Tuesday, January 7, 2014

To have or not to have...running goals for 2014

We now return to regular programming.

After all the angst last week, all the passionate determination to run less in order to leave more time for other things, I find myself sorely tempted to register for another series of tough races in 2014.

In fact, I've already committed to running one of the toughest - the Cabot Trail Relay - and, just to make it interesting, I've signed up to co-captain and run a relatively long, difficult leg. It also looks as if I may run another race in Newfoundland in July - the Tely 10 (miler). It's reputed to be a fast course so of course I'll have to try running it in a personal best time.

And then there's the always challenging Hypothermic Half in March and a new half marathon in Brooklyn (NS) in early May. How could I not run them when they're so close to home?

There are loads of other fun runs too - the 25k Moose Run and the Back to Basics 8 miler, for instance. Maybe I should sign up for a couple of those with a plan to run them at a nice, slow training pace. Right.

Or maybe I should cool my jets, limit myself to participating in no more than three or four races this season, and volunteer for a few in order to support the sport that's brought me such joy. "No!" I hear my inner, goal hungry, type A demon yell. "You're nearly 52 years old. This may be your last chance. You don't want to miss out."

Miss out? On what, for goodness sake?

The truth is I don't want to do the tough training it would require to prepare for all those events. The weather's cold, icy and miserable these days. Last week, temperatures dipped to -30C with the windchill. It's warmed up a bit but sidewalks are still treacherous and the winds high.

We had one lovely, mild day on Sunday (when I snapped the photo above) but the running was still tough. Several inches of packed snow, softened by warm temperatures, made it feel as if I was running in soft beach sand. By the time I'd done 12k, my quads burned and my ankles ached. In fact, it was so tough I threw in the towel and asked Husband to pick me up so I wouldn't have to run the final 2k home.

No, this year needs to be about finding a more balanced approach to running that involves training consistently at a reasonable intensity, cutting myself some slack and using my time for other things when the worst of the winter weather descends.

I practiced that tonight actually. I'd planned to run home from work but, when I stepped out of my building, discovered the wind was much stronger than I'd realized. At my most running-obsessed, such a discovery wouldn't have deterred me for a moment Hell, I would have reveled in the challenge of running into the wind all the way home. But tonight I took one quick spin around the block to consider my options, returned to my office, collected my warm coat and boots and grabbed the ferry home.

The truth is it would have been foolhardy to run over the bridge to Dartmouth tonight so taking the ferry was unquestionably the right thing to do. Of course, I could have gone for a run when I got home, but Her Majesty needed to go to the vet for some blood work and Husband wanted to watch episode 2 of "The Best Laid Plans" so I opted to skip it. Tomorrow's another day, after all, and it looks as if the weather will improve a little overnight.

All of which leads back to what, if any, running goals I should set for 2014?  Stay tuned...


  1. Open water! Amazing. Any water here is a mineral, unless it's heated somehow.

  2. Yikes - I'm glad to sign up for one event! Good luck with your running goals, Janice - even if they be "run consistently throughout the week"!

    Very exciting about the Brooklyn race - running past one of my favorite beaches (Beach Meadow). I am tempted, but unsure yet when I'm going out west for a family visit.

    1. What distance are you planning to run in Brooklyn, Janet? I was thinking of doing the half. It sounds like a lovely route.

    2. Not sure I'm signing up, Janice - I'm planning a trip out west and it may be around that time. I see they're only taking 250 registrations - wondering how fast they'll sell out.