October Goals

This morning I woke up to rain. Normally, I love running in the rain, but this morning the sky was gray and the rain was slow but heavy. So I decided to skip my morning run, and get a little extra shut eye. And as long as skipping a workout only occurs at irregular intervals and doesn’t become an everyday excuse, then go right ahead, take a rest day.¬†Sometimes, your body just needs it.

Anyway, yesterday, I said goodbye to September and welcomed October.  It is a new month, a new beginning. It is a perfect time to set some new goals. As you may know, I had started my journey of exploring a more forefoot/midfoot stride in April, by switching my running shoe to the Newton Distance U.

I have never had any running injuries, so when I told people, I was experimenting with the Newton shoe, and working on changing my stride, they asked, “Why? Why fix something that is not broken?” Honestly, I was just bored and wanted to try something new. I had read Born to Run, and was ready to try to work on running form.

In the beginning of September I purchased my second pair of Newton shoes, and I am now running more regularly in the Gravity. On my vacation, at Martha’s Vineyard, I finally had the opportunity to finish reading the book, Natural Running. This book made me even more sold on the idea that a more minimalist shoe is the way to go.

And then in mid September, it just clicked.  I had a break through and I started to run with a natural running stride, landing on my forefoot/midfoot.

OCTOBER GOALS

I want to continue practicing my natural running stride by continuing to land on my forefoot/midfoot.

  • However, I really need to work on running posture. I tend to lean back when I run. So I need to work on slightly leaning forward. Leaning back when you run is a stopping/halting position. You will most likely heel strike when leaning back. It is important to slightly lean forward, because the momentum will automatically help you land on your forefoot/midfooot, and make you a faster runner.
  • Cadence.¬†Cadence is how many times your foot hits the ground per minute. It is very important to get your running Cadence around 180 or more. A Cadence of 180 helps prevent injury and increases speed. Mine is all over the place. My garmin measured mine around 100, once at 120, and then 160. But this month, I really want to work on trying to get my running Cadence around 180. It will really help improve my running.
  • I am also thinking about playing around with shoe rotation. Instead of just throwing on one pair of shoes. I want to wear the right one depending on the type of running I am doing.
  • This month, I also really want to work on strength training, whether I am boxing, lifting weights, or just doing running form exercises. Now that I am running differently I need to strengthen everything.
  • In order to fit all this in, I also want to change my sleeping habits so I can wake up earlier. I’m hoping to wake up at 6:00 am instead of 8:00 am. I love my mornings.
  • As for Attitude, I am really going to focus on me, and my running PR.

As for October plans, I really don’t have any except some upcoming races. In October, I am running the Army 10 miler, and then in December I am running the Annapolis Half Marathon.¬†Do you have any up coming races?

Have you ever completed a 30 day challenge in something? It has been a goal I have been contemplating on trying to set. ¬†I have been thinking about a …

  • 30 day running challenge
  • 30 day blogging challenge
  • 30 day sleeping challenge

I’ll let you know if I decide on one for the month of October.

Well those are my October Goals…¬†What are yours?

© 2012

Early Bird, Morning Run

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Yesterday morning, Saturday, September 29th, I woke up to a text from my running buddy, Lina. The text said, “On my way.”

Oh damn, I rolled over in bed and looked at the clock, it was 6:30 am. I was late. We were suppose to be at our meeting spot at 6:30, and I was just waking up. I hurried and put on my running clothes, grabbed water, my garmin, my iPod and rushed to my car. It was still dark.

In my mind, I was thinking of how early it was, but I knew that after my run I would feel really good about doing it, I always do.

I got to our meeting spot around 6:45. The morning sky was just starting to brighten a little. Lina and I both parked and then started a slow warm up jog down Lee Highway toward the trail. Once we hit the trail we picked up the pace. With in minutes we went from running under a dark morning sky and through quiet streets to the sun rising over the Lincoln Memorial and a crowded running trail.

I must admit I really loved the morning energy. The sun rising was absolutely gorgeous. It turned the sky orange. The temperature outside was cool and crisp, it defiantly felt like fall. As for the crowded running trail, it was actually quite refreshing. I run this trail a couple days a week, and every time of day it has a different vibe. Even the different parts of the trail have a different vibe too.
Normally, the earliest I get on the trail is 8:30 am, when most people are heading into work. I come across a lot of cyclists or commuters, but this time it was all runners. Some days when I don’t make it out there early enough, the trail I totally empty. It can be quite lonely running by yourself on and empty quiet trail.

I never thought I would enjoy a crowded running trail, but I did. Normally, I run alone, or with Lina, but this time I was surrounded by a ton of runners. Some in running groups, others by themselves. Some fast, some slow. I loved the vibe, seeing all of these other runners made me totally energized. While concentrating on my form I was running stronger, faster. It was an amazing feeling, very motivating.

After we were done running. I hit up Starbucks and CVS. I just felt like refueling. I headed home, and took a shower. I felt energized and relaxed. I had the whole day ahead of me.

I have been contemplating changing my sleeping habits for a couple years now. I will admit that I have been waking up earlier then I use to. There was a time when I would sleep in until 9:00 or 10:00 am. I just have never been an early bird, but the weird thing is that I have never considered myself a night owl either. I am normally in bed by 11:00 pm. But I would like to have more time in the morning before I head into work around noon. I also would like to regularly run in the early mornings, instead of trying to squeeze it in whenever I can. I really enjoyed running early in the morning with all the other morning runners. I have to wake up early for most races so why not practice running at these early morning times everyday.

So the plan is to wake up early morning wether I run early or not. During the week, the earliest I will run is 6:30 am the latest I will run is 8:30 am. Unfortunately, the colder darker months will be here soon, so it will also depend on that. But I am excited about this new goal, and I think blogging about it will help me get on this new routine.

Questions for You

When do you run? Are you and early bird or night owl? Do you have any tips to share about waking up early? Please share, I need all the tips I can get.

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