Fan, though, might be a kind term – fiend might be better. I listen to more than an hour a day, probably closer to two. I listen when I pump at work, on the way to work, on the way home from work. If I have the luxury of grocery shopping alone, I'll take a pair of earbuds and listen as I roam.
Despite this, I don't actually subscribe to that many. Jillian Michaels, Another Mother Runner, This American Life, Undisclosed and Vinnie Tortorich are the only ones that manage to keep me listening with any regularity.
So it piqued my interest when I got an email from Tina Muir, the host of the Run to the Top podcast and community manager for Runners Connect. I'm quite sure I was one of many she emailed that day but the message was kind, personable, humble and engaging.
And the email made me want to listen. So I did.
I've listened to a handful of episodes (definitely a fan) but there's been one that has stuck withe me this week: an interview with Michele Gonzalez of NYC Running Mama. Michele was talking about race goals and how it can be easy to want to focus on the big picture, missing smaller process goals. Maybe we run 3:55 in the marathon and now we want to BQ (3:35 for me, I think) instead of trying to break 3:50 or 3:45.
Her advice was to still look at the picture but break it up into pieces, maybe over the course of five years. So, let's say, we run a 3:55 in the marathon (because obviously we are all doing it together! yay!) this year. In 2016, we focus on nailing a 3:50 or 3:47. In 2017, we finish under 3:45. We continue to chip away at that time until 2020, when we make our BQ attempt.
Sounds tedious, right? But, it also sounds practical.
For me, the advice didn't really hit home when I was thinking about race times. Rather, it was about my to-do list for 2016. I have all of these races that I want to do right now but doing so will lead to burn out ... and an empty wallet. And, the thing is, those races are likely to be there in 2017 ... and 2018 ... and 2019 ... and 2020.
Why can't my five-year plan focus on events?
In 2012, when we ran Rock n Roll New Orleans
2016-2017: I can't stop thinking about the Flying Pig, as I mentioned in my previous post, so I see myself doing this sooner rather than later. It's that or Wisconsin. I think the decision will come down to the track club points race series and whether I try to go for the track club Ironman award.
It would be turbo nice to take a racecation with my friends, too. Ideally, I'd love to tackle another race with my BFF who lives entirely too far away (Nebraska). Our children will be old enough that we can get away without a ton of guilt and by setting our sights early, we can try to save toward something fun. Also, early planning means we can maybe invite others to participate in part of the weekend and it can be one giant girls weekend.
2018: Mark and I, hopefully, will celebrate our 10-year anniversary. Is it bad to put another racecation here? OK. I won't. We have talked about how much we would like to hike, at least part of, the Appalachian Trail. The desire was ignited by watching far too many documentaries on Netflix and fed by reading "Wild" and following Scott Jurek this summer.
The boys will be older (Miles, 7, and Si, 3) and if there was ever a time to do a Disney event, it might be this year. I have no desire to become obsessed with the RunDisney races but it would be nice to do one.
2019-2020: I really go back and forth on the marathon. I like running long (as evidenced by my run today. I said I should run 4 easy and ran nearly 6). However, the marathon is a beast and one of epic proportions with kids. I'm not sure if I really want to take one on while Si is little and ask Mark to shoulder the burden. Also, I think that I'd like to wait until I feel like that it's realistic for me to break 4 hours. While it would behoove me to take Michele's advice and chip away at my time, I'd rather focus on racing fast (for me) half marathons as the training doesn't eat up the weekend or make me a cranky hooker.
Grandma's and Twin Cities are the top candidates for this block, though one day I'd like to do Marine Corps and Chicago, too.