Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's resolutions that I just might keep

I never make New Year's resolutions. For some reason the idea of adding something to my busy schedule or changing my ingrained habits is daunting. Paralyzing. Stressful. So, for the sake of avoiding my negative connotations with a standard New Year's resolution, I am going to phrase my resolutions as goals. Overall, these goals will reduce stress, not cause it, and they might be the first "resolutions" that I actually keep.

Drum roll please.... prepare yourself for a little insanity...

Books - this may be cheating, but I want the time frame for my first goal to be February 2011 - January 2012. I started devouring books when we came back from Africa on February 1, 2011 and I am on such a roll that I want to see how many I can read within 12 months. My goal is 40 and I'm only 3 books away!

Marathon - I have 3 marathons under my belt, but I've never run a marathon in minimalist/barefoot shoes. Steamboat Springs Marathon, June 2012, in minimalist shoes, here I come! I'll document my training wows and woes starting January 30th. 

Ultra marathon - I debated about putting this goal in writing, but I admit that I've always wanted to run an ultra marathon (any distance over the traditional 26.2 miles marathon distance). I'm one of those quirky runners who loves the 20 mile training runs. I did warn you to prepare yourself for a little insanity, right? I'm looking at running a 50k (31 miles) at the end of September 2012. Most running sites suggest running a marathon, recovering a little, and then building back up. The theory is that having a marathon training base underneath you will make the 50k training easier. While marathons (and some ultras) can be competitive speed-wise, the culture around many ultras is to have fun and that it's okay/expected that you will both run and walk. Ultras also tend to be on hilly terrain and partially on trails. I'm excited and terrified all at once!

Barefoot progress
 Here's the recap on goals I set back in July 2011 and their progress.
1. Increase the number of days I run barefoot to 2-3 days per week to build strength in my muscles. I am now running full-time in my minimalist shoes (3-4 days per week) plus walking in them whenever I can. My legs are no longer sore from the new stride; running on my mid/fore foot feels completely normal.
2. Increase my barefoot distance to 6 miles. I am up to 7 miles in my barefoot shoes and getting ready for an 8 miler soon.
3. Find minimalist shoes that I can wear in the winter. I found amazing minimalist shoes that I absolutely love called VivoBarefoot Neo. They are "shoe-like" enough to wear with jeans, and barefoot enough for my running. I'll share more details about the shoes in my next entry.

I can't express enough how much I love barefoot/minimalist running. Looking back at my posts, I never would have guessed that I'd go from walking barefoot to prepping for barefoot marathon training in 8 months. Here's to a new year - one that will be lived to the fullest!

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