I am not who I used to be or who I will become

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The title is a paraphrase of a quote I recently heard.  I found it profound and worth noodling.  I have been thinking a lot about how 2009 will differ from 2008.  How I will differ in 2009 from who I was in 2008.  It is a tough question. For the purpose of the blog,  I will stick with answers that relate to running.

First, I want to get faster.  I spent 2008 going longer but not focusing on speed.  I increased my monthly miles by 40, not too shabby.  Back-to-back long runs have become common place for me now.  Thirteen miles is now an easy Saturday run.  But I have slowed down.  While this was acceptable in 2008, it isn’t for 2009.  When I lived in England 18 months ago, I had a running partner with natural speed.  By training with him, I ran the best times of my life.  I ran a 10 mile race at 7:32 pace.  I ran a 10K race at 7:18.  And four months after returning to the States, I ran my marathon PR.  Time to get back to and hopefully surpass that level.  

Resolution #1 and #2: Add speed to my endurance.  Run a half-marathon and marathon PR.

Second, become an ultra marathoner.  I love trails and hills and I work at them.  Running seven, eight, ten hours actually sounds like fun to me.  I completed one ultra last year, but want to do four-five.  In my mind, you need to run four before you can say, “I am an ultra runner”.  I didn’t call myself a marathon runner until #4 was under my belt.  As it was with marathons, it shall be with ultras.  

Resolution #3: Run at least 3 ultra marathons.

Third, continue to give back to the sport.  I volunteered at three races in 2008.  I write the monthly newsletter for my club.  I am on the Board Of Directors of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.  I really enjoy this part of my life.  I would like to somehow get involved with getting younger people running.    I don’t know how to do it yet, but I’d like to figure it out.  I plan to become an RRCA certified coach.  Seems like a good first step.  I hear about folks who set up running clubs for youth.   I would like to at least explore such a thing.  Haven’t started on this in any way yet.

Resolution #4 and #5: Explore how to give back more to the community.  Become an RRCA Certified Coach.

Fourth, I’d like to create an online community for runners who read running books.  Call it a book club for runners.  As mentioned many times in this blog, I read almost as much as I run.  In fact, I have now read every non-training running book at Barnes and Noble sans one (I know this, because I was there just last night).  But, when you go to amazon.com, and you type “running” or “running training”, nothing is organized or easy to find.  If a loved one wants to buy a runner something to read, it is very hard to know what is good.  If a new runner wants a training guide, it is hard to know what is valuable.  In the past year alone, I have read at least a dozen books on the subject, so why not use that knowledge to help people figure out what to read? I also love to chat about books.  I can’t be the only one.  So why not start an online book club for runners? It already has a name — which a friend came up with and I love — “The Runners’ Bookshelf”.  I have been working a lot on the business plan and hope to launch in Q2 of this year.

Resolution #6 – Launch “The Runner’s Bookshelf”.

So there you have it.  My 2009 resolutions.  In the running part of my life, this is who I plan to become.  Can’t wait to see how I do.

Happy New Year!

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