A big race on the horizon...!

2014 started off a bit unexpectedly -- on January 1, instead of boarding a plane home to Cleveland, I found myself stuck in California due to weather-related flight cancelations. As the Polar Vortex ravaged the Midwest and snow and cold canceled every flight I tried to get on, I was stranded (yes, how rough) in warm, sunny CA. Thank goodness I can work remotely, since I ended up in California for another week!

The extra week spent in warm weather was just the ticket for my running. While California experienced record highs, I ran some solid workouts that I would have otherwise had to do on the treadmill -- dreadmill -- back in bitterly cold Cleveland. I rocked some mile repeats, ran my longest/fastest long run ever, and rebuilt my confidence to boot!

Now I'm back in Ohio and thankfully the weather hasn't been too punishing yet. Since things have been going well, the game plan is to race a half marathon in the coming weeks and use it and the past few months of higher-volume workouts to kickstart my track season. Kinda like Lauren Fleshman running the NYC Marathon to get faster in the 5k, or all the ladies who ran the 2012 Marathon Olympic Trials in January and then came back to kick a** on the track later that spring. Here's to hoping that half marathon training yields a 10k PR for me!

Hopefully it'll also yield some much-needed mental fortitude. Because after racing 13.1 miles, surely 6.2 miles on the track can't seem that bad. The mental strength that I've been working on while training for the half will serve me well during those last 9 laps on the track that have gotten the better of me more times than I'd like to admit.

So I'm racing a half in just a few short weeks! I'm still a little nervous... I'm in the process of wrapping my head around the idea of focusing -- and staying mentally tough -- for 75 minutes (maybe 76 minutes, but hopefully no longer than that!). Thankfully I have a few more long runs and long tempos left to practice positive thoughts.

Which half am I running, you ask? That's on the down-low for now... but I'll spill the beans later this week - stay tuned!