It’s that time of year again when we all come up with goals (or resolutions or dreams or whatever you call them!) for the new year.
In recent years, I came up with a whole laundry list of goals. I admit that some of it was blog filler – two years ago, I shared my 13 goals for 2013 . While it was fun to come up with all those goals, the reality is that I didn’t follow through on most of them. There were too many and too varied for me to really focus on ALL of them during the year – and most of them didn’t really mean that much to me.
This year, I am changing my approach. Instead of having very detailed endstate goals (like run 3:10 in the marathon or sub-1:30 for the half – which I still REALLY want to do), I am focusing on the process. The endstate is still to PR, but I believe that it will come naturally as a result of sticking to these goals/resolutions.
1. Embrace Winter. Each winter I run (no pun intended) to the treadmill at the first signs of cold, crappy weather. And while I know that you can definitely get a good workout in on the treadmill, I always feel strongest in the fall after a summer on the roads.
My goal is to run on the roads as much as I can this winter. Sure, there will be days I sleep in and then have to fit it in on the treadmill – and that is fine. But, I don’t want to rely on the treadmill or do long runs/workouts consistently on the treadmill this winter. I have found that once I do a few on the treadmill, I become a bit scared to head back outside and do them and usually end up spending most of the winter on the treadmill.
I know we are only a month or so into the cold weather running, but I am pretty happy with how much I’ve run outside. I’ve begun wearing full tights on most of my runs as well as light jackets (I used to just wear long-sleeve layers) and have felt warmer and more comfortable than I remember being in the past.
2. Strength Work and Cross Train (2x/week), Core Work (2-3x/week): I feel like a broken record here. I think I’ve talked about this here no less than five times in the last couple of years…promising to focus on making it a priority. As is often the case, it is for a week or two and then it slowly slips out of my weekly routine.
Almost immediately after Potomac in November, I began strength and core work twice a week. I was pretty sore the first couple of weeks (mostly the day after) but eventually that went away. And then I began to notice a difference when I was running. It’s kind of hard to explain. It’s just this feeling of being stronger – every run feels easier…the miles feel easier. I didn’t fully realize it until I did a 3×2 workout the week of the Honolulu Marathon and had my fastest splits – ever – by about 5-10 seconds/mile. Totally not what I was expecting just three weeks after my goal race.
This past weekend was a similar occurrence – I ran 12 miles and kept my garmin under my jacket. It was only a few days after recovering from the flu and I just wanted to get the miles in – regardless of pace. My pace was right on par with what I was running at the peak of training for Potomac – and with the exception of the last mile (which I pushed a bit on purpose) – the run felt effortless and comfortable.
This is all to say that I really believe that the strength and core work and cross training make me a faster, stronger runner. And I WILL be doing a post next week on the strength routine that I have been following (I have about 15 exercises that I do – usually pick 8-10 each time).
3. Give Back to Running: This is a pretty loose goal and there’s so much I want to do. I plan to begin volunteering more – whether at races, in the planning stages (for some local races for charities) or helping others cross the finish line. Guiding John for the NYC Marathon was amazing – and I would love to continue to guide him and/or other local runners. Additionally, I’ve been in contact with several people about participating in wheelchair assistance programs – something I’ve always wanted to do.
I also have every intention of continuing to do several things I made a priority in 2014 and that brought me so much happiness:
- Running with my husband: both in training and races – we have a few races we want to race together in 2015!
- Continue to introduce running to my sons: My oldest did an obstacle course and both boys did a couple of kids races (short dashes across a field) and they LOVED it. I hope to do a few more races with them this year!
- Run with Family/Friends: I’ve so enjoyed running with my sisters and friends (like Jen) on a regular basis. The time on the roads together is good for my soul.
Lastly, I do have some professional and personal goals for 2015 – the biggest being returning to work in the corporate world. Being a stay-at-home mom was never, ever something I thought I would do – and while I have loved it 110%, I feel like I’m ready to return to work outside the home.
What’s on your goal/resolution list for 2015?