>Goals Schmoals

December 26, 2009 § 4 Comments

>I am a big believer in goals. I think that quantifying what you want, visualizing it, and mostly just having that goal stare you in the face everyday will help you get there. Not that I’m discounting the hard work, but seeing it every day really is a big motivator. When I was trying to qualify for Boston with my first marathon, I had the time “3:40” taped up just about anywhere imaginable (well, considering I was at the Naval Academy that was like 2 places otherwise I got in trouble) so I would see it several times a day. By the time the marathon rolled around, the number didn’t scare me; I was prepared, and I believed that I would do it…..and I did.

TWSS also values goals, and at our awards night each December we write them on little notecards that Ryan saves for us to look back on at the end of the year. Interestingly enough, I was pretty far from most of my goals for last year. But, that is okay. I aimed high, and I missed – but that doesn’t mean I didn’t do some sweet things.

For 2010 I set myself some pretty lofty goals again. They are:
-Overall Female Winner at 3 Days of Syllamo (March)
-Overall Winner at Old Dominion 100 Mile
-Sub 10:45 at Ironman Wisconsin
-Sub 3:30 Marathon
-Sub 8 at JFK

Looking at these, I may very well be setting myself up for failure to meet them once again this year. But I’ll do my best to get there. There are a couple major changes I’ll be making training-wise to reach these goals. One, I am going to work closely again with Francesca Conte to coach me through OD 100. She coached me through GEER and I know that it significantly improved my performace. After that, I still was using her as a coach and mentor, just not as seriously (my focus was the IM). I know that she can get me into the shape I need to be in to be able to beat the whole field at that 100. Even without a win, I would like to see how well I can do at OD, get my confidence up a bit for 100’s, and then in 2011 go for a bigger race.

Because I will be following her training plan seriously, I want to hold myself more accountable for my training. My training logs have also taken the backseat since GEER. I will hopefully use this blog and another online tracker to keep track of my mileage and training. To get ready for both the 100 and the IM, every mile and every minute will count, and I don’t want to cheat myself.

The Ironman is probably my loftiest goal out there. To get there, it’s pretty simple: I need to swim, bike and run like the baller I know I am.  1:15/5:50/3:40. Boom.

For the marathon, going sub-3:30 has been a long time coming for me. I know I can do it. Heck, I know I could run a 3:20. It’s just a matter of making myself run faster when I train. Running faster is something I can do. I don’t neccessarily like it – but to get to my other goals I will have to do it. The plan for that is to run a half in March to get a time that automatically enters me in the NYC Marathon. If that happens, I will run NYC, skip JFK, and then run Hellgate 100K in December. If it doesn’t happen, I will decide between JFK and Mt. Masochist as a 50 miler for November.

Only 4 more days till the training cycles begin!


>Thanks for the memories

December 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

>Just kidding. My memory is horrible, I remember next to nothing. But I think I had a good time in 2009, so I’ll take a brief look back and look at the highs and lows (low low low).

High Point: PR at Holiday Lake 50K in February. Dr. Horton’s (hears a who?) races are always pretty competitive and attract a lot of wild card younger marathoners, so getting in the top 3 there and breaking 5 hours was sweet.

Low Point: DNF at North Face in May. No one wants to be a quitter.

High Point: THE JAMS!  2009 has been a sick year for music, especially with the ladies T. Swift and Lady Gags releasing sweet stuff nonstop.

Low Point: Mile 35 of Western States. Puking, hot and tired. Enough Said.

High Point: Finishing Western States. Rivals winning GEER for my favorite ultrarunning moment.

Low Point: Ryan getting hit by a car. Even though it didn’t hurt me physically, it hasn’t been fun to see a friend have to go through that. He was setting himself up for a baller year, and not being able to see him finish it is sad.

High Point: Qualifying for Clearwater. I never thought I would get there, and I probably never will again, so it was nice to have my 15 minutes of fame.

Low Point: Getting out of the water at Louisville to discover my jacked up rear wheel was flat….before it left the rack.

High Point: Ironman Lousiville. Alyssa, you are an IRONMAN! Not only that, but having 2 amazing friends surprise me and come out for the race was awes.

Low Point: Work was a drag. I was unable to be positive in a lot of other areas of my life because work was getting to be very frustrating and stressful. Buttt…..

High Point: I got a new job! I will be kicking off 2010 as a Data Analyst & Technical Writer for a defense contractor in Hunt Valley, so that should be a good change of pace and hopefully something that I enjoy.

Low Point: DNF at JFK. Again, it’s never fun to quit. Especially when you’re going for a 5th finish and final race of the year. OHhhhhhh well.

High Point: Some baller performances by my bffs on TWSS. A few standouts: Chrissie at NY, Bren at National, Ben at JFK, Ryan finishing Eagleman standing (haha), Zero’s IM……the list goes on.

Low Point: Getting tired. I had more struggles with my mental racing game than I usually do this year, espcially post-IM.

High Point: Getting more comfortable in the pool and on the bike. I’m beginning to actually enjoy these workouts now and am looking forward to the spring and summer when I can get out there more. Hopefully will be able to save for a new bike in 2010 as well!

Low Point: Missing the Majumdar wedding due to my little race. Still feel bad about that one!

High Point: I’m 24 years old and did I mention I’m an Ironman and a Western States finisher? Damnnnnn son. I’m a sexy biatch.

>To Rash Field, Fort McHenry, and Natty Boh

December 17, 2009 § 1 Comment

>As I write this, I am sitting in a sweet loft in downtown Toledo. Toledo? Why Toledo? Well, it just so happens that my good friend Dani’s sister lives out here. I consider the Garcia girls to be my own sisters, and Alicia has lived out here for a year and a half now and I haven’t come out to visit. When I realized a couple months ago that I was long overdue for a real vacation – with no racing, no activities, no nothing planned – this seemed like a good option. Of course, it’s no Barbados or Costa Rica, but it will be sweet because everything I do ends up awesome.
Anyway, after eight hours in this city I wanted to write this post to give Baltimore some props. In the short day I’ve been here, the only thing I have noticed as a common thread between the people I’ve talked to is that they apologize for their city. No one can believe we came out here for a vacation. They say things like “I don’t really know what you’ll find for fun” or “I’m sure where you’re from is much more exciting.”

Now, if they hadn’t said anything, it’s not like I would have thought Toledo was my next life destination, but I certainly wouldn’t have thought that there was “nothing to do.” Which brings me to my realization that Baltimore is awesome. Sure, the traffic blows downtown and operation orange cone is quite possibly the worst idea ever. But, we’re damn proud of our horrible traffic patterns and our homeless people. We’re indescribably loyal to a beer that isn’t even brewed in our city anymore. We know that the dolphin show really is sweet enough to warrant the $50 per ticket it costs to see it. In fact, we believe it so much we write that Baltimore is the greatest city in America on benches all over the town.

So to everyone in Baltimore, keep believing in your city. Because, after all, it could be worse….you could live in Toledo.

>Oh Holy Night

December 4, 2009 § 3 Comments

>My favorite part of running at night is getting to look in people’s windows and seeing them going about their lives, watching TV and knitting, having dinner, etc. Creepy?

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