyfriend and I would run a loop by his house a few times a week at most. And I just used gmap pedometer to see the distance of the run since I never had before, it was a 2.5 mile loop. Now when I say we ran, I mean we attempted to run it and did walk sometimes. Anyway after a few months of that I did my first 5K in May 2007 and finished in 27:30. At this time I was also a figure skater and on a collegiate club team. Skating was my first love and my priority. That summer was to be spent training at my home rink with my long time coach. I was skating 4 days a week and working a lot so I pretty much stopped running at all except for occasional runs on the treadmill. Then I injured my back in late July 2007. Now I had hurt my back before and dealt with pain and physical therapy many times. But this was different, it just didn’t go away like I was used to. So I saw a specialist again and went through a myriad of tests. I was eventually diagnosed with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. Basically I have a chronic back problem with stress fractures that never seemed to heal. I was advised to stop skating and all impact activities. I’m stubborn though. When college started up again in the fall, I resumed skating on my team despite the pain. I was in physical therapy with a physical therapist who I had been seeing for awhile. He thought I could keep skating and when I mentioned starting to run again he was encouraging. At the same time, I saw another specialist that was highly recommended. After my appointments with him I was basically devastated. He told me that I shouldn’t skate, should never plan on running etc … He painted a very dim future for me, but I still would not give up. I decided to finish that season of skating and had an okay season despite the pain and inability to practice much. My team made it to Nationals that year and didn’t finish as high as we usually did but it was fun.I didn’t run often during this year as the doctor had advised against it.
The summer of 2008 I stayed at school to work and since I couldn’t skate I needed something to do that felt like a challenge and pushed me. I began doing couch to 5K on the treadmill at the gym. I learned that I shouldn’t try to run too fast just comfortably and to not push myself too much. I was finally able to run for real it seemed! Running wasn’t hurting my back at all either. I did a 4 mile race that September and finished in 34:30ish, I don’t remember for sure. Amazingly, I won my age group (it was a small race haha)! I was really into running now but still didn’t know too much about it. I just ran. So I decided I should work on building mileage up. I ran a lot of 3 mile runs that fall around a reservoir near me. I ran a 5K at Thanksgiving and finished in 25:37! I thought that was great and I wanted to do a 10K that spring. Unfortunately I injured my knee that winter and didn’t run again until May 2009. I consider May 2009 to be the real start of my running career since I had never really run consistently with a focus before then.
In May 2009, my boyfriend and I decided to do a half marathon in September 2009. We started training and we were using a Runners World Smart Coach plan but eventually switched to Hal Higdon’s Novice Half Marathon plan. The summer of training was definitely a new challenge but I learned to love running longer distances. I finished the half marathon in 1:56:23 and I was hooked. I wanted to started training for a marathon immediately but injuries stopped me (shin splints mostly – was tested for compartment syndrome since I was dealing with numbness too). I ran a few other races that fall (2 5Ks, a 10K). I worked on maintaining mileage that winter, going to PT for my shins and just focusing on getting better. Since I couldn’t run the marathon I had wanted to in February 2010 I began looking for others. I ended up training for and running the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon on May 30th. It was a challenge, mentally more than physically but now I’m ready for more. I know that I need to increase my mileage a lot and I don’t want to get injured again so I’m being smart and slow about it. I’m training for a half and then I will start another marathon cycle.
This blog will now chronicle my life, my training, my goal of losing 15-20lbs to help me become faster and hopefully eventually a BQ!

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