I’m not one for making lists, especially bucket lists, which is a term I wish would disappear (I certainly don’t understand making a 2013 bucket list. It’s supposed to be things you want to do before you die. Not in the next year. Unachievable, amazing things you probably will never get the chance to do I digress.) I don’t really make resolutions either. If I want to do something, I just make it happen somehow. This year, I have a goal, a quest for 2013. And it doesn’t even end in 2013.

I am going to run the Polar Night Half Marathon in January 2014. Norway in January is truly polar, hovering below freezing. I need to be quick so I don’t freeze my butt off. I want to be below 2:30. That’s not really fast. It’s not even a particularly lofty goal for a half, but it’s something I can do. I was around 2:30 or below before my second ulnar nerve transposition and the months of rehab and being a lazy hog.

I have to run consistently. I’m not going to “train”. I’m just going to run when I feel like it, how far I feel like running, and keep going until I am faster. I’m not going to fuel like I”m training, I’m just going to eat healthy whole foods. I’m not going to stress over missing long run, I’ll just take care of it when I feel like it. I might run the same 5k course over and over again until I beat my PR. I’ll pick up training again in August, but the offseason will be full of running and getting faster. Much faster.

I’ll do some cycling as well. Get back to the kettle bell. Just do some exercising beyond running. Come crosstraining. I’ll also run up more hills.

I need to lose the 30 pounds I picked up after my surgery. About 25, I gained right away, then I lost some, but I found training from no activity (basically before step one again) for three half marathons was not conducive for weight loss. I need to lose that 30 pounds because it is so incredibly difficult to run when you’re heavy. Especially if you used to run when you weren’t as heavy. Everything changes. It’s harder for me to breathe. My gait is different. I know what it felt like 25-30 pounds ago and it doesn’t feel that way anymore. It’s harder. I’m slower. My joints are already under stress from all the extra weight and then I’m out there pounding on concrete day after day. I wasn’t even at my optimal weight or BMI 30 pounds ago, but I was at a good weight for me.

Running fifty miles a week kept me at the same weight, but I couldn’t cut out excessive calories, carbs, and and fats still have the energy to run. I could go out there and do the miles while counting every calorie. but they were miserable and I wasn’t improving. Dieting and training to actually get faster didn’t work for me. Sure, I could go out there and walk 20 miles, but I wanted to run 10. That’s where my not training but just running comes in. I’ll eat healthy and run a bunch, but not fuel like I’m running an ultra.

I vehemently read Eat and Run and Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance for tips on how to be more efficient with my diet and still have energy to run. I came away with plenty of tips for general running nutrition, which I’ve incorporated into my diet. I definitely feel better, but I still managed to gain 8 pounds (putting me at 30 total) in December. I blame stress on that one and I am breathing more and getting back on track. I also learned from these books (really Racing Weight) that the major weight loss really needs to come in the offseason. I had already figured that out as it relates to me.

I had already decided that I would stop “training” for halfs and just run, letting the halfs be just another long run. It’s not as if I was aiming for a fast time anyway. I’m at the point where these long runs don’t feel like endurance anymore. They don’t even feel that long.

So in 16 days, I run the Tinkerbell Half and then I’m officially in my offseason. I’m going to “diet”. I’m going to cross train. I’m going to run a lot. I’m going to leaner and faster so I can go run a freaking half marathon in snow and ice under the polar sky without freezing. It’s good to have goals.

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