Achievable, sensible running goals for 2012

Unfortunately I did not make it to the Down Tow Up Flow half marathon last weekend. It’s the first time I’ve pulled out of a race and I’m really disappointed. My running buddy was struck down with illness and as I had made the decision to run it for fun, rather than chasing a time, I did not want to run it alone. It just didn’t seem as fun. Instead I spent the weekend playing sicknurse and relaxing.

So what am I going to do for the next few months? I am being wholly realistic in my goals for the rest of the year. I am in the process of an enormous career and lifestyle change as I chase my dream job. I am swapping my (enviable) permanent, full-time, benefits-laden, well paid job asΒ  library and information assistant for one day a week’s work as a lecturer plus whatever part-time jobs I can find to pay the rent. My running will now have to fit around whatever hours I get and however far I will have to travel to work them. I feel that running is going to become my dependable friend in the midst of this chaos and so I want to make sure I enjoy it, rather than exploit it for PBs. So for the next few months at least I have a new mantra. I will target the sensible and achieve the achievable.

I have two challenges lined up over the autumn and winter – sensible challenges. The first challenge will be the Cardiff 10K on September 9th. I’m aiming for a sub-51 min finish. But don’t panic! I know, I know… sub-51 when my PB is only 52:44 – surely that’s not sensible! But sub-51 means running the race roughly at my 5K pace. When I start to look at targets in terms of what I have already achieved they suddenly seem quite achievable too.

The second challenge will be an as yet undecided half marathon some time in November/December. I’m hoping to ride on the back of the fitness built for the Cardiff 10K and, if all goes well, I would like a new PB. I’m aiming for 1:56:00. Woah! Hold your horses – don’t look so scared! In the spirit of sensible-ness I will explaing the logic behind this goal. I walked quite a few times in the last few miles of the Berlin Half – once every km in fact and for about 20-30 seconds. That’s a lot of walking. I finished in just under 1:58:00, only 2 minutes faster than my new target. Therefore I am not thinking of acheiving 1:56:00 by running faster. Instead I’m thinking of it as running without any breaks. Again, this seems quite sensible and achievable.

I’m looking forward to my 10K training. It’s going to be very different to the half marathon training I have been doing for the last 18 months and having these targets will help me stay focused over the next few months. And even if these targets are ridiculous, it’s too late to back out now because I’ve told all of you about them, and pulling out of more than one race in 2012 is just unacceptable.

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