2010 was good to me, as far as running goes. I've struggled a little bit with deciding what more I want to do for this next year. I'm planning on starting off with the Striders Winter Series, including their half marathon in April. My Spring marathon will be Ogden again this year. I'm hoping to run a little faster than last year, like 2:50 or better. After Ogden the racing frenzy begins. I'm planning on running Utah Valley Half, Hobbler half, and Top Of Utah Half with a bunch of 5k's & 10k's mixed in there as well. My goal for the half marathon is to get my time under 1:17. I'll be competing in the Utah Road Racing Circuit again this year and my goal is to be top 3 in that. Then, in the Fall, if my training & racing are going well, I might go run Chicago Marathon and try for an Olympic qualifying time. If things aren't going the way they need to then I'll probably stay around here and run either TOU or St George marathon. We'll see! Should be interesting, hard & fun. That's why I love this sport.
I also wanted to share a few "training tricks" or habits I have that seem to help me.
Bananas and Tums. I'm a firm believer in electrolyte balance and replenishment. Potassium & Calcium specifically seem to keep my muscles happy and functioning as well as helping them recover from hard workouts & races. I eat bananas (yes, multiple) and Tums antacids everyday and it really makes a difference in my performance & recovery.
Foam Rolling. I got a foam roller for my birthday last summer and I've been addicted to it ever since. I use to have a lot of "nagging" pains & issues. But using the foam roller everyday seems to keep muscles and tendons and ligaments from complaining too loudly. It reduces soreness, relaxes tight spots and improves blood flow in general. I focus especially on my IT bands & lower back, which are my trouble spots.
Music. Another thing I'm addicted to is my Ipod. Mostly that is because I am always running solo. But I do know that certain music can really enhance my performance. I strategically place my favorite songs (ones with a good beat and/or inspirational message) at the end of hard workouts or the end of races where I know I will be struggling mentally & physically. Music gives me an extra burst of energy and lifts me mentally. When one of my favorite songs came on in the last 3 or 4 miles of the St George marathon last fall, it seriously gave me this "second wind" and kept me from letting my pace slow down.