Thursday, July 18, 2013

Goals. I Have Them.

Howdy. It's approximately eleventy-hundred and two degrees here in the Midwest and it makes me cranky. I wish I could say I come from sturdier stock and that I'm able to wipe my brow and bear the brunt of 90+ degree temperatures with a smile on my face, but when it comes to the heat I'm a kind of a wuss. I may be able to run 50 miles through the woods but I crave a cold shower and a massage at the end. I cringe at the mere thought of the word "camping" and my closet is stocked with twee little sundresses.

Not to say I'm not tough. I do push ups on my toes, I actually enjoy doing burpees and I drink my bourbon neat. It's just that the neverending HOT makes me feel so lethargic and unproductive and if it's one thing I hate- it's feeling lazy.

So what do I do? (Besides complain, I mean.) I spend my down time making lists of all the things I want to do when I'm not being lazy and crabby and unproductive. This week I planned out my training schedule for a 50-mile race in Door County this October. As if that weren't enough, I got greedy and started researching races for next year. (2014. Can you believe it? We live in the FUTURE.) Anyway, I decided that I want to find new ways to challenge myself (I know, I know, as if what I do right now isn't challenging enough.) But really, I feel like after running for 5 years I'm hitting high point and I want to take advantage of it and do as much as I can.

Ok, so here's where my post gets really boring and I talk about my goals. 

Since I've had bad luck with weather the past two years at the Rockford Marathon, I decided to go for my marathon PR at Wisconsin Marathon in 2014- which takes place two weeks earlier in the season. (Of course by saying this I've just now guaranteed perfect running weather in Rockford for race weekend next year but I'm trying not to think about it.) I'm fairly confident I can run a sub-3:55 marathon (maybe even a 3:50?) if I get the right conditions. Hopefully I can game it right next year!

I also still want to PR my 5K (21:57). I'm less clear on when I will be able to do this since I don't run many of them at all, but it's another distance that I'm fairly confident I can get my time down farther in given the right day.  I've kicked up my sprinting speed in my interval workouts lately so if I find a 5K that looks favorable at the end of the year I might go for it then.

Even though I haven't run my 50 miler this year yet, I'm already scoping out next year's 50 miles races. Although I'm super excited to run 50 in Door County, it's a road race and I really do prefer trails for super long distances. It's just so much easier on the legs and walk breaks seem to come more naturally out in the trail as opposed to the road. Right now I'm eyeing the Glacial Trail 50 that takes place in the fall. It's supposed to be a much tougher course than the North Face 50  that I've done twice already and it has a stricter cutoff time. Of course, this only makes me want to be able to prove I can do it even more. (Can somebody remind me of this post when I miss the cutoff and am crying into my beer?)

Looking waaaay down the road even further, I actually started mulling around the idea of the 100K distance. JUST MULLING at this point. I need to get a couple more 50 milers under my belt before I make that leap. And it's only 12 more miles right? *Sigh.* This is how I get into trouble.

Also, and I wish I could whisper this one. But if I'm able to run my fastest marathon time next year I'm going to maybepossiblyseriously start looking at trying to qualify for Boston in the next 5 years. Like the BIGGEST MAYBE you can imagine. The qualifying time for when I turn 40 is 3:45 so if I can run under 3:55 in 2014 I think it actually might be the teeniest of possibilities. Of course then I have to turn 40. And run a 3:45 marathon. And did I mention TURN 40?? God.

So that's it. I mean the really really really big goals at least. I'm going to try to whittle down my half marathon time to the low 1:40s by the end of 2013 since it's my favorite distance to actually race all out. (Schaumburg Half Marathon in November, I'm looking at you!) Oh, and I'm going to continue to teach bootcamps and try to grow my personal training business and take more dance classes and hang out with my husband from time to time and be there for my kids when they get home from school every day. You know, the usual.

Life isn't half bad. Keep rockin'.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Becoming: Part 1

It's been 6 months since I took the exam to become a personal trainer. Six months of highs and lows, trying to promote myself, dragging pounds and pounds of gear around from location to location, and oh yeah- trying my best to create ass-kicking, enjoyable workouts. People often ask me how my Little Engine that Could business is going. Here's what I'll say:

To quote Adam Sandler's character in the 1994 comedy "Mixed Nuts": It's a work in progress. It may never be finished. 

But seriously. It's been a real learning experience for me. I knew in the beginning that my biggest challenge was going to be marketing myself, and that has proven to be true. I enjoy training people- in groups and one-on-one. When I'm out running I construct workouts in my head and then I come home and test them out. I get excited over new gear I buy and spend hours in my back yard trying out new exercises. I do tons of research- reading fitness blogs and watching countless Youtube videos of other trainers, trying to learn all that I can.
For me this stuff is fun! And getting to share that knowledge with others is where is all comes together. The part I hate is the business side. (Which stinks, because I am a business and I ultimately want to be successful- on a small level, at least.)
All of my clients thus far have come to me either by social media or word-of-mouth. Luckily I have a great network of friends who have been very supportive of me, either by attending classes or saying nice things about me on the internet, and for this I am so SO grateful. Still I find myself having anxiety over getting enough people to attend a bootcamp and worrying about how it will look if I only have 2 people at a class.

Deep breaths. Baby steps. I am a work in progress.

A few weeks ago I met up with my friend Ambrose, who I trained under for over 2 years before deciding to take this step on my own. I expressed to him my frustration and worry over possibly having one person show up to what is advertised as a "group"  workout.  He proceeded to give me the greatest advice. He said something like:  "So what if you only have one person? You give that person the best, most awesome workout you possibly can- and that one person could become one of your biggest cheerleaders." 
He is right, and I have taken that advice to heart. Although I admit I will still probably always stress over the marketing side of this whole endeavor- I realize that I need to have patience. As well as persistence. So while I'm wishing I had more people at my classes, I still give 120% planning and executing every single workout- whether I have 2 people or 20 people. (Ha-like I've ever had 20 people!) I also have to keep in mind that this is a part-time gig for me. My #1 job is still my family. I'm not teaching classes to pay the bills or put food on the table. I'm doing this because I enjoy it and I think I have something to offer.

So with that in mind,  I will go forth and continue this work in progress.