So, if you've heard any rumours, I'm not dead. Since my last post, not much new has really happened.. Christmas came and went, and I ran a couple times with my dad. I'm back on track with running which is good - being in a group again helps, and I'm running with the Learn to Run group (I'm a group leader person), which is nice. I find it motivating to be running with people that are learning. And hey, if people that are just starting to run can get out in this weather (lake effect snow, frigid temperatures, regular snow, wind), than I should be able to, too. Plus it's so catching their enthusiasm to be running - which is really helpful for me since I was in a bit of a funk.
I bought a pair of Vibrams (the bikila variation) - the store I had to get them from just had a shipment come in on Christmas eve, so I picked up a pair, I think on the 27th. I haven't actually gone running in them, or even gone outside in them. There's actually someone in my running group (not the L2R group, a different group) that has a pair he's been running in, in the winter, but I haven't yet. I'm planning on pulling them out when it gets a bit warmer, and start walking in them, and then maybe do some of my short runs in them. At this point, all I've done is wear them around my apartment.
The new long distance running group I'm in seems to be working for me. It's run by a person in one of the local running groups, and she seems to be a good coach for me. Lots of information and drills which are new for me, but in the long run (no pun intended), will probably be good for me. And she's helping me fix my stride a bit, which will be good long term as well. And I like that I have a personalized schedule. The only thing I don't like is that they don't meet to do long runs together, what with everyone doing different distances, I guess. But for me, that's one of the most useful things about running in a group, because long runs are easier when you have someone to run with. At least, I think so. But! never fear, my dad has agreed to run with me, at least for now. I run to my parents place, and then we do a run together. So far it seems to be working. And it's nice to be running with someone. So today I did 15k (13.5 of those with my dad) in one of the parks here - the paths are groomed and they are actually in better condition than some of the sidewalks so the footing was pretty good. And there were lots of people out running which was nice to see. It felt ok. The times weren't very steady, and some of that was me, but also was a bit dependent on the footing, wind, and when we took our water breaks (since I didn't stop the garmin). All in all, though, despite the temperature - 9 C (16 F) and the windchill of -17 (1.4 F) the run went pretty well. Yes it was long, and in parts windy and bitterly cold, but overall it felt good, and that's all you can hope for in the winter, I think.
So the goals for this year are basically one goal - to knock some time off my times from last year. The first race of this season is coming up at the end of February, and I don't think I'll be much faster in that race - not due to distance (it's a 10k), but because of the footing. While everything is plowed (or rather, most places are plowed) winter seems to slow me down because even with yaktracks and everything else, I do slip a little if it's not clear road. So we'll see how it goes. But I'm hoping to get my 10k time under 50 minutes (ideally between 45-47 minutes, but we'll see), and my 5k time under 25 minutes (I want around 22 minutes, but again, we'll see what happens). And for my 1/2 marathon time to be around 1hour and 50 minutes. I have a couple (possibly 3) this year, so hopefully through the year I'll get faster. Here's hoping to a good year, and an injury free year!