New Year Preview

 "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." 

I am so not a fan of New Year's Resolutions. I'm not quite sure at what point my detestation for resolutions began. I can vaguely recall in some distant past a resolution or two made. Probably my strong dislike of the ritual began in my four years working at Gold's Gym in Memphis. The enormous flood of Resolutioners... the frantic sales pitches of the staff, trying to sell gym memberships to more people than could reasonably fit in the gym... the slow and dependable decline in attendance after about three weeks. So, no "Resolutions" for me. Too many people boldly go there and promptly fail there.

However, I've set some goals for 2013. I'm already registered for a handful of races (I love taking advantage of early registrations fees, and then I'm already committed and have fuel for training hard.), so I'll start there.

GORUCK Challenge, Miami (1/19/13)-- What once was the excitement of brick duct taping has now faded into "what the heck was I thinking?" And I have a number of reasons to dread the CGC: 1) It's a team based event. I know, there is no "I" in team, but really the thought of completely relying on others to be successful at something goes against my nature. Selfish? Maybe, but I've always had a firm determination to be independent. 2) The event BEGINS at 10 p.m. On most nights I'm happy in deep REM sleep at this time. The sleep deprivation alone is frightening. 3) I've heard that all GRC events involve water. And not drinking water. The Atlantic is not exactly toasty warm in Miami, especially in the middle of the night in January. 4) I will be carrying (and doing various things with) a weighted back pack. Event goal: survive.
My bricks and ruck.
ING Miami Half Marathon (1/27/13)-- Although I had vowed never to return to this race again (I've done the half once and the full twice) I decided to do the half as a fundraising event for FCA. I do love this race; it holds a special place in my heart since it was my first half marathon. Also, running down MacArthur Causeway and past the USCG station there brings a flood of memories of the most difficult time of my married life-- Craig was stationed on the Valiant for 3 years, beginning when the boys were 18 months and 3 years old. It was a great time of growth for both Craig and I-- spiritually, emotionally, and socially. Race goal: enjoy the race and make friends on the course.

Florida Super Spartan (2/23/13)-- My eyes are still set firmly on placing in the top 10 females. My strength is there. This year will be about bringing speed and calves that don't cramp! I'm doing burpees (which I totally ignored last year-- in the "if I ignore them, they'll go away, right?" mentality). I've also been practicing yoga to work on my balance. Sadly, I will be running alone, most likely. Well, not really alone, since I've never been to a Spartan where people weren't willing to lend a hand. But the first year I ran with my husband, Arthur, and Peter (two very good friends). Last year I ran with Arthur again and really relied on his strength and pacing to guide me through the race. Race goal: 1st in age group and top 10 female.

Miami Tough Mudder (3/2/13)-- Yes, this year I flipped the calendar page and saw that these 2 tough races will be back to back weekends. However, I had also just come off the excitement of hearing about the World's Toughest Mudder AND I had the opportunity to get the race for about half price. Cheap and tough... that seems to be my motto lately. Again, it looks like I will be racing this one alone. And that thought is a little more than scary. However, the Tough Mudder boasts itself as not a race but a challenge. I've heard from multiple people that there will be plenty of Mudders out on the course to lend me a hand, but if you have a team running the first wave, I'd be happy to be adopted in! Race goal: run fast enough to qualify for World's Toughest Mudder (basically a 24 hour TM). Not sure if I will enter WTM, but I'd like the opportunity.

Mud Dogs Fun Run (3/24/13)-- This one is at the hilly Vista View Park. Again, I couldn't pass up a $25 entry fee. I also entered my husband for this one. He's going to love me for it. This will also be my friend's first mud run, so I'm really looking forward to that. This is the same friend who ran her first half marathon in December, and I believe she once told me she would never do a mud run. Race goal: enjoy the mud with my hubby.

The Challenge (3/30/13)-- Yes, it will be a busy March for me. This was another dirt cheap (pun intended) entry fee. As a matter of fact, according to the organizers, I was the first person to register and will get to wear #1. I can't tell you how excited I am about that! (I'm such a dork.) When I registered, the race was going to be a 10k with a 5k option. Since then, organizers decided to err on the side of a less complicated situation and picked an (almost) happy medium of 5 miles. I'm really excited that this will be my son's first OCR! He turns 13 the day before the race, so will be just old enough to race. Race goal: wearing #1 means that I have to win it. And then come back around and race side by side with my son.

CrossFit Games-- at the encouragement of my husband, I've decided to apply for and compete in the CrossFit Games this year. I've been learning the techniques and am now working on mastering them. Craig (my trainer/husband) believes I can do really well. Meanwhile, I'm building strength and more importantly, confidence in double unders, snatches, and cleans. Goal: to qualify for regionals.

Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon (10/26/13)-- Birthday race! How could I NOT do a half marathon on my b-day?! The medal is super cool; it's run in one of my favorite locations; and I got a great deal on the entry. Who knows, I may even run in a costume (but it will NOT be in my birthday suit.) Race goal: (unless I decide to go for a crazy costume) 1:45 PR. 
I've added some different training-- the Vertimax!
I've also got my sights set on a few other races; I just have yet to decide:

Spartan Ultra Beast-- a marathon distance Spartan race, uhm, yes, thank you! I didn't apply last year and was kicking myself hearing all about it from friends who competed. The race is in Vermont, home of all things Spartan, which means entry fee + flight + hotel. Yikes.

World's Toughest Mudder-- I admit the idea of competing in this event is extremely appealing to me. However, after watching the official 2012 WTM video, it became somewhat less appealing. 24 hours of a TM sounds brutally challenging and torturously fun. Add to that freezing and/or near freezing temps, and I'm not so sure. IF I do this one, it will most likely be with a team of crazy Corn Fed Spartan women.

Epic Racing Arena-- I consider this one a long shot because I'm only doing the event if I am accepted in the elite category. Am I elite? I never have been before, but I've never trained (and ate) with the dedication and intensity that I am right now. The event sounds like it will be part American Ninja Warrior, part Spartan Race. At this point I'm stronger than I am fast, so I feel like I'm well suited to back to back to back (etc.) obstacles.

In order for all of this to happen, I will continue to eat clean, train hard, and sleep well. Hello, 2013. I'm excited!
Recovery is important. In the winter, I love taking an "ice" bath in my pool.
Yes, It's "freezing." Notice the sweatshirt!


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