New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year!!!

After a string of some wonderful days of running, I woke up on New Year’s Eve with a headache, congestion and general body aching that always indicates the start of something more serious. Stupidly, I forced myself through my first brick workout in months – 45 min on the trainer followed by an easy 5 mile run. It felt good to bike again, but I felt like crap. UGH.

Later that afternoon, we all went to my sister’s where we rang in the New Year. Despite still feeling awful, I had a blast staying up late (2am for me) and playing Just Dance” (my first time) with my sisters and parents.

me and AJ

new years eve

As much as I wanted to start the new year off running, my body was not having it – I did not run Wednesday or Thursday. I was/am disappointed but decided it was better to be smart and take a few days off rather than push my body more than I had already. My husband was off both days and we spent most of the last few days rearranging various rooms in our house <- This is what I do when I can’t run! First up was our basement. The workout area has been moved and reorganized:


And then we changed around our family room (eliminated a piece of the couch, added the foot rest and switched the accent chair with the shelving unit:

family room

I’ve spent a lot of time the last few weeks reflecting on the past year as well as goals for 2014. I wish I could say that I have all these goals for the new year but truth is, the desire to do some of the races I had planned on doing this year is not there. The motivation may return at some point over the next few months, but right now, the only race I want to focus on and think about is the LA Marathon.

Thinking about some of the races I’m signed up for that are 5-10 months away cause me more STRESS than excitement right now. That’s not how it should be. I feel like I should be doing this or that to start preparing for those future races but my heart doesn’t want to.

The lack of motivation or desire is making me question the reason behind doing the races. Do I really want to do these races? Or could it be that I want to say that I’ve done this or that but maybe my heart is not really in it?

Right now, I want to run, do some short races (I’ve never actually run a 5k!) and just have fun with the sport that I love. Running, triathlons and exercising in general is a hobby for me. So it should be FUN. It should not feel forced or feel like something I “have to” do. It should be something I want to do every day.

And I realize it could be the winter funk or still not feeling 100% like myself that is causing this lack of motivation. So I’m not cancelling or withdrawing my registration just yet.

I don’t really know what I want or how I will feel so making goals for the year seems a bit presumptuous at the moment. I made a whole list of goals last year (13 of them in fact) and to be honest, never really made an effort to go after probably 8-9 of them. I think I was so caught up in blogging and wanting to SAY I was doing all these things rather than actually wanting to do them.

My one goal for 2014 is simple: Do what makes me happy. Whether that means I decide to do the Ironman in November or skip it and go for a fall marathon. Maybe I’ll skip both those and train for shorter distance races. Or maybe I’ll train for another ultra (my first and only was Nov 2011 and I loved it).  But whatever I decide will be based on what feels “right” for me.

What’s your big goal for 2014?

How do you determine your goals?

Have you ever done a race even though your heart wasn’t in it?


I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    39 thoughts on “New Year, New Goals

    1. Pingback: Spring Racing and 2014 Plans

    2. I love that your goal is to do what makes you happy. I don’t think that we let ourselves do that enough. I always find that a break and a reset is always a good thing for my brain. Looks like you all had a great time over New Year’s! Happy 2014 my friend!
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..How we tell storiesMy Profile

    3. great plan friend! sometimes you just need a reset button on that mind and body. When you start to dread the workouts, it’s not fun. Love the “do what makes you happy” approach, always! xxoo

      love the living room!

      • Thanks so much, Lindsay. We’ll see what happens. May just need some time to let things sort themselves out. But it feels good to not have pressure (put on by myself!) to do the races anymore =) xo
        nycrunningmama recently posted..New Year, New GoalsMy Profile

    4. I just ran my first real 5k. They are not forgiving. I went out way too fast, and although I was still happy with my time, I’d have been happier if I had been more consistent with my pace.

      I’ve got a lot of big running goals this year, including logging 1000 miles (I think I landed somewhere between 700-800 this year), getting a big 1/2 PR, and running my1st and 2nd marathons. But my favorite goal this year is to always have flowers at home. It’s something small that makes me happy when I walk into my apartment and see them.
      Cyanne (RunStretchGo) recently posted..2014 will be the year of 1000My Profile

      • I LOVE the goal of fresh flowers. Whenever we have them on our kitchen counter, my spirits are lifted and I always say how easy it would be to always have them!
        Best of luck with your first marathon(s)!! Kind of amazing that you are already signed up for your 2nd!! =)
        nycrunningmama recently posted..New Year, New GoalsMy Profile

    5. I set some insane goals for this year that I may not meet, but I’m going to do everything I can to. I registered for ironman Raleigh 70.3 and ironman Louisville 140.6, and I’m hoping to get picked and run the JFK 50 mile race in November. Going to *try* again for marine corps marathon after being shut out of the website the past 3 years. I’ve complied my 47 week training plan for the 50, starts Monday. Already been training for IM since November, having never done a tri, and I don’t own a bike or any components for IM except running shoes, an old swimsuit, and a swim cap I ripped in my second swim practice. Good times!

    6. Good for you refocusing and realizing its not all about completing a race to complete a race! Sometimes I have to take a step back and not sign up for races just to sign up.

      This year my goal is to do another half marathon (I’m addicted after my first one in November) and complete my first Olympic distance triathlon!
      Maddison @MADDFitness recently posted..HAPPY NEW YEARMy Profile

    7. I finally wrote out my goals for 2014. However, I’m also focusing this year on one word: Opportunities. My racing goals are challenging, but not overwhelming. I chose races that I’m passionate about and will train with my heart as well as my physical body. Life is about opportunities and goals that matter to you. Sometimes, more is less. This year is about believing in myself and knowing that there are opportunities to make the impossible possible. Life is about balance and believing in yourself. 2014 will be amazing because we all have our own opportunities. Go with your heart and your legs will follow:)
      Kara Forrest recently posted..Goals:2014My Profile

    8. I am still trying to figure out what my 2014 goals will be. :-) Since I will be coming back from baby #3, I guess it’s still up in the air. This is the first time I have run through a pregnancy, so I may be able to bounce back quicker. We’ll see. I LOVE your resolution to do what makes you happy–wise advice!
      Jessica Morrison recently posted..Getting Over a Bad RunMy Profile

    9. I would love to qualify for Boston this year, but I put so much pressure on my self last year that I think that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t end my fall running season well. I have to relax and enjoy the process! Easier said than done and finding a balance with training, working full time, 4 kids, and a husband who is traveling a lot lately may be one of the most challenging things of 2014!! Good luck to you Michele! I will happily be following your journey this year. :)
      Kristin recently posted..Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!My Profile

    10. I think the whole idea of doing what makes you happy is more important than 50 races!!! At the same time, I think that as you start training you will be better able to decide if you really want to invest the time and energy required for a specific race and be able to make a decision based on that feeling.
      I hope you are feeling 100% soon!
      Kim recently posted..Well, the Break Is Over but There Is Still Plenty to Enjoy!!!My Profile

    11. It sucks how you have to sign up for lots of the bigger events (i.e. Ironman and the big marathons) so far in advance – it is hard to know what you will want to do so far into the future! You are right that if we are not a professional athlete this should all be fun. It’s funny how we can lose sight of that so easily – I’ve been guilty of this too!
      Andrea @ The Fit Scoop recently posted..Back at itMy Profile

    12. I your honesty Michele. I agree totally. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make big goals, sign up for big races and set new PR’s. But it is easy to lose the fun in it. I’ve been questioning whether or not I really WANT to do a spring marathon or if running a half marathon would make me happier. I haven’t decided yet. But I’m not putting out any 2014 goals yet because I honestly don’t have any, other than to break 20 in the 5K and earn points for my club by running in the NH grand prix…but that’s it. And I think that’s OK.
      Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted..New Years Fun RunMy Profile

    13. It’s time to do what YOU want. I 100% agree that it is important to want to and enjoy what you are doing, yes pushing yourself to do something sometimes can be good- but not all the time. You are a great athlete, and I love that you are totally focused on LA Marathon right now. I find focusing on one thing at a time really helps. Even though I know I am doing my first Ironman this year, I am NOT going to sit here and stress like crazy about it now. Boston First.

      My biggest goal that incorporates my whole life and not just running….is consistency. Consistent miles, consistent strength training, consistent date nights, consistent family time, etc. I feel like the roller coaster of everything is just too much to handle.
      Laura @losingrace recently posted..Catching up on the ‘News’My Profile

    14. My big goal for 2014 is the NJ Marathon on April 27th. It will be the only full I do this year. And I’m shooting to shave 8 minutes off of my PR which is from last year’s NJ Marathon! Looking to keep a 10:40 pace instead of 11:00 pace.

      Determining goals is a weird process for me. I usually don’t sent any. But once in a while I get the bug up my butt to shoot for a certain time.

      The only race my heart wasn’t really in turned out to be a PR and one of the most enjoyable races ever. It was a half marathon 6 days after the NYC Marathon. I was so tired and had so many ailing muscles, tendons….even my my stomach was bothering me…but I wanted to see my friend and didn’t want to bail on her….I showed up expecting to just take it easy and try and finish without injuring myself or puking. Next thing I know I’m smiling and looking at my watch with splits all sub 10….by mile 11 I saw I had a chance of PR’ing and I took off. It was awesome.

      I really agree with you though that sometimes we get caught up with feeling the need to “show face” for the blogs sake. Not wanting to let others down. You are smart to realize that stressing over a registered race 10 months from now is not so smart. Enjoy your LA Marathon training and keep it at that. Just focus on the now.

      Happy New Year!
      sally @ sweat out the small stuff recently posted..First meal of 2014, favorites, a 4 miler and a mysteryMy Profile

    15. My big goal for 2014 is to take it one day at a time. 2013 was a rough year for me and my family and we are facing a lot of changes coming this year so my goal is to take things one day at a time and see where life takes us. There is so much ahead of us and worrying about it only makes things worse. I am focused on living in the moment!
      Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Five Ways to Be a Better WifeMy Profile

    16. I don’t think you could have developed a better goal for the year. When you look back on everything, being happy is really the only thing that will matter. I think when those of us who are runners go through a really tough and focused triathlon season, it intensifies our passion for running. During my training for my half Ironman last year, I must have said to myself at least 2-3 times a week how much I wished I was “just” training for a marathon or half marathon. There is something to that inner voice saying that.

      For me this year, I’m going to focus on running again along with shorter distance triathlons (sprints and Olympics) which can still be challenging yet fun while not taking away so much from life. Triathlon at the IM level is a huge sacrifice, and at the end of the day if you decide that it is too much, that is ok too. You have already accomplished so much and will continue to do so no matter what you choose. Happy 2014! xo
      Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted..Friday FITspiration: Overcoming Insurmountable OddsMy Profile

    17. My goals for this year are all triathlon related. I focused more on running last year and realized my heart is more with triathlon than running. I think one of the downfalls of blogging is that there can be this pressure to do what other people are doing or what they think you should do. If I say I’m going to train for x race I feel guilty if I change my mind. In the end it’s your life and your goals. An ironman may not be in the cards for 2014 but when/if you want to do another one you will do better because your heart is in it
      Shannon @ Mon Amour recently posted..My Big Hairy Audacious Goals for 2014My Profile

    18. I love you for being so honest Michele. The only race I’m actually committed to is MCM since I had to defer but I’m being really careful about choosing any others so I don’t overwhelm myself. I just have a little insignificant blog and I feel the pressure to do more and I can’t imagine the pressure you feel being such a big name out there. Kudos to you for following your heart.

      My big goal for 2014 is to run without getting injured and keep weight training. I’ve always wanted to have more muscle tone and I figured now is better than never. And since I’ve decided my life won’t revolve around only running it was a good time to focus on something else I’ve wanted to do. I’ve done several races with my family just because of peer pressure lol….I can’t say no to my family, especially when all of my brothers are speed demons . My older brother holds a SouthWest Conference Steeple Chase record and my youngest brother holds a Cross Country record for A&M International and ran a half in under 1:11!!…It’s hard having a family of great runners it makes me want to constantly work harder especially since I hold no such records…hey but at least I’ve run a marathon lol.
      Adriana @Laced Up With Lipstick recently posted..Top 20 Running Gear and Misc. Favorite Buys of 2013My Profile

    19. Happiness is enough a goal in itself! I think I’ll be chasing a similar goal. I don’t want to find a way to define success anymore, not by training to a certain degree, or comparing my performances to where they were before my last injury, or by getting a certain PR… I just want to take it one second at a time, doing what makes me happy. I want to run happy, run healthy, and remember to define myself and my happiness in a lot of different ways, not just through running!
      Cheryl recently posted..I’m a warrior.My Profile

    20. Good for you for ensuring you are doing what makes you happy.

      The same thing has happened to me in the past normally due to over training or after a big event. You can’t love something year in, year out and 100% of the time. Sometimes you have to step back and appreciate everything else in your life and the desire will come back on it’s own.

      I’m glad you are blogging again I have missed your updates. Hopefully you will get your mojo back soon. In the mean time I would enjoy the things you can’t when training like ice cream, wine, late nights etc.
      lucy clarke recently posted..2013 Review & 2014 GoalsMy Profile

    21. I applaud you. Last year I lost focus on why I run. I was too busy at the end of the year trying to catch up to the Joneses and that is not my style. So this year I have one goal. To finish each race I run with a smile. If I get some PR’s great, but if I do not I will be okay. The way I look at it I took 4 years to lose 100 pounds and go from 13-15 minute miles to 8’s, so I can respect my body and take the patient path towards my dream goal of a BQ. It will come some year, but I will not give up my love of running to get there. Running was always therapeutic to me, ever since my teen years, never competitive. Last year when I was training to try to get a BQ the numbers overwhelmed me and running became a job. I did not like that feeling. Not happening this year.:) I say go be your ROCK STAR self NYC Running Mama. You are awesome!!
      Jolene Cannady recently posted..Breaking OutMy Profile

    22. Hold up- Never run a 5k?! 😉 Maybe you just need a change of race distances to get out of your funk? After Boston last year I took a big marathon training break and focused on 5k training. (I also threw in a one mile race which was WAY different than marathon training.)

      The change was very good for me mentally and physically. It gave me a goal and purpose in running but a different one. My mileage was shorter so I had more time at home with the kids (they were all home for the summer) but the workouts were very intense. A LOT of speed work and I worked on my core at home when I wasn’t running. To be honest I think I was in better shape then than I am in now! I’ve been back in marathon training mode since the fall but I am already planning on another 5k/ 1 mile season this summer. It’s a great change-up!

      I like finding new distances to experiment with. :-) Then there is no “time pressure.” Just see what happens and learn from the experience.

      Good luck with 2014! You had an amazing 2013 and even if you didn’t accomplish all of your goals you still did some AMAZING things. An Ironman is HUGE. Sometimes after accomplishing something so big like that our bodies just need a little break mentally and physically. I’m sure you will figure out what is best. You have a great attitude and continue to inspire me (and so many others)!
      Tia @ Arkansas Runner Mom recently posted..The 3 Bridges Marathon- Race Recap {Breaking 3!!}My Profile

    23. I feel ya sister! One thing at a time. Right now I’m obsessed with sneaking in a 20 miler before my surgery even though it’s totally not necessary. I feel like I have to and don’t really want to! AHHHHH!! Crazy obsessive runners we are. At the end of the day, makes us feel good though- through ups and downs. :) Hope your day is better today than yesterday. Mine is so far…. :)
      Lindsey Hein recently posted..Our Year: 2013My Profile

    24. What’s your big goal for 2014? To run and have fun

      How do you determine your goals? I have stopped making goals the center-piece of my running and moved to more of a process focus. I am going to train hard, use the McMillan system to gauge where I am versus what I need to do to get better. I have races that I want to run and races I want to race, however, right up until I get to the starting line I can change my mind on what I am going to do, if I even decide to go to the race or not. More flexibility and more listening to this old body.

      Have you ever done a race even though your heart wasn’t in it? Yes, that is usually when I am setting myself up for an injury or illness after it. This year I have given myself permission to not run, if I am feeling that I do not want to run it that day, I will either stay home or cheer my friends on.

      I guess since I have downshifted out of being a social media runner, that I am stopping to smell the roses and do not feel that I have to always run or bring my “a” game to a race.

      This year is my year just to focus on enjoying my running, which includes challenging myself, for the right reasons (because I want to), not due to the artificial pressures that we feel because it has become our profession.
      Harold recently posted..Some Days The Treadmill Just Works Better – RunLog 1-2-14My Profile

    25. I have the big goal of 2014 as a sub-1:30 half but when it comes to goals that tangible, I try to set B and C goals in case I don’t get there because the last thing I want is to run a 1:32 (still a PR) and be upset about it. I make my secondary goals about something other than time aka finishing strong in my goal race and running a negative split even if my pace is off, etc. It helps :)
      Emmeline recently posted..Winter WeatherMy Profile

    26. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this post! This is exactly how I felt for most of 2013. I pushed my self to do way too much racing, and I was miserable and burnt out by the end of the season. One of my goals for 2014 was to make sure running is a stress-reliever not a stress-inducer. It’s really the best way for me to clear my mind, and it’s easy for me to make it into another “job” and start dreading it! Thank you for always being so honest — it helps the rest of us to know that we all struggle with the same things!

    27. I love that goal – “do what makes me happy”.

      This year, I basically want to run more miles. I want to continue to grow as a runner and enjoy running longer.

      I think my biggest goal would be a PR in the half – I am planning on at least 2 half marathons this year.
      Aimee – funfitgirl recently posted..I scream, you scream…My Profile

    28. Good for you! I think you are clearly in a place that says you need more time to really figure it out. Sometimes backing off the race schedule and just running can lead you to the right answer. I know I regret a few knee-jerk decisions last year and so when I return from injury, there will be NO races on my schedule until I am healthy, 100%, and can figure out the right next move for me. You’ll get it figured out!
      misszippy1 recently posted..Three trends I’d like to see end in 2014My Profile