2013 was a good year in running. A year ago I was running 20 milers for fun (it’s my favorite distance), then got pregnant, and was fortunate enough to run throughout my pregnancy. I truly loved running while pregnant and didn’t miss racing or the pressure of PRing. It was just the break my body and mind needed so that I could enter 2014 fresh, eager, and determined.
I’m a little over 3 weeks postpartum and I’m dying to get back to training. I’m dying to run 20 miles again. I’m dying to have goals again and races on my calendar. But I’m realistic and cautious. I know I’m not running in the same pre-pregnancy body (reminds me of the saying contents may have shifted during flight – the same is true of my pelvis).
I started walking on the treadmill 2 weeks after Fiona was born. After a few days I ran a mile – very slowly – and felt really good. I have slowly worked my way up to 3 miles. Technically, I’m not cleared for exercise yet so I’m going to stick with 3 miles for awhile since it feels good and it’s feasible (Fiona will tolerate her bouncer and nap).
So what are my big plans for 2014? On my calendar right now is the Philly LOVE Run – a half marathon on March 30. This is a new race for Philly and the course looks great. I have NO plans to race. This will purely be a fun run. I want to cover the distance and enjoy myself.
Next up (assuming I get into the lottery) is Broad Street on May 4. I WILL be racing this one. I figure it’ll give me a good idea of where my speed is (or isn’t). Also – this is a shameless plug – RTLR Coaching has a Broad Street training program! Our first training run will be 2/22 (after the lottery is announced). This program is great for first time Broad Street Runners or anyone that would like to train for BSR under the guidance of a running coach. All the details are on my website – check it out!
After that is the ODDyssey Half Marathon on June 8. I ran this for the first time last year (10 weeks pregnant) and fell in love with this race. It’s a small field, great course, and feels more like an ultra because it’s so laid back.
So that brings us to Fall and my big plan – a 50-miler! My second ultra but first “real” ultra. I have been wanting to train for and run this distance for awhile now. And postpartum seems to be the perfect “fit” for an ultra (in my opinion). If I truly am being realistic about my return to training I don’t want the pressure of PRing in a marathon and the harsh training that comes with it. I don’t want myself getting into a too much, too soon scenario and ending up injured (remember…contents may have shifted during flight). Not that training for a 50-mile race is a walk in the park – not at all. But it will allow for a slow, gradual increase in mileage without the punishing workouts. That’s exactly what I need right now.
I have my eyes on JFK but I’m open to other 50-milers (please recommend one!) as long as they are somewhat local to Philly and later in the year (Oct/Nov). I’ll probably run a marathon as a training run for the 50-miler. I’m thinking maybe Steamtown – I was signed up to run it in 2013 – but I’m pretty open on that as well.
I do have plans to PR in the marathon and run Boston again but that’s for 2015. Right now I need to be patient and take baby steps.
What are your big running plans for 2014?
Can you recommend a good 50-miler besides JFK?