On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Starting over. Well, sort of.

New year; new running goals.

Didn't the new year start in January, Tracy?

Well, yeah, for most of you. But I got caught in the Egyptian Revolution, you see, so I'm only now (that I'm back from a revolution) beginning to size up the year ahead.

Okay, okay, I'll stop now. But seriously: how often do you get to say that you were evacuated from a country by the State Department because you were caught in a revolution? I have to get some mileage out of it, because rumor has it that the bill they'll be sending me for my two-hour flight to Istanbul will be upwards of $1500.

My current facebook and twitter profile photo -
me stepping off the evacuation plane.
Because, you know, I lived through a revolution.
And I'm milking it for all it's worth.

So, new year, new running goals. As I've said before, I'm not so much into new year's resolutions. So you won't hear me promising to run four times a week (at least!), or to do yoga (all the time!), or core work (so important to running!), or pushups, or cross-training, or lower my 5k time to xx minutes...

That said, of course I'm not going into this year completely goal-free. My biggest goal right now, and you'd think this would be easy, is to run fewer races. Period. There, I said it. When I race, I want it to mean something.

I'm running a 10m race this weekend, and then I'm registered for a 5k coming up in a few weeks. I shouldn't have signed up for either of them - it was last year's Tracy who did it, blame her! But they're on my calendar and I'm getting my registration fee's worth out of them.

After that, I'm registered for a half marathon in May. This fall, barring injury, I will be running the NYCM and the Flying Monkey Marathon, both sentimental holdovers from last year.

Other than that, I'm contemplating racing a few half marathons in the late spring/early summer. It's easy enough to stay trained for those and maybe, maybe I can actually get to a point where I feel competent at the distance.


  1. Great goals! However, I can't help but wonder if there might just pop up another marathon, and another, and another on your calendar. ;)

  2. Why would you think that...? No, no, no, no.
    I mean, maybe if it was like a REALLY good marathon or something - NO!

    One of the biggest things for me is going to be actively trying to avoid doing the NYRR 9+1 this year and getting guaranteed entry into the 2012 NYCM. I want to be forced to not do that marathon.

  3. I was going to do that 10 mile race! But I cannot figure out how to get there from Astoria. Or how to convince my husband that I should run it. :)

  4. I have a very similar goal, since by the end of last year I was totally suffering from some major race fatigue. Happily, my knee has decided to help me by gimping out, so I can't race right now, even if I thought I really, really wanted to. Thanks, gimpy knee!

    (Also, they're charging you for your evac flight? I get that these things aren't free and someone somewhere has to pay for it, but to send you a bill for $1000+ for something that you didn't really have much choice over just seems... impolite.)

  5. Yes, they're charging me and yes, I agree that it's impolite. I get that the government's got to get paid (I don't begrudge them that), and they did commandeer some last minute planes. But from what I've been told, it's the contractor's fees that drive the price up. Which is lame. I might have tried to make different plans if I'd known the cost in advance.

  6. As further impetus for following through with your "race less" goal: if you register for only a select few races, maybe you'll be able to almost break even on that nasty evac flight charge... ($1500 for a puny little two-hour flight! Yipes! But you got out of there safely and that's the important thing.)

  7. You know, I never thought of it that way, but you're TOTALLY right. Major marathon registration fees + 10 race registrations at $20 each = the cost of several nice pairs of shoes. I can run for free!

  8. Flying Pig! Flying Pig! Come with me to run the Flying Pig!

    That is all.

  9. I want this to be the year of PRs and no injuries. I've been a lazy runner for a few years and just lately toward the end of 2010 I finally started to get serious and saw some improvements. If I can keep up the momentum without getting injured (which I think was partially a result of the on-off lazy factor), I'll be happy.

  10. Why did you have foil and paper towels on the plane? Is there a story?

    Here's some motivation: I'll be at Coogan's! Holla! And it's the day after my birthday! So party for me.


    There is indeed a story as to why I look sort of like a homeless person. The state department told us to be prepared to wait a while for our flight, possibly several days. The family I was staying with (strangers, long story) packed me a whole bunch of sandwiches in tinfoil. They also gave me a roll of toilet paper because you always carry some toilet paper in Egypt. Usually I go with small packs of kleenex, but for potentially several days? A roll was easier.

  12. Coogan's, yay yay yay! OK, two things:

    1) I heard about them charging for the evac on NPR and I was kind of taking aback. Seriously, it's not like you can comparison shop for that kind of thing...

    2) I'm a fan of the more focused, less racing plan. That is all.