Adding to my wonderful bubbly happiness is the fact that I finally can put running before my job. I worked very hard over the winter and spring to train for and compete in races, but I could never fully focus on running because the cloud of work was always there. Don't get me wrong, I love to teach... but I love running more, and with summer vacation, I have the perfect opportunity to really grow as a runner.
So, onto the goals! That's the title of this post, after all...
These goals all excite me a ton!
1. Increase my strength. I will accomplish this by actually doing strength and core training on a regular basis. Today I joined DK Fitness, a new local studio that offers Body Pump, Spinning, and a couple other awesome classes. I went to a trial Body Pump class yesterday and really enjoyed it! It is quite humbling, doing something that you've never done before with people who are skilled at it. I'm sore as all get out tonight, so I know for sure I need it. I also tried out a core class at our local running store, and I'll be going as often as I can to that as well (it's a drop-in weekly class for only $5). I went to a group session with my MRTT mamas at Orange Theory, a new circuit training facility in town, and I really liked it as well. However, it's quite a bit more expensive than the other two, so I'm going to pass on it for now. I think between DK and the core class, I've got it covered.
2. Regain my swimming finesse. I mentioned previously that I'm taking a swimming class this summer in preparation for a triathlon relay which I'm doing at the end of July with my runner mama pal Jen and her triathlete extraordinaire hubby Curt. I was able to get back into the water on my own several times in May, and was pleasantly surprised how easy swimming was! I think the cardiovascular strength that I gained from marathon training really translated well to swimming. This past week was the first week of the class. It's a bit basic, but I love having someone telling me what to do, and there's another former collegiate swimmer in the class who I enjoy chatting with between sets. I am going to need to get in some open-water training in the next several weeks as well, of course, since the race itself is in the lake.
This is what scares me the most about the triathlon... no lane lines!
3. Increase my flexibility. It's been pointed out to me by a few well-meaning runner pals that my flexibility, to put it bluntly, sucks. I've always had issues with being flexible. Remember the Presidential Physical Fitness Test we all had to do in middle school gym class? I was ultra-competitive even back then (imagine that LOL), and I just had to earn that patch all three years.
Well, I blew through the mile run, the pull-ups, the shuttle run, and the sit-ups in September every year. My downfall: the dreaded "sit-and-reach," a measure of flexibility. I had to work all year to get a passing number, and it was never easy for me. Anyway, I totally get that I am not flexible now. Runners aren't known for their flexibility anyway. I've worked out a pre-run and post-run stretching routine, and I plan on adhering to it, as well as nightly stretching.
4. PR in the 5K. I will be racing in the Westerville Rotary 5K on July 4th again this year. Last year, I ran this race in a 25:21, which was almost 3 minutes faster than my first-ever 5K from 7 months prior. A few weeks later, I set a new PR with a 24:21. I'm only planning on this one 5K this summer, mostly due to the fact that I am not a fan of 5K's... they hurt so much! It's funny how racing 3.1 miles is more painful than a 15 mile training run. Also, I am saving my racing fees for bigger and better races. I will discuss my 5K goal in another blog entry closer to the race, but suffice to say I am planning on blowing that 24:21 out of the water :)
5. Have fun running! This is such an easy goal, but I wanted to throw it in there. I have enjoyed running so very much this past month since my marathon. In addition to getting in a few runs with my favorite partner Jen, I've been able to meet up with several new mamas from my MRTT group, and it's been super fun! I haven't had to run alone in almost 5 weeks, which has been amazing. I am such a social runner... my most favorite thing about running is catching up with my friends (or meeting new ones!). Many of my runs have been done with Erin, who is like my running twin in so many ways (PRs, comfortable pace, body type/build, etc.). We even have the same blood type LOL! Erin's also the one who's got me keen on strength training (she's an instructor at DK Fitness) and stretching, so I'm learning a ton from her. I'm excited to start training with her for the Columbus Marathon, which will be her first full!
Erin and I after one of our many sunrise runs (she loves the early runs too!).
There they are, my goals... putting them out there for the world to see. Bring it on, summer! I've got this!