I’m a big believer that you need goals, to stay motivated and to achieve. Pretty much any goal, pretty much any achievement. But you need to have something specific to aim for, in order to hit anything other than the sofa. Or I do, anyway.
So this year, I was going to do “something big” every three months. Ish. But I was aiming for 4 things. London Marathon, Race To The Stones, Great North Run and run 1,000km in the year. I did my marathon. Tick. Hated it, but tick all the same. I did Race To The Stones. Tick. Oh my god, I absolutely *loved* it!! One of the best experiences of my life, and apart from birthing small humans and growing them to functional adulthood, the achievement I am most proud of. It broke me, just a little; it asked things from me that I didn’t know I had to give, but it was AWESOME. And I’m totally going to do another one! (I did say never again, and I’m not even a little bit sorry.) (I also did break lovely Kirsty and I *am* sorry about that – but mostly only cos it means she won’t do another one with me!!)
Great North Run is getting complicated, though. It more or less coincides with Dad’s birthday, and it more or less coincides with our holiday (and I *desperately* need a holiday), and Mr P can’t come with me to Newcastle because it also more or less coincides with his son starting Uni. So it’s kind of getting in the way of lots of important things – and I never really have recovered my running mojo since London.
So today, I’ve sat down and thought hard, and when my race pack comes (should be here soon) I’m going to defer GNR to next year. I’ll enter Oxford Half, instead, which is a month later *and* my local HM, which I’ve somehow never made it to. I missed it last year, because I was with my incredible daughter, watching her birth my beautiful grandbaby. This year, they have chosen to have grandbaby’s first birthday party on the Saturday, which totally leaves me free to tick off Oxford Half on the Sunday.
Instead, I’m going to focus on burning the fat I’ve laid down since starting marathon training, this time last year. I’ve been giving myself a really hard time, this summer, beating myself up in a major way for not being lean as a whippet, even though I’m as fit as I’ve ever been, and considerably stronger. But I’ve done some reading, and figured it out. Basically, I think my almost-completely-post-menopausal body is just whizzing with unbalanced hormones, and laying down fat in ways that I’m not totally used to. So I am going to spend the next 30 days focussing on building lean body mass – going hard on the weights and strict on the eating. I started a little while ago, if I’m honest, and it’s paying dividends already. I’ll limit my running to once, maybe twice at the most per week, and do deadrun intervals on the treadmill to retain cardio fitness. These things kill! I’ll do 2 sets of 30s sprint/50s rest x as close to 10 as I can! And I’ll re-start my yoga practice, to make sure my poor old body loosens up a bit and the running mojo can come back home.
So, this decision gives me 3 big things – marathon, ultra, half. I’m not sure that this will get me to my 1,000km in the year. I’m a little bit ahead of the pace, here, with only 280.85km to go. I need to run 14km a week (a shade over) to make the target – I’ll be running about 10 for the next for weeks, but that’ll pick up in late September/October and I may need to up it to 20-25km per week after Oxford Half, to make the cut.
I’m not going to set myself a target for Oxford Half. To be honest, the way I’m going to be training, I’m not even going to guarantee to myself that I’ll run the whole thing. I may well employ the Jeff Galloway technique, this time!
And that means that GNR will give me a good first target for next year. GNR, and one more (possibly two more??) ultras.
But most importantly, if I don’t get on top of my body shape now, and get it to something I feel reflects the work I’ve been doing, then I’m going to really struggle once the whole menopause thing calms down. So I need to get into a shape and a discipline I’m happy with, that will allow me to carry on setting myself amazing challenges and help me to believe I can do whatever my imagination comes up with next!