So it's 2009.
2008 ended well, though not exactly as I had imagined.
I thought I would be substantially over my 1500 mile goal for the year, as I was on track to hit it in mid-December. But with the combination of short miles around the Vegas half-marathon week, and really short miles during our two weeks of snow, I only managed to squeak over the 1500 mark on Christmas Eve, then added 5½ miles on December 29 to bring my total for the year to 1509 miles.
I didn't run on the last day of the year, as I decided to sleep in just a little to rest up from the big night before watching the Holiday Bowl (go Ducks), plus I was running a 5K on New Year's Day, plus I was going night skiing New Year's Evening.
The skiing was great, plenty of fresh snow (it was snowing lightly, and blowing, the whole evening), and I really felt like I was getting my ski legs. I've been skiing on new skis that are longer than the ones I used last year, and the first trip out I was incredibly clumsy for the first eight runs. (Oh yeah, I was counting.) But I'm accustomed to them now, and although that didn't prevent me from some klutzy moves and a couple truly spectacular falls, I kind of felt I was skiing pretty well. I was enjoying it, at least, so who cares how "good" I really was!
The night turned less good, however, when we got home around 11 p.m. and discovered that the hot water heater tank at my boyfriend's house had been leaking. This led to distress, (understandable) bad temper, and frantic efforts to turn off the water supply and stop the damage as much as possible. Not exactly the way I had intended to spend the last hour of 2008.
This morning, with some guilt*, I left him at home figuring out repair and replacement of the water heater while I headed off with my mother to Seattle for the Resolution Run 5K. This was my first race since Las Vegas, and as I mentioned above I had not been doing a whole lot of running over the past couple weeks.
The weather, too, was quite inauspicious. Cold. Raining (alternating between light rain and heavy mist). Dark and grey.
I was not thrilled with the prospect of this run. From the looks of other people arriving in the parking lots at Magnuson Park, I was not alone.
We arrived really early, and got good parking near the start and finish area, so I was able to huddle in the car for a long time. Finally I got out and started jogging around for a warmup. My legs felt good, probably due to the extended rest period they had been having! (That's about all that felt good. My mental state was marginal. Although it did improve after some running.)
When I joined the crowd of runners gathering around the starting line, I planned to station myself in the eight-minute mile group. But I ended up between the seven-minute and eight-minute mile signs. That probably would be a feasible objective on a better day for me. I knew that I wasn't going to be running sub-eight today, but I had plenty of experience being slowed down by surrounding runners in other races. Today I figured other people could pass me and perhaps being in a faster section would encourage me to run a little faster.
All I could really think of was, thank goodness this was a 5K and would be over in less than half an hour. Once it finally started, that is. As usual, the race started almost fifteen minutes after the official start time of 10:30. All those last minute arrivers checking in. I had the Garmin ready to go at 10:30, and after keeping it paused for more than five minutes, I lost the signal and had to reset it. Luckily that only happened once and I was able to press start as I crossed the mats.
As expected, people were passing me in the first mile. I vowed not to look at my watch, and I didn't, much. I did happen to look as I passed the one-mile mark, and the time was 8:35. Not my fastest, for sure, but not bad.
In mile two we had our only hills, a couple of short uphills and a downhill. I also had my biggest delaying crisis, when my ipod fell out of my mysteriously open pocket, jerked out of the earphones plug, and had to be picked up by another runner who handed it to me. I ended up stopping just briefly to plug in the earphones and restart the ipod. I figure that this little interlude cost me some time.
The other interference was puddles and mud. I had worn my regular running shoes, rather than the trail shoes which are somewhat water resistant. So it wasn't long before my feet were wet and shoes were muddy. Veering through muddy patches to avoid deep puddles probably slowed me a bit as well. The second mile, I later learned from Garmin, was almost exactly nine minutes.
In the third mile we had a couple of out and back sections. Then we finally went into a straight stretch to the finish line.** I was able to pick up the pace a bit for that section, I think; especially, of course, in the final .1 mile! My final time on the Garmin was 27:40 (the clock was a little more). I'm still waing for the chip times to be posted, but I think the Garmin was pretty right. (This picture is a rare shot of me actually stopping the Garmin as I cross the finish mats.)
That's not a very competitive time compared to my best 5K's this summer, but it's not bad considering the conditions today and my lack of condition going in. I'm okay with it. Obviously I can, and hopefully will, do better on another day.
Which brings me to my goals for 2009. I'm keeping it simple. Each goal has two parts, the "realistic" part and the "wildest dreams" part.
Here are the race times I would like to achieve.
Realistic—break 25 minutes.
Wildest dreams—break 24 minutes.
Realistic—break 52 minutes.
Wildest dreams—break 50 minutes.
Realistic—break 2 hours.
Wildest dreams—break 1:54. Or 1:55.
Distance for the year: 1600 miles. That would require 32 miles per week over 50 weeks.
Realistic—lose 10 pounds ASAP.
Wildest dreams—lose 20 pounds. Or 30? (Maybe a little too wild.)
So there you go. Nothing too outrageous.
Oh yeah, and get more sleep. In fact, I'm a little drowsy right now....
*I would have been totally useless at helping with the repairs, however.
**Anyone who wanted could veer into the lake for a polar bear plunge. Not me, no thank you!