looking back at 2016 and my running evolution over the past couple of years.

I’ve planned a lot of things out this year and I have to say few if any have actually stuck exactly to schedule.  It’s been an absolutely insane year.  I made a lot of goals and I knocked most of them out and I’m still not entirely sure how I did it.  2016 was bananas to say the least.  I feel like this year was just crammed full of things and it makes me even more excited to see what the next one has in store.

This year has really been an interesting one for me in terms of my fitness.  I became a certified personal trainer through NASM and a Spinning instructor.  Fitness has always been one of my favorite activities and I’ve taken it to such a different level now.  Teaching my Spin classes has become one of my favorite things to do and has taught me so much.  I wouldn’t have pursued either of these certifications if it weren’t for failures in other areas though.  I decided to get NASM certified after I was fed up with studying for the GMAT and wanted to take my mind off of everything academic related and prove to myself that I was capable of handling this difficult exam on my own.  Spinning came about because of my ankle injury and me needing to find a cardio outlet since I was side-lined.  Were either in my plan going into the year?  Nope, not a chance.  But I am super proud I pursued both.

I told myself that my New Years Resolution for 2016 was to run a half marathon. Well, this year I ran not one but three.  So there’s that.  The first was on a treadmill (okay so I ran this Dec. 29th, I think we can call that close enough), the second was the Philly Love Run, and the third was another on the treadmill to prove that I was ready to get back after it coming off of my ankle injury.  I don’t know why I make up the idea in my head to just run one some days, but I do.  I’ve made the executive decision to sign-up for the New Jersey Marathon for 2017.  Training will start the first week of the New Year and I’m stoked.  Right now, I’m dealing with a tiny bit of ankle pain, so I went out and bought all of the balancing implements I could and am working on stretching and strengthening.

My goal for marathon training is simple.  Don’t train the same way you’ve trained before.  Listen to paces.  I am THE WORST.  Literally, certifiably the WORST at slowing down runs.  Which is probably why I spend a good amount of time injured.  I ain’t sayin’, I’m just sayin’. So.  I’ve consulted some handy-dandy pace calculators and am going to do it for real this time.  This week has been 2 miles quick-ish, 8 miles long and easy (9:05 pace), 4 miles for speed (including a 6:38 mile), and I’m aiming for maybeeeee 6 easy tomorrow but don’t quote me.

http://runsmartproject.com/calculator/embed/index.php?title=false

I started running a couple of years ago when my Aunt Mari announced at Thanksgiving that she was going to run a half marathon.  My dad and I, as competitive as ever, decided we were going to blow this one out of the water too and we started training.  Enter both of us getting immediately injured.  I came back swinging but every time I tried to get over 6 miles, I would injure myself in some capacity.  This year, I’m really trying not to.  I’ve talked about running paces before and I really wish I would heed my own advice (Can someone please tell me why I don’t?  Ugh.) because I think it will save me from injury.  I’m prioritizing long, easy, SLOW runs this time around and tons and tons of foam rolling and stretching.

I’m going into this marathon training smart.  I want to be a smart runner.  I have some genetic ankle issues working against me, but I know if I’m patient and go slow I can work it out and have already proved that with my most recent half.  I can do this, it’s not going to be easy but I can.

this was one of my first “long runs” ever. I was so proud, i snapped a pic haha

A lot of people have told me they can’t believe I’m training for a marathon and that they could never do that.  It’s not true.  Every single person started somewhere.  No one was born running 26.2 miles.  No one.  With a little work and a little care, anyone can do it.  Is it going to be easy?  Not a chance.  Is it going to be worth it?  God, I hope so.  In fact, anytime any one asks me anything and about how I got to be fast (for the record, I do not for a second think I’m fast. my 6:38 mile time today is some people’s warm-up) or how I can run all the miles, I just tell them that I worked at it.  I pushed a little harder, ran a little longer and it’s just been adding up over time.  I’m excited for this new challenge, but also straight up terrified.  All I know is when we make plans, God laughs though.

2017 I’ve got big plans for you, don’t let me down.

 

-sj

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