Ok friends…warning a running post. After next week’s marathon pacing, I plan to start my next phase of post partum return to running. Yeah, it’s been a whole year, so I can’t even really call it that anymore, hence why it’s a new phase. Here’s the plan: I really want to improve. I mean seriously improve. I know I have it in me….I just need to really focus my workouts. I don’t have time for super long runs, but I can make the most out the time I have. I spent the last year getting back into a schedule, back into shape, and I feel like I am there. My sleep is fairly regular, my schedule is nailed down, and I seem to have quit getting sick every other week. One year ago I struggled to make a 10 minute mile and now I am down to 7:30s on tempo runs. I don’t say any of this so anyone thinks that I think I am super awesome…I don’t. And, like Mark’s last post where he admits that times don’t really matter when your family is number one priority, I do agree. But it’s awfully fun to see what I can do. This is a good time to start. When summer hits, I don’t want to be trying to pick up my pace, because most of us slow down a little in the high humidity. I know I am really, really good at sucking it up and getting out the door. Yes, I am patting myself on the back! I’ve got this part mastered….now I just need to turn up the intensity. I’d like to challenge my friends to join me. I know a couple of you have been thinking about trying to get faster. This is the time to start the hill workouts, the intervals. One nice thing is it makes your run go by really quick. As for long term goals….I am not entirely sure. We have tickets to Colorado this summer and if all goes well with that which is the Owl, I will be running the Estes Park marathon in June. It’s super hilly at 8000 feet…so it won’t be fast by nature, but I’d like to see what I can do. I also have a spring half planned. Beyond that I don’t know. With $400 orthotics in my shoes, I feel trail running is a little risky. Austin needs a road 50K. So anyone who’s interested…let’s encourage each other. I’m going to give Daily Mile a try. It’s like Facebook for runners. I don’t know how long I’ll last….I’ve never lasted at keeping a log and have always seen it as yet another task in my life. But I thought maybe if some friends were interested in doing it with me, we could encourage each other, post workouts, etc. Kind of a virtual training group since my real training partners are dwindling. Let me know if you want to try it out!