The day after Thanksgiving used to be the official “kickoff” for the holiday season when everyone flocked to the retail world on Black Friday to get the biggest and best sales from the likes of Walmart, Best Buy, etc. Then Amazon (and the rest of the Internet) raised the stakes, started a Black Friday week, (sales beginning the Monday before Thanksgiving) and added Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving). Black Friday effectively faded into the background (much to the chagrin of the hardline retail world) and the official Kickoff day for the holiday season was gone!
However, the day after Thanksgiving still has meaning for me! It is the beginning of the “Home Stretch” of my running year. During this period I hope to run hard, run fast and run efficiently! It is hopefully the “happiest” time of my running year as I strive to finish the year strong! Strong finishes to the year lead to a strong start for the following one (at least that is what I believe) and with the help of the five actions below, it should be a great 6 weeks of running.
NUMBER ONE: Run Very Long! I plan on running an Ultra in the new year and that race is a 50k. At the moment I believe I will do fine running this race but I need assurances (ie long runs beforehand). I have been hitting the trails to build up my “experience” in that arena so I am not surprised with each turn, bump and hill. Now I need to take my distance, no matter where, to the next level and break 20 miles several times heading into year end! Question…will I have a time?
NUMBER TWO: Eat Better! Ok, I have thrown this one out there several times on this blog and yet I continue to eat like crap! Thanksgiving brought good food and hopefully I can continue this good day of eating into the next week (one week at a time) and beyond! I am convinced that my eating is getting in the way of my “next level” of solid running performance and something needs to change!
NUMBER THREE: Climbing those Hills. I hit the hills of Boston, which there are few, this past week and came out of that training feeling strong. It is almost a must that I run more of these in the week, months and basically forever, ahead. I need the training of my leg muscles to not be surprised by the extreme pressure that hills put on them. I need to make them stronger so my legs can run longer up hills. I need to have my legs bounce back and be ready for he next set of hills more quickly! In short, I need to do better on hills.
NUMBER FOUR: Read Harry Potter! Interesting aside for this Home Stretch is another goal that I need to complete in a timely fashion. It is to read / listen to the Harry Potter series so that my daughter can continue on from book 4 from where she has been sitting for the past week, since blasting through the first three in a few weeks. With audio books I can catch up to her in about 40 hours time. 40 hours is about 25 training sessions or less which means I should be at book 4 by year end. And that should make my daughter happy!
NUMBER FIVE: Focus on the Goal! This morning while looking for a good place to run, I found myself in excuse making mode. It was raining and cold which were 2 excuses. I hate the treadmill so there was another excuse. I felt tired – excuse number four! Oh, and I have the day off so why should I run – excuse yet again. I need to stop making excuses and get focused on the goals in front of me. So what if it is raining, cold, snowing or something else. Just get out there and that is what I am getting ready to do now! Heading out for 5 miles even though the excuse machine is working overtime!
Well, that is this week’s 5 for Friday!
Thanks for Reading and Happy Holidays!