Monday, December 29, 2008

Closing the Book on 2008

I hope everyone' s having a great holiday season. I am not sure when the season starts or ends, but here's hoping yours has been joyous. Or something like that.

The snow here in Chicago has been washed away and I was able to resume outdoor running. I was able to get 6 in on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. I was the lucky recipient of a Garmin Forerunnner 305 for Christmas, so it accompanied on my weekend runs. It's nice to see how accurate my previously mapped courses really were; some mile markers are off just a bit, while a couple others were dead on. Weird. It's also my first time running with a heart rate monitor, so I am kind of swimming in numbers right now. I am excited to track all of this data. I think this officially makes me a full-fledged runner.

I also received a few other running items for Christmas including a new Nike cold weather running hat as well, a giftcard to Nike, a copy of the 2nd edition of Advanced Marathoning (scheduled to arrive soon) and the RW book "Run Less, Run Faster (FIRST). I have never followed the FIRST plan and from what I have gathered, it is more suitable to people who cross train or are triatheletes. I also feel like I already have been running less per se. For much of my training for the Chicago Marathon, I ran four days per week. I am pretty confident I could see better results by running more.

So, that kind of takes us into Running goals for 2009. I have never come up with a list like this before, but here goes:
  • Run More! How about 2009 miles in 2009?
  • Improve all of my previous personal records, which were all set in 2008 between September and November:
  1. Marathon - sub 3:20 (previous best 3:29:58)
  2. Half Marathon - 1:32 (previous best 1:38:34)
  3. 10K - 40:00 (previous best 41:48)
  • Incorporate more core work into my regular routine
  • Do all of this while becoming a father for the first time
I know this may look a little ambitious, but I think I am ready to take a huge step forward in my racing. I feel like I know more about running now than I ever have. I am also going to maintain some level of fitness in the offseason by running 20-30 miles per week. Prior to actually starting training, I will build my runnning base appropriately and actually be ready to go and in great shape for training.

I know I said it before, but the fundraising for FSMA that I led this year was one of the greatest things I have ever been a part of in my life. Raising $33,500 dollars was absolutely extraordinary. I think that a wide array of people who were previously unconnected can come together to support a common cause. I think that was the case in the fundraising effort. I can't thank all of you enough for your support.

The thing I have a hard time with is that Running for Cru came to to a glorious peak on October 12, 2008. I am not calling anyone out or anything of that nature, but I think it's part of human nature and to a lesser degree the American way of life that then moves on to the next thing. Meanwhile, the loss of Cru is still incredibly painful to his loved ones. Most everyone, while still remembering him and thinking of what a tragedy it is to lose someone so early in life, has gone on with their life.

So what do we do? I don't really have the answers. Thank God or whatever you believe in that you are fortunate enough to be able to wake up every morning and live life? That may sound a little crass. Make the most of life because while it's a beautiful and precious thing, it can be fleeting? Really, I don't know.

I am 95% sure I'll be running for charity in the '09 Chicago Marathon. And I am 95% sure it will be something related to trying to cure SMA. I am not sure it will be the same organization, but it very well could be. I have also thought of trying to recruit a few other runners to join me and form a Running for Cru team - Cru's Crew maybe? They could possibly raise a few bucks to help the cause as well and we could spread the word about SMA. I am not sure if there'd be interest, but I think it's worth a shot. Like I said multiple times back in June or July or August or September or October, if we could help even one family from going through what Ken and Michelle have gone through and are still going through, this is and will always be a success.

Lastly, thanks for reading over the past several months. I obviously like to talk about myself. Thanks for listening. I hope this blog has brought you some happiness, a laugh, some decent running information and some awareness of SMA in 2008. If you have been following along since it's inception in late June, it's most likely brought you a cry as well. Here's hoping 2009 brings you and yours many more good times than bad. See you in 2009!


Beagles said...

Hi Paul,

I will be running the Chicago Half Marathon, let me know if you do anything for Cru's Crew for that, I would love to be a part of!

Please keep me posted!

Beagles said...

Not sure why it posted my name as 'beagles', weird...

screaminzab said...

Nice, Beagles. Great name too. I am still coming up with a plan, but there's no reason we can't include the half. That's awesome by the way. If you ever have any questions or need any advice on the half or training or whatever, I am more than happy to help.

Morrissey said...

i have to say that after incorporating core work and weights, has improved my running times substantially!

screaminzab said...

Thanks Morrissey. Hopefully I can follow through with it. Your PRs are awesome. Good luck in Boston.