I've been all over the map in regards to exercise for quite a while now. Sometimes I take classes at Do Jump, which is great for flexibility and strength. I've been running in a here and there, no cohesive plan sort of way. I go for a lot of walks. I take an occasional bike ride. In the spring, I was getting in the pool to swim a couple times a week for a while. I often do a little stretching routine at home. Sometimes I do strength work at home. But, I have no real plan. No real goal. Everything is a bit hit or miss.
In the spring, I'd been planning on doing a marathon length tri this summer, but...well, I let that slip to be honest. I went to China for two weeks (I should blog about that trip sometime, no?) and then never really got back on track. This was due in part to the move, in part to getting a couple of colds, in part to just loosing focus.
So, I've been thinking. What should my goal be and how should I get there? I really like being in great shape. I like the way my body looks and feels when I'm in good shape and I want to be in even better shape. I also want a real goal, something I'll feel proud about having accomplished.
A friend of mine is doing an ironman tri next summer. I'm so freakn' impressed with her. She's older than me, too, by 10 years. And she just started back into doing tris last summer with a sprint length tri, so it's not like she's been doing this all along.
This made me ponder the possibility of doing one myself. But, the truth of the matter is that I'm having a really hard time motivating myself to get into the pool and, frankly, I'm more than a bit overwhelmed with the training plans that go along with an ironman. Perhaps I'd need a trainer to help me figure it out. Tris are expensive sports already, without adding on the cost of a trainer. All this could just be excuses, I'm not naive, but I'm just not feeling it.
Pondering on what I can do that both will help me to be in great shape, fits into my life and will feel like a real accomplishment, I've come up with this goal: I'm going to do the Portland Marathon next year.
A marathon, while no ironman, is still a pretty good accomplishment, particularly as the run is the hardest part of a tri for me. I've never done an organized run of longer than 5K, so this is a pretty big deal. I think the longest run, even unorganized, I've ever done is about 5 miles. This will be a big step up for me, making it a good thing for me to work toward.
Training for a marathon will definitely help with the whole being in shape thing.
And it fits into my life. For most of the runs, I can take Ranger. When I do track work, I won't take her, but that's probably only going to be once a week. Oh, and later, I do plan on doing some of the group runs for the Portland Marathon and Ranger won't come to those, either, but, you know, for the most part.
Meanwhile, though, I want to be motivated now. I'm actually thinking I'll do a marathon in the spring, as well. I'm looking at this one or this one. I want to do one in the spring, train some more and see if I can improve my time for the Portland Marathon in the fall.
And for immediate motivation, I've just signed up for the Give n' Gobble 10K. It's in less than eight weeks. I've already started a training plan. I'm following this one with some modifications to fit my schedule. I'll be doing it all, just with the days scrambled up a bit. I debated between this intermediate plan and the beginner plan, as, after all, I've never done a 10K and my 5Ks have been mostly in conjunction with tris, but the beginner one didn't seem like enough of a challenge for me.
On the schedule, at week 4, there is a 5K race scheduled. I'm considering this one. You should follow the link. Fun, no? It's closer to the 4 week mark than this one, which looks like fun, too, and is a little closer, so I haven't totally decided about that yet.
So far, I've actually signed up to do the one race - the Give n' Gobble 10K. It's two days prior to my 40th birthday and I like the idea of it being my birthday run. I'm excited. I'm also a little nervous about the distances I'll be running each week in my training plan, but I'm pretty sure I can do it. I'm glad to have a goal and a set thing to work toward with a plan, as that really focuses me. Here I go!