running after dark

I’m not used to running after dark. In the past I’ve only ever done it at a local lake with a well-lit path. I wasn’t feeling well this morning (again), and didn’t go first thing like I’d been planning. Then suddenly, it was 5 o’clock and I still hadn’t gone out. In the land of no sidewalks and SUVs (aka “the suburbs”) this left me with one option that feels safe to me (as I have yet to purchase a headlamp or butt light), which was an out and back on the closest arterial. Lucky me, that means hills, hills, hills. I really didn’t know if I was going to make it through this run without having to stop early, but I did. So despite the slow overall time, low mileage & low caloric burn I feel like this run was a success if only for the fact that I didn’t stop before the little voice in my ear bud said to stop.

I’ve tracked all my runs on the Nike running website. I love it. I upload each run and I can look at a graph of my overall pace among 100 other options. I’ve joined a few challenges, specifically to move from “yellow” to “green”. Yellow is the lowest standing ( 0-30 miles) and green is 3rd of 6 (155-620 miles). One is to reach that goal by September 4th, and the other is to reach it by December 31st. So a rough calculation for 09/04 puts me at needing to run a little over a mile every other day until the 4th. I don’t envision any issues with that plan, but with 12/31 as a goal, that puts me at under a mile every other day.

My goal this year is to run in some sort of race each month. I still haven’t decided if I want that to include a marathon this fall or not, which means that I probably won’t do it. I have a nasty habit of starting out too fast or pushing too quickly and I’m tired of getting injured. So, I’ll try to play it smart. This is my tentative schedule:

January 31st: a 5K which is part of a fitness challenge (they offer 3 over the course of 3 months)

February 13th: a Valentine’s themed 5K at my old stomping grounds (a local lake aka the bog of eternal stench)

March 14th: St. Patrick’s Day themed 3.8mi which I’ve participated in a few times in the walking wave

April 18th: a 6K to raise awareness about the availability of clean drinking water

May 16th: an annual race to raise money for diabetes (which my grandfather-in-law just lost a foot to)

June 26th: my first half marathon

July 23-24th: Ragnar Relay’s Northwest Passage (12 person team covering 185 miles in 24 hours, each person running between 11.4-19.2 miles split between 3 legs each. MOST AWESOME RUNNING EVENT I COULD EVER IMAGINE, except for an ultra, but that will be a long time coming for me)

August 14th: 13 mile trail run. Super psyched about this!

September 12th: a 10 mile trail race

October: still working it out, would love to do a charitable run for breast cancer but can’t find anything local…

November 25th: 5K Thanksgiving themed race to raise $$ for a local food bank

November 28th: half marathon (this would have been my marathon, but let’s not go too overboard)

December: still working it out, but leaning towards a run to support diabetes research

For Ragnar I need to know my 10K pace, but I figure between a few 5Ks and a half marathon I can get a good idea of what it would be.

Long term goals: a marathon, and an ultra. Maybe even Badwater? lol I can dream. That one goes under pipe dreams looooooooooong term goals (I’ll just go flip a coin.)


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