The past two months since my last post was busy. Workouts were performed, but urgent work-related activities dominated the days. Thrown in the middle was a fishing trip to Alaska with my father, two of my brothers and my son. My intent was to run during that trip, but my running shorts didn't make the flight out of Orlando. They sat on the couch at home for an entire week, not doing a thing. Alaska without internet access or cell phone coverage was a much-needed break off the grid, which is the best (and for many like me, the ONLY) way to escape the 24x7 demands of the role I fill at work. The punch line . . . we all need a break, and I had mine from work and from running - both of which were creating stress.
I ran a 5K prior to leaving for Alaska. The workout plan designed by my coach has me running a 5K every month starting in June until August. My coach puts together my plans, but I assign my goals. Her focus at this point is getting me a solid base without injury, and that involves getting out and running without a focus on anything but getting out and running.
Being goal-oriented, I can't help it. Goals are important. I learned last year in training for Chicago my goals need to be more conservative - which is consistent with my coach's plan. My conservative goal for the first 5K in mid-June was to run at a 10:00 per mile pace. Last year I would've been embarrassed to SET that goal, not to mention share it publicly. The logic was if I could run my first 5K at 10:00 per mile, run the second at a 9:30 per mile pace and my final 5K at a 9:00 per mile pace, that should give me the base I need to run 13.1 at 9:00 per mile and finish under 2:00:00. I finished the first 5K at a pace just above 9:00 per mile.
That gave me confidence, and renewed the focus on my goals. If last year I learned I need to be more conservative, what i'm learning THIS year is I also need to be more consistent. After my first 5K, crazy work happened then I went on my trip to Alaska, consistently running twice a week at best. Not the right kind of consistency (my coach tells me I'll need to focus on four or five times a week once I'm serious about Boston). Then I returned from Alaska with a renewed sense of focus and commitment, but also a week's worth of e-mail and activities. The first week back involved work-related travel, then a second week of work- and personal-related travel to the northeast (my wife and daughter were with my in-laws while I was away). I was to run another 5K yesterday, but the three days before involved travel with flights that didn't arrive until after 11pm and intense meetings that were the reason for the travel.
So, I've hit the RESET button!! This afternoon, we'll all be home and the world will be back on its axis. The new "goal" will not revolve around times. For the next month, the goal will be to get out EVERY morning and focus on running four times a week. Workout mornings will involve a run. Non-workout mornings will involve a walk and stretching. Today, I track progress using my apps on my iPhone. Up to this point, I've used RunTracker which automatically loads to TrainingPeaks. Tomorrow, I'll start using Strava. It appears more goal-oriented and it's easier to interact with others. Since my brother uses it, it'll be easier to engage with him and his efforts.
From there, progress will be made. Just wait.