March 2012 – Resetting Goals and Breaking Records

March for the past few years has been “Marathon Month” for Angela and I. Beginning in December of each year we start a heavy, grueling, and painful training regiment. We crank up our running volume to prepare for the Publix Georgia Marathon that takes place at the end of March. This year, I focused even harder at doing everything that I was supposed to do to be ready for the race; from long runs, to tempo workouts, speed drills along with ample nutrition and cross training. All these things are required to be ready to run 26.2 miles and finish strong with a smooth recovery. I can say I checked that box. Mentally, however, I just wasn’t into it.
Reflecting back, I got into running for the challenge and joy of it. But something was very different about this year. I just did not feel passionate about doing this race. For those who haven’t run one, the exhilaration of completing a marathon is great; but the physical recovery sucks. It really does take a lot of commitment to run one and do it well. So I have to ask myself, am I running this marathon just so I could say I completed another one or because I really wanted to do something great. I have a standing goal of wanting to run a 3:30 marathon. Though I did the training to meet that this year, I just kept wondering at what cost. Three weeks before the marathon and I was already dealing with a flaring bone spur in my right ankle and compartment syndrome in my calves. With all that, I was consumed with the idea that I would do more harm than good pursuing another marathon around Georgia’s unforgiving hills.

 

So while wading through this sea of doubt, we decided to make switch to the half marathon and focus on setting personal records in that distance. That decision didn’t all of a sudden bring back a wave of confidence and swagger. I was still dealing with injuries and training for a marathon usually slows your overall pace at all distances. So the anxiety and frustration lingered up through the morning of the race. It wasn’t until about mile 4 when the pace team and I finished that segment under 30 minutes that I began to feel strong again. In the end, I set a PR (1:39:27)¬†and finished the race in a way that was very competitive and set a new milestone in my running career. Being near the top of my age bracket, gender and overall classifications in the half marathon was the spark I needed to feel passionate about running again.

This is probably overzealous of me, but now I want to run as many half marathons in a year as I can. I think it’s only because I now have a clear vision of who I am as a runner, what my goals are, and what I can acheive with a little reset in perspective. I haven’t given up on chasing my marathon goal but I think I want to master the 15 km and half marathon distances first. Get up there in the top 10 of my age, gender and overall classifications before I try to chase down the Kenyans in another marathon.

I also want to share for fun in this will post a list of lists that Angela compiled. It breaks out the top restaurants, coffee shops, lounges/bars, ethnic cuisine and brunch places around the Buckhead Atlanta area. We stuck to places that we both have decided are great and shared experiences at over the past few years. Each list is in no particular order. Also, please feel free to comment in any additions as you see fit. Oh, and one more thing, check out Game of Thrones if you haven’t already. Awesome!Atlanta Top 10 Lists:


RESTAURANTS
COFFEE SHOPS
LOUNGES/BARS
Cibo e Beve
Octane
Cosmo Lava
Murphy’s
San Fran Coffee
Holeman & Fitch
Bistro Niko
The Library
Prohibition
Local Three
Condessa
Ormsby’s
Bacchanalia
Inman Perk
Leon’s Full Service
Parish
Java Vino
Brickstore
Barcelona
Java Monkey
Mansion
Anis
Atlanta Coffee
The Family Dog
Restaurant Eugene
Empire State S
Intermezzo – Midtown
Portofino
Steady Hand
Fado

ETHNIC CUISINE
BRUNCH
Nan
Murphy’s
Com
Urban Pl8
Swapna
Highland Bakery
Tuk Tuk
Rosebud
Harmony
The Flying Biscuit
Canton House
Sun in My Belly
Quoc Huong
Parish
Niramesh
Gilbert’s
Little Cuba
Crepe Revolution
Sufi’s
Einstein’s

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