Month in Review: March

Life Rundown

Lots going on in March! I turned 30 on March 12th, and then the next day we left for a week long vacation in Utah! We spent most of it hiking in Zion National Park, and I also ran the Canyonlands Half Marathon in Moab – my first race of 2017 and as a 30-something. And, well, let’s just say it set the bar low. Really low…

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We close on our house tomorrow (depending on when you’re reading this, we may be signing our lives away right at this very moment!), so when I wasn’t hiking or running in March, I was anxious or stressed about closing. The waiting has been killing me. I’d love to say that I kept oh-so-busy with packing and getting ready to move out, but…LOL. We did do some packing and decluttering but it’s not terribly urgent because we’re not actually going to be living in our house for a few weeks; our apartment lease is still active through the end of April and we need to paint the interior walls of the new house and tear out the carpets before it’s move-in ready.

I ran another half marathon this weekend, and even though it’s not technically March, I’ll briefly talk about it here. I’m not going to write a recap because frankly, it was pretty unremarkable and I was a bad blogger and didn’t take a single photo of anything that day. I actually ran a slower time than Canyonlands (2:09), but had a better race, if that makes sense. I started the race at a conservative easy pace and just stayed there, with my only goal to not blow up. I thought maybe I could run the entire thing, but I knew there was a decent chance I’d have to take walk breaks. I made it through the first half running and was down to a roughly 9:30 average. But after the turnaround undertraining started to catch up with me and sure enough, 8.5 miles in I knew I needed to start taking walk breaks, so I did (including one porta potty stop). I’m actually glad I started taking them so early because it helped me manage my fatigue and stay in control of those final miles. I was able to run a lot further between walk breaks than last time and had to take fewer of them, and I was able to push through the final mile to the finish feeling tired as hell but strong.

My only goal was to make it to the finish line without feeling demolished again.  I give myself a pat on the back for not starting at an unsustainable pace and blowing up, and for managing a conservative effort level and doing the smart thing when that mile 8.5 fatigue hit.

I’m not upset or anything – I am simply not in shape to even run, let alone race, 13 miles, and I really had no business even being there (not counting the two races this month, I only ran 7 times in March – um, yikes!). So, I expected nothing of myself and only wanted to get to the finish line, which I did. And despite being wickedly out of shape…I didn’t hate it. It was a beautiful day, I love the trails, and I love this race. I’ll be back next year.

So, anyway, why am I telling you all this now? Well, as I walked home from the race with the sun shining and the air a perfectly crisp 50 degrees, I could feel it:

I’m ready now. I want to get back to my old self.

Spring is in the air, we’re opening up a big and exciting new chapter, and I’m ready to start grabbing life by the horns again. And first and foremost, that means no more excuses, I’m getting my butt back in shape.

Running two half marathons undertrained this month was a good learning experience. But the runner who ran those two races…she wasn’t me. The days are longer, the air is warmer, Chicago is 6 months away, I’m high on a new life chapter (complete with new running routes!), and my old self is ready to dust herself off and come out of hibernation.

Lace up your trainers, folks: I’m making my comeback.

Goals Progress Report New Quarter, New Goals

Even though I didn’t do a ton outside of vacation, my mind was clearly elsewhere this month, and I took an unofficial hiatus from my goals; I’m not even going to bother including a “progress report” section on here.

But it’s also the end of a quarter, which makes this a perfect time to reevaluate goals going forward. It just so happens that, new quarter notwithstanding, this is an apt time for me to reevaluate my goals anyway, and I have elected to do just that. I’ve also decided to start setting quarterly goals instead of monthly and yearly ones.

Getting settled into our new home and our new lives as homeowners will be my biggest priority for the rest of the year, so I am going to be focusing on that instead of having goals. So, my first order of business is officially letting go of my “grow in my minimalism practice” and “eat better” goals in their current form. I’ll still be working on these things, but they are already a critical part of the lifestyle changes we will be making in our journey to build a home that aligns with our values, so having them as goals is a little redundant anyway.

I’m still hesitant to let go of my 36 books goal. This goal sometimes causes me unnecessary stress and pressure, but it really is helping me keep reading this year, so I’m reluctant to give it up. I’m going to continue on “hiatus” from this goal for the next couple months. Once we are a little more settled, I will revisit and see if I’m up to the task of trying to catch back up.

But in the midst of New Homeowner Mania and on the heels of my 2nd run-walked half marathon, I do have one goal for this quarter. My official spring goal is to train for and race well at the Rock n Sole Half Marathon on June 10.

As you may recall, I signed up for this race a couple months ago as a way to celebrate the end of base building and kick off my Chicago Marathon training cycle with a confidence-boosting bang (I start training 1 week later).

I won’t be gunning for a PR (and I don’t want to train that hard anyway), but I want to do well at this race. I want to show up feeling prepared, confident, and ready to kick some butt.

My focus for April is simply getting my baseline aerobic fitness back. I’m going to be running 100% low-intensity easy miles and shooting for about 25 miles each week. In May I’ll aim for 30-35 miles per week and add in one hard effort run each week.

It’s a conservative plan, but I think it will be enough to get back to my old form and get me to that starting line feeling fit and ready to race. I’d like to aim for a goal pace of around 8:30 for the race. It’s no PR, and speed-wise, it’s not where I’d ideally like to be to start marathon training. But I think it will be enough to feel caught-up and confident again.

As for yearly goals, I also only have one remaining at this time: to PR (sub-3:43) at the Chicago Marathon. It’s too soon to tell if I’ll feel ready to chase that 3:35, but I do want to PR, and I think I can safely say that PRing will be a good goal for me no matter what: it will challenging but realistic, and I won’t need a near-perfect training cycle to feel confident about it. And, most importantly, it’s a goal I can honestly say I will be happy with.

Things are about to get crazy and busy these next couple months, so I don’t know if I’ll have a lot of time to blog. I’ll check in as much as I can, but to be totally honest with you, I think it will be good for me to slow down my digital life for a while.

Happy spring, everyone!

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3 thoughts on “Month in Review: March

  1. Woohoo! Congrats on the house! That’s a huge life milestone. I always have trouble with running when my life is really uncertain. The move really got in the way of my running. I bet you can still smash that PR at Chicago. I can’t wait to hear how your training goes. 🙂

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  2. I can see why you’re high on a new life chapter–lots of awesome things going on! Sounds like you’re ready and excited to start getting serious about running, and that’s an awesome feeling! I like that you planned a race to celebrate the end of base building before your marathon training starts. Hmm…tempted to copy you and do the same! Good luck with the closing! And happy belated birthday (can’t remember if I wished you happy birthday yet!)

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