What’s Beautiful: Running Faster and How To Get There

I am feeling so fortunate that I was chosen to be part of the Under Armour What’s Beautiful program! This is a sponsored program in which I was selected by Fitfluential to participate.  The timing is perfect as I set about planning my training program for my next half marathon, The Costume Party Run.

The What’s Beautiful project is a competition with the goal of redefining the female athlete. Women are invited to set goals for themselves and then go out and achieve them. They are encouraged to try things that they never thought that they could, share their stories, team up with other women with similar goals, and work together to accomplish amazing things.

Miles not inches - What's Beautiful

The best part is that the Under Armour What’s Beautiful program is for everybody. Not just elite level athletes, but ordinary women who would like to push themselves to achieve the extraordinary.

Anybody can join, compete, and be rewarded for their efforts.  All you need is to sign up , choose a goal, and share your journey. You can also be a part of a team, either by forming your own, or joining a team of women with similar goals.

It was pretty easy to select my goal. I am actually in the middle of week one of my nine week training program for the Costume Party Run. I came very close to finishing my last race in two hours, in spite of the hilly course and my asthma problems. My What’s Beautiful goal is:  Run my first post-50 year old sub-2:00 half marathon in July!  I WILL.

What's Beautiful

Part of the fun of the What’s Beautiful project is that you are encouraged to share your progress by completing challenges and uploading pictures and videos, so of course I will be doing that too.  There are even prizes involved! Great Under Armour swag guaranteed to motivate you even more, plus some grand prizes that are really awesome.

I have the goal, so I must create the plan to get there. This is week one of my nine-week training program, and I have already started the work, even though I just finished writing the program today. I based it on my last program, with a few tweaks. So, how am I going to go from a 2:05:41 to a sub-2:00? Here’s what I’m doing different:

  • More long runs. I’m already in good shape, so I’m picking up where I left off. After this weekend’s nine-miler, I will be right back into the 10+ range. I’m even planning a 14 mile run this time around.
  • More focused speed workouts. In this training cycle, Wednesdays will alternate between intervals (mostly 800s or longer), and tempo workouts (working up to four miles at tempo pace).
  • A few “negative split” workouts during my long runs. I love these and they are so effective for teaching you to run fast even when you’re tired.
  • Now that my work will be slowing down, I will get back to the gym.
  • Yoga (I can hear you laughing saying “yeah, right.” But really, yoga.
  • I have an appointment with my asthma doctor next week to see what we can do about the exercise induced asthma. It is something I have dealt with for a long time, but now that I’m training harder it is becoming more of an issue. I haven’t been to this doctor for about seven years, haven’t needed to. Alan is suggesting I try Montelukast, the generic version of Singulair,  a pill that you take once a day that he says has been amazing for his asthma.
  • There are virtually no hills on the Costume Party Run course. Yay!

I’m confident that if I follow my training schedule, stay injury free, and manage my asthma, I can achieve my goal of a post-50 year old, sub 2:00 half marathon. If you’re interested in the program, click on the thumbnail for a full size version. I’ll probably make a few more tweaks along the way, but here you go:

What's Beautiful

I hope that you will take a few moments to check out the What’s Beautiful website and think about joining the challenge. Then, you can click on over to my page and follow me (I’ll follow you back, I promise). I also started a team, Team Awesome, which I invite you to join. Our goal is to run, walk, skip, or jump across the country (and you can take that either literally or figuratively). Basically, our goal is to get moving, keep moving, and rack up some mileage.

Here are some details about What’s Beautiful from the Under Armour website:

Together we’re redefining the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we’ve ever been and where we thought we could go. Join us. Set your own personal goal. Then document your journey by posting videos and photos that tell your story from start to victory.

We’ll continuously post challenges for you. But that’s just the beginning. Show us your journey. Show us what makes your story the one that stands out from the rest. If you meet your goal, set a new one. Make it even bigger. Prove to everyone, and yourself, that you have more than what it takes.

Each week, Under Armour will be giving away swag bags full of loot to participants. they will feature top performers on their website. after 8 weeks, they will announce 10 finalists who have documented the most impressive & motivated journeys toward the goals. mid-July, winners will be announced! three winners will receive a trip to Costa Rica for a 4-day retreat.

I hope that I’ve got you excited and ready to get started! What are the goals that you would like to achieve?

Checking In: Blogging Goals, Challenges, and #28DBC

My experience writing this post is a good example of why I am not moving forward in my blogging goals. This post is scheduled to go live on Wednesday at 8:00 pm. I started writing it on Sunday. By writing I mean I gave it a working title and saved it as a draft. I like the visual of having my posts there, just waiting for me to write.

Blog Goals

Well, this post has been waiting three days. Nothing exciting has happened, just the normal busyness of everyday life. Work, family, work, running, work, work, work. I’m not making excuses (well, I kind of am), it just is what it is. I work 8-10 hours a day, commute an hour a day, prepare dinner every night, run a few days a week, and try to fit in some time with my husband during all of that.  After all of that, I try to squeeze in some quality writing. So the actual blog improvement time has gone by the wayside so far this year.

Oh, I’ve made stabs at it. If you’ll recall, I signed up for Blog Genie’s Blog Improvement Challenge. The first module is very important and is scheduled to be completed in January. As of February 6, I’m about halfway through. (Rita, if you’re reading this, first of all, thanks for visiting my blog!, and second, I promise to do better!)

One improvement that I am pleased and proud about is my new theme that was part of the package when I signed up for the Blog Improvement Challenge. I love the clean and professional look.

I also joined Katy Widrick’s 28 Day Blog Challenge. The challenge is to use the 28 days of February and make small changes each day. Katy even started the ball rolling with a list of 28 suggestions. While I have a few ideas rolling around in my head, I have yet to take action or even write them down before now. (Katy, if you’re reading this, thanks for visiting my blog!, and I really am taking the first steps right now.)

28 Challenge

Without further ado, here is a short list of some of the changes I plan to make during February. They are in random order, I’m writing them down as I think about them.

1. Update my “About” page.

2. Create a new header.

3. Clean up my sidebars.

4. Update my “Recipe” page.

5. Check the content on all of my pages. Is it outdated? Is it still relevant?

6. Create a Media Kit.

7. Update my twitter profile and photo (it’s never been changed!)

8. Take a look at my facebook page. Update as needed. Change profile and header photos

9. Take a look at my “share” settings for my blog. I’ve added automatic sharing over the course of time, so it seems that right after I publish a post, there are three or four automatic updates to twitter, facebook, and others. Annoying I’m sure, to my readers.

10. I have business cards, now I need to use them!

11. Add a little “about me” intro on my home page.

12. Make sure that my blog is sitemapped correctly. I have worked on this, but I’m still not happy with how it shows up in google.

13. I’m always talking about learning about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This month I will take steps, read articles, books, study, so I can understand, then follow through on steps to improve my SEO.

In addition, I have three modules to complete in the Blog Improvement Challenge, which will drive me to make improvements and changes in the design, function, and content of my blog.

Now that I’ve written a few things down, I am excited to get started. Now I have small, achievable goals that I can work on. Hmm, what should I do first?

Are you a blogger? Are you working to make improvements and changes in your blog? Have you joined 28DBC?

Finally! 2013 Fitness Goals

Fitness Goals

So, almost one week into 2013 and I finally made it out for a walk this morning. Definitely not starting off the year or my fitness goals with a bang. Though the walk did feel good. It was very cold, much colder than you’d expect for the California desert. Alan and I walked 3.5 miles with Penny and Buddy, after a much slower 1.2 mile walk with the pack. I was happy just to be out, and hope that I’ll be back to running in a couple days.

Walk Temp

Fitness Goals

This is Penny’s “why aren’t we running?” posture.

Fitness Goals

Pretty and COLD this morning!

So, I’ve hinted at a few of my fitness goals in my last few posts, and talked about a few things that are getting me motivated, including my Polar heart rate monitor, my EatSmart Body Fat Scale, and my Runmeter GPS Stopwatch App. Now to finally put it all together into sensible, achievable goals and intentions for 2013.

Fitness Goal #1

My number one goal for this year is to get back into fighting shape, so to speak. No, I’m not going to be a boxer. Just a figurative term for training seriously for a race, probably a half marathon. Last year I ran two half marathons, and maybe a couple of 5ks, but aside from putting in some mileage, I didn’t really train. In fact, it has been several years since I’ve done any kind of training to make me run faster. So, using my motivator #1, my Polar hrm as my guide and my Runmeter App as my planner and log, I will:

  • Pick a race that I want to train for (possibly La Jolla Half Marathon).
  • Create a training plan that will include both endurance, speed, and stamina
  • Share the plan here.
  • Follow the plan
  • Log my workouts and share here
  • Complete the race
  • Do it again

I’m excited that I have Alan on board to train with me some of the time. His training is different, of course, because he trains for triathlon, but we can do our running intervals and distance together. This is huge for my motivation because back when I was running marathons and training hard Alan and I always trained together. We’ve done countless long runs together, though he usually would run his own race at marathons (except special ones like my first and, of course, Paris). We’ve also done many an early interval workout, in the dark usually, at the high school track.

Fitness Goal #2

I want to continue my yoga journey (I like the way that sounds). I was pretty consistent in 2012, with only a lapse or two here and there, until cross country season, then the holidays. Of course the problem with that is that those things encompass about 25% of the year. I’m going to keep my intentions pretty simple. Twice a week minimum, at least once at the studio. Giving yoga rules doesn’t feel right, but I need to have a plan so that I can stick to it.

Fitness Goal #3

Oh, the Gym. In spite of my career, I have a love/hate relationship with working out at the gym. I love the results, I even love working out hard. It’s just that getting there is impossible challenging. So much to interfere (like that running, yoga, job, cooking, blogging, life thing). Because of that, my scheduled gym times tend to be at a time of day when my energy is at a low ebb, and it is very easy to be dissuaded.  I am again going to recruit my husband, who also needs wants to get back to the gym, as my workout partner. Nothing like a workout buddy to keep you on track and in line. The plan calls for twice a week workouts, with the emphasis on upper body (my classes really don’t count for upper body workouts because I don’t use heavy enough weights. Squats and lunges, though, are squats and lunges, so therefore they count).

And Finally

When I first received my EatHealthy Body Fat Scale and tried it out, I was somewhat shocked with the result. Yes, it was the holidays, but I honestly didn’t think that I had been overeating. In fact, since my gluten-free experiment, when I basically cut out my favorite treats like vegan cookies and ice cream sandwiches, I have not started eating them again.  I don’t eat junk food, rarely eat sweets, so yes, I was surprised that the scale showed about five more pounds than I expected. Then, after a week of careful eating, not to mention the nausea and fasting from my sick days, I weighed in this morning still several pounds over my pre-holiday weight.

This time, instead of panicking, I pulled out my old scale, an older model Tanita body fat scale, and weighed myself. Um, back to where I want to be (well, close)! Which explains why I didn’t notice a difference in they way my clothes feel. Now, as to what scale is correct…I think I need a third opinion. I know which one I’m rooting for.

What’s Not Here

You may wonder why getting back to cycling is not on my goals list. Well, it kinda/sorta is. I’d like to ride my bike more, but it is not a huge priority for me right now. I’d like to occasionally go out for a ride, but I don’t feel an urge to train to ride another century. At least not right now. As the year progresses, who can tell? I will put a note on my calendar to check back on this post from time to time, just to remind myself of where I planned to go at the beginning of the year. To help me be where I want to be at the end of the year.

Do you make resolutions, goals, or intentions for the upcoming year? If you do, would like like to share?

2013 Blog Goals and a New Blog Design!

Blog Goals

My plan for this week, since I had a few days off, was to write a few blog posts, first wrapping up and reviewing 2012, then laying out my personal, fitness, and blog goals for the new year. Well, you know what they say about plans. Between family and illness, nothing not much of that was done.

So, playing catch up now, I decided to lead with my blog goal post because, as you may have noticed, I have a new theme design! I’ll tell you more about it below, but the timing is perfect and I’m very happy with my clean, new “look.”

Before setting goals for 2013, I needed to take a moment to look back at 2012 and the plans I made a year ago. While I probably should have been reading it from time to time throughout the year, suffice it to say that today was the first time in a while that I had taken a look.

Fortunately, I didn’t have a long list of goals. I say fortunately because with only four blogging goals set for 2012, I can honestly say that I kept 50% of them. I have increased my readership, more than threefold, in the last year. I’ve done this by posting more often (another goal completed), practicing better SEO (search engine optimization), and by joining some wonderful blogging groups, who share their knowledge and experience, not to mention their social networking.

The goals that I did not fully achieve were actually series posts that I planned. I wanted to write more about La Quinta and my desert area. I have done that to a certain extent, but not as a weekly series. I also planned to make vegan food a weekly event, either a recipe, restaurant, or product review. Again, I did post more recipes and reviews, just not as frequently as I’d planned. So, not a total fail.

And I’m okay with that. I like the mix that I have right now on my blog. I have several series that I enjoy writing, although keeping consistent with them has been a challenge. Remember Workout Wednesday? Weekly Reader? And even my new series, Thursday Thoughts (if you can call one post a series)? I also love writing about my family, dogs, running, yoga, and training. So I’m going to keep doing all of that. And if it doesn’t happen every week, so be it.

So, here are my Blog Goals for 2013:

  • I will continue to increase my readership. Yes, I have three times as many readers as a year ago, but I’m greedy. I want more. To do that, I will need to keep writing quality posts that educate, amuse, and make you think. I will get back to my series posts, and publish as frequently as I possibly can while still writing worthwhile posts.
  • I will learn more about SEO. I have skimmed the edges, but there is a lot of information and I need to understand it.
  • I will improve my social networking skills. Yes, I use all the main social networks, but I know that there are improvements to be made there.
  • I will publish more video. Vlogs are the future and I need to stick with it. I have done some workout videos, and some basic vlogs, but I want to improve my skills at shooting and editing video.
  • I will improve my photography skills. Last year I got a SLR camera, this year I got a zoom lens, now it’s finally time to take a course (or at least read) and learn how to use it properly. Time to move beyond “auto.”

One cannot just put forth vague goals without having a plan for how to achieve them, though. To that end, I am so excited to have signed up for the 2013 Blog Improvement Challenge presented by Rita Barry over at Blog Genie. It is a year long workshop and training course, and each month we will be covering many of the things that I mentioned above, plus many other ways to be a better blogger. It starts in just a few days and I can hardly wait! Our first month will cover “Planning to Succeed.” There are still a couple days to sign up, so check it out!

On of the perks I received for signing up early for the challenge was a new theme for my blog, professionally installed by Rita. I really love the crisp, clean look, and feel like my new design is a great way to kick off 2013.

I would like to wish all of you a most happy, healthy and successful new year. May all your dreams come true, and your plans come to fruition. And I thank all of you for helping make my year a much better one.

So, 2013 is off and running. How did you spend your first day of the new year? Do you have any goals, plans, intentions, or resolutions you’d like to share (a link is okay)?

Happy New Year! Looking Back and Looking Forward

I hope that everyone had a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve! Mine was definitely safe because I spent it at home with a toothache (but that is a story for another post). It also kept me from writing a “year in review” post, which I’d been planning to write separately from the “new year, new goals” post, so I decided to combine the two, keep it (relatively) brief, and move on into 2012.

Personal Life

With a couple exceptions, 2011 was a good year for me personally. Alan and I have a great marriage and are fortunate that we share so many common interests. Although I don’t do triathlons, we still love to run and bike together. We got to travel together, both for pleasure and for business. We live happily and quietly with our dogs and cats. Our biggest tragedy this year was the sudden death of our beloved Sassy. We are still grieving from our loss, and will be for a while.

A much brighter note was my son Nathan’s marriage to Sarah in November. We were so happy to welcome her to the family. We teased her in December that she passed her first “wife test,” when she had to deal with Nathan’s sudden extreme pain and illness early on Christmas morning, with flying colors.

We’ve continued developing our relationship with Alan’s “long lost” son, his wife, and our two twin grandsons. We have been fortunate to be able to spend time with the boys, including taking them to Knott’s Berry Farm, swimming, surfing, and just hanging out.

I’ve had a few health, I don’t think ‘issues’ is the right word, but a few health items that I’ve been dealing with this year. After my annual screening mammogram, I was called back for, first an ultrasound, then a biopsy. Still dealing with that one heading into 2012, but odds are good that everything is benign. I had my first colonscopy (ah, the joy!), and needed extensive dental work (something else that is still being dealt with in this new year).

I turned 54 in November and managed to extend the celebration for three days. Just wait until I’m 80. I’ll be partying for a month.

Goals

My only real goal for my personal life is to keep on doing what I’m doing. Deal with the health stuff, keep our family relationships going, keep my pets happy, enjoy and love my husband.

Professional Life

I have several aspect to my professional life, which I don’t write about very often. I work for WTS International as a Fitness Director at the Springs Country Club. I have been there for over six years, and really enjoy the job, the people, and the opportunities. One thing I did write about this year was our new Pilates Reformer. It has already started to pay off, stirring up interest and bringing in students, many of whom have not visited the fitness center in the past. It has also opened up an opportunity for me, as I took the first level (of eight) of Pilates reformer training.

I am also a personal trainer, working at the Springs, of course, and at Rancho La Quinta Country Club, where I have only two clients, a wonderful couple who I have trained for 10 years (they turned 81 this year!), and who love me enough to arrange our training schedule to fit in with my “real job.” I switched my certification to another organization this year, which required some study and a weekend course, along with a written and practical test.

I am still coaching cross country for Palm Desert High School, something that fits perfectly into my schedule as most of our pre-season is during the summer (when country club work is very slow), and our season is in early fall, before the “Snowbirds” return. We had a good, large team this year, and the girls in particular, did very well.

And, while I would like to consider my blogging a professional endeavor, I have yet to make a penny, so I will discuss my blog in a separate post. I do have accomplishments, goals and plans, and I’ll link here when the post is complete. Edit: You can read my blogging goals here.

Goals

My basic professional goals are rather boring for others, so I will just say that I have plans and designs to improve usage, revenue, and interest at my fitness center. I also plan to continue my Pilates education, and will hopefully take a Reformer Level 2 class at the end of January.

Training/Fitness

Ah, training. That is the area where I, like many others, have planned to improve each year. And it is the area that I have fallen short of my goals. But, as I review my Daily Mile stats, I can say that I have ridden almost 1,700 miles and run about 500 miles in 2011. That is a whole lot better than nothing.

I did earn my Brick award again this year, completing the Tour de Palm Springs (about 55 miles of it, anyway (that post also includes the story of Alan’s crash, which slowed him down for a while and from which he has recovered)) and the Palm Springs Half Marathon on the same weekend. I also ran the La Jolla Half Marathon, Women Running Wild 5k, and the Surf City Independence Day 5k.

Proof that I did actually ride my bike on the last day of the year.

Goals

Basically, I want to keep on doing what I’m doing. I want to approach my workouts with excitement and enthusiasm. Since I am planning to run both the Palm Springs and La Jolla Half Marathons again this year, I intend to increase my mileage, and possibly get in a little speed work. I had a great ride yesterday, my first in almost a month, so I will continue to increase my mileage, working up to a century, possibly in April or May. After riding in the Tour de Palm Springs last year, I swore that I’d never do it again, but checking their website tell me that they are instituting some of the changes that I (and other riders) suggested, especially offering a staggered start for the century and half century. While it is doubtful that I will be even close to ready to ride 100 miles by mid February, I might just ride the 50 miler. We’ll see.

As for other training goals, with my friend, April opening her Yoga studio in La Quinta (grand opening January 7!), I plan to add more Yoga to my life. My goal is one class a week, supplemented with some at-home practice.

I also need to get back to the gym. I have two gym memberships, including my great deal, one mile from home, La Quinta Fitness Center, but between cross country season, then work, then holidays, I have put the strength training on the back burner. Enough of the excuses, I am heading back to the gym (Alan too, so that makes it easier).

And, finally, My Vegan Life

While don’t consider this a “Vegan Blog,” my vegan lifestyle is very important to me and relevant to my life, so I write about it often. Last February marked one full year as a vegan, after three as a vegetarian, and in 2011 I added more recipes to my blog. I also took up baking, trying various recipes for vegan cookies and cakes. I am happy that it has become easier to eat vegan at “regular” restaurants, and still sad that my favorite vegan restaurant, Native Foods, closed their Palm Desert location.

Goals

My main goal for 2012 is to eat even healthier. While I avoid processed foods for the most part, their convenience factor encourages me to use them more than I should. Things like meat substitutes, fake cheeses, and other prepared foods are certainly tasty and easy, but processed foods, even vegan ones, are not very healthy and tend to contain too much salt, sugar, dyes, and chemicals. My goal is to eat a healthy, whole-food, plant based diet, and skip the processed stuff as much as I can.

Remember, I plan to have a separate post about my blogging accomplishments, including favorite posts, most popular posts, and most frequent searches, plus my blogging goals for 2012. Stay tuned! Edit: That post is here.

>Here We Go….

>Well, the tree is gone, the lights are down, the decorations put away for another year. After a quiet New Year’s Eve (dinner at home, bed early, up early to get started on 2010!), a six mile run and the above clean up, I’m sitting here mulling over my plans, goals, ideas, for the upcoming year. No resolutions, just thoughts about what I would like to accomplish in 20-10.

First, a really quick review of 2009. Professionally I had a fulfilling year. The fitness center I manage exceeded our financial and usage goals, and I was named the WTS International Manager of the Month in October. We are a Spa, Fitness, and Lifestyle consulting and management company with over 100 properties that we operate nationally and internationally, so I was quite honored (and surprised) by the recognition. Ironically, due to the recession, wages are frozen at my club this year, so in spite of my most successful year as a manager there, no raise is forthcoming.

Personally, we lost one family member and gained two new ones. Our beloved Bloodhound, Morena, died in February at the age of 12 following a brief battle with cancer. It was, and is, heartbreaking to both Alan and myself. We had no intentions of adding to our family again, for a while at least, wanting to take the time to grieve before taking in any more dogs. Plus, we still had four, so it isn’t like we were lonely. But, in August, we rescued both Olivia and Lily. So, then there were 10 (six dogs, two cats, two humans).

Alan and I continue to live, love, and train together. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in October. Yes, the personal life is good.

Finally, my training. Running and cycling that is. After having major surgery in August of 2008, I felt that 2009 would be a recovery year, and it was. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have goals. I planned to complete a Century a Month, but unfortunately, weather and other circumstances put a kibosh to that in August. I was disappointed at the time, but, well, I got over it. I did manage to ride 3,956 miles in 2009, and I am pleased with that. As for running, even though I completed a couple half marathons early in the year, it wasn’t until October or so that I really started to feel good again about my running. I’m still pretty slow, but every mile isn’t a struggle, as it had felt at times during the year. I am very happy about that, as running in my first love (sports-wise anyway).

So, onward and upward, goals for 2010:

As I wrote, the personal life is good, so no need for any changes. Maybe work to keep my house a little cleaner. I do want to always remember that this is the important part of my life, my husband, my dogs, my home. I do not want to add any more animals to our menagerie. As a vegetarian, I plan to continue the process of removing all animal products from my diet (and clothing, furniture, etc).

Work-wise, I obviously have goals for my job, which I won’t bore you with here. I just completed a Flexibility Specialist certification and renewed my personal training certification, but I would like to continue to add to my professional knowledge in some way. Last year I took a short Yoga (teacher) course and enjoyed it, so that may be a road I head down in 2010.

Now to the area I most enjoy setting goals for, my training. While, as I said above, running is my love, it is cycling that I seem to plan for the most. Maybe because it is newer to me, maybe because it is easier on my bones and joints, whatever the reason, my riding goals are the most important in my training plan. They are very easy to think about and write about, but the time and energy is always a challenge to keep up with. And, of course, the desert summer makes any outdoor activity beyond challenging. So enough of my (pre hoc) excuses, here is the plan:

I’ve thought and talked about it for a long time, but 2010 will be the year that I ride my first double century. I would like to do the Grand Tour in June. It has several distance options, but best of all, it doesn’t have an enormous amount of climbing. While some cyclists thrive on climbing thousands of feet in the course of their rides, my knees make even a little bit painful. The Grand Tour Highland has about 8,000 feet of climbing, definitely doable over the course of 200 miles.

In 2007 I rode over 6,000 miles and I would like to accomplish that again. Obviously, training for a double century will require that I get in some serious time in the saddle, so the two goals go hand-in-hand. And while I’m not planning a Century a Month this year, I do enjoy long distance riding, so I will definitely get some centuries in this year. I will find rides that I enjoy, either with friends or fun, organized centuries, but not feel obligated to head out on August 31 when the forecast is a low of 90, high of 110, just to get in one damn 100 mile bike ride.

As for running, I might, just might, maybe, think about running a marathon in 2010. I am almost afraid to say it, when I think about the time and dedication factor of marathon training. It has been about three years since I last ran one. (note-just looked it up at Marathon Guide, it was LA Marathon in March 2006, 4:19:24, not one of my better times.) Mind you, I’m a marathon veteran, having run 36 between 1996 and 2006, with a personal best time of 3:17 (St. George Marathon, October 1999). I’m also 52, with exercise induced asthma and a bad knee. So, I will think about it. In the meantime, I will enjoy my running, add some mileage, do a couple half marathons, maybe even add a little speed work to see if I can get a little faster again. If all that goes well, then I will seriously consider training for a marathon.

I would also like to get in some more gym time this year, mostly because I know it will help my running and cycling, not to mention overall strength (and help my abs look good :-). Last year, Alan and I were doing Yoga together two or three times a week, and we both would like to get back to that (although it is a challenge with six dogs climbing on you and kissing you).

So that is the plan for 2010 in a nutshell. I feel pretty good, because I started off the year with a run this morning and will head out for a long ride tomorrow morning. Only 364 more days and a few thousand miles to go!