Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I’ve been calling myself a runner for over half my life now, but at the ripe old age of 30, 2011 was truly a breakthrough year for me.

Highlights included being selected as part of Team MARATHON Bars, achieving an official 5k time that starts in 19:xx, and taking several minutes off my 10K and half marathon times.

I obtained my RRCA Coaching Certification, participated in my very first marathon relay, and even survived a trail race.

We traveled to races and abroad for vacation.

I enjoyed spending more time with my mini-me during training runs and races, and except for a minor hiccup, remained relatively injury free.

 I’d say it was a good year.

Having now broken many of my long standing goals, it leaves me re-evaluating what I want to achieve in 2012. I’ve been chasing the same goals for so long it’s weird to think I can finally put some of them to rest. There are always new challenges to be had, so it’s time to freshen up my list.

Some possibilities:

First there’s the NYC Marathon. Registration for those meeting “guaranteed entry standards” opens on January 2nd. I’ve applied through the lottery system twice before, and didn’t get in either time. I have a qualifying time for guaranteed entry this year. Like Boston, they’re making the standards tougher for 2013…..impossibly hard in my opinion, so it’s either now or never if I want to take advantage of a guaranteed entry. Mr. Blondie has given me his blessing, as this race holds a special place in his heart too. His dad ran the NYC Marathon several times in its early years.

It’s been over 5 years since I ran my last full marathon. If you’ll recall, I didn’t exactly train properly for my previous marathons. I got by running on a whole bunch of haphazard mileage.

If I were to run another marathon I’d want to do it the “right way” this time around, by not only training harder, but SMARTER than I have in the past. My goal would be to break 3:30 which is in line with my other race times.

The longest I can run with the jogging stroller is about 10 miles, so I haven’t entertained the idea of racing anything longer than a half marathon since Emily was born. Since Mr. Blondie typically works weekends and my gym has a 2 hour childcare limit, this would mean doing my 16, 18, 20+ milers after work during the week. During the summer, IN GEORGIA. I get a little woozy just thinking about it.

Other people manage to do it. I know I could too. Question is, do I really WANT to do it?

Another option I’m considering is investing in a road bike so I can attempt duathlons and sprint tri’s this year. I’d have to learn one/two completely new sports. If that’s not a good personal challenge, I don’t know what is. However a road bike is a big cash investment. Mr. Blondie is supportive of this as well (He’s one of those people that likes to tell me knees aren’t going to last forever if I keep running. It's my eyes that may wear out from rolling them every time he says that.), but after talking him into the elliptical and treadmill, it doesn’t seem very fair to spend even more money on one of my hobbies.

Plus, if I’m worried about finding the time and freedom to do long runs for a marathon, where do I think I’m going to find time for group rides and swims?


To add to the noise in my head is the amplified sound of my biological clock ticking. We were waiting for Mr. Blondie to make some more career advancements before that happened, but we’d like to give Emily a sibling sometime before she’s in high school kindergarten.

If it looks like there are going to be positive job changes, this may become a top priority. Bow chica wow wow.

Decisions, decisions……


  1. I vote for NYC. ;) So I can live vicariously through you. I love tris (it's a lot easier on the body than a full marathon) but I found working in 3 sports into my training was a bigger challenge with my busy schedule.

  2. Wow - you have had an amazing year! I think you should go for NYC, too.

  3. Gosh so many great things to consider!!!! NY would be awesome and so would some tri 's. And yet aniyher baby is so great too!!!!! I think 2012 is going to be a killer year for u girl!!!!! Can't wait to see what happens...

  4. I can relate to figuring out how to prioritize everything in your life. You know that having a family is #1 for me right now, but I don't know what I'd do in your position, since you already have a little one. I too want to do a tri at some point, and have a road bike, so that's not an issue for me. The swimming is the part that most intimidates me!

  5. I hope the New Year is nothing short of fantastic for you & your lovely family. I especially hope some good things happen for the Mr.'s career-these guys deserve to get some upgrades.

  6. wowsers! you have an exciting year ahead of you!! :)

  7. Can't wait to see what you end up doing! NYC would be pretty cool. A baby would be exciting too! I can tell you adding a second baby makes it more challenging to keep up with running, but you're in such great shape that I'm sure you'd run right through your pregnancy and find a way to keep up with it all.

  8. Thanks Nicole :)

    Isn't not that we don't have our struggles as well, but we were very fortunate to have our health and means to take advantage of some great opportunities this past year. It was truly a blessing that I'm tremendously greatful for!

  9. I 100% know I want another one, but the thought of handling two scares the hell out of me. People always say you find a way to make it work once you're in the situation though. It really helps seeing how other women do it.

  10. Interesting observation I've made about many airline families....there tends to be about a 4-5 year gap between the first and second child. That also tends to be the timeframe for upgrading or transitioning to a mainline for most pilots. Then if they have a third, it's usually pretty immediate, like within a year or two.

    This whole industry slow down if really putting a kink in our timeline!

  11. I can relate to so many of your thoughts! I've wondered about triathalons, too, but don't know that the bike is worth the investment... and we're also wondering at what point we should aim for baby #2... took awhile for #1, so I'm not convinced it will happy when we want it to. Makes race-planning a bit challenging! I look forward to seeing what 2012 will bring for you!

  12. Sounds like we're in the same boat Laura. I needed intervention to have Emily too. Once we got a treatment plan started with an RE things happened quickly though. I may be optimistic (ok, naive), but hope the same protocol will work for us again when we're ready.

  13. what an amazing year for you! i'm so impressed with your racing - esp with the little one.

    i'm sure you will achieve some (if not all) of your 2012 goals. good luck and happy new year!

  14. Congratulations on an amazing 2011! That 19 minute 5K still blows my mind. :-) You have an exciting year ahead, too! My vote is to tackle NYC, but it's way easier to encourage someone else to run a marathon than it is to slog through GA summer long runs. I'm sure whatever adventures 2012 hold for you will be grand.