2015 Goals – Focusing on the Process

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!photo (85)photo (86)
  • 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!ROC
  • 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. photo (56)

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?

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    12 thoughts on “2015 Goals – Focusing on the Process

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    3. Great goals Michelle. I like that you are focusing on the journey and not just the finish line. I think we all run better that way and I know you will hit those pace goals too. Two of your goals — regular strength training and helping other runners achieve their big goals — were two of the goals also on my list for this year. ClassPass has really been helping me on the strength front. I’ve been able to try a lot of new strength training classes and things I wasn’t doing before because of it. I know there is ClassPass in NYC too. I’ve also started doing some Jillian Michaels DVDs on shorter run days to add in some more strength work. Looking forward to following your journey and successes this year. Happy 2015! xo
      Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted..It’s a Running Garage Sale!My Profile

    4. I love these goals and how you are focusing on the process of it all. I really need to focus on cross training and strength and core too! I’ve totally let that fall to the side in the last few months. And so excited to see what 2015 has in store for you. I sense so many great things! xoxo
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..2014 in PhotosMy Profile

    5. Aww. Thanks for the shout! I love getting to run with you! I have no idea how I keep up… but it’s worth it for the company 😉 I hope to spend more time with you in the new year. Love you neighbor! xoxox

    6. Wow, those are awesome jobs! That’s exciting you’re going to return to work! It’s scary (I had a year off with my son) but I do enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong I MISS him sooo much, during the day, but I love my job which helps.

      I want to fall even more in love with running and have lots of races on the schedule. I would LOVE to PR my half and run my first marathon (hopefully the NYC marathon in Nov!!)
      Kaella (KaellaOnTheRun) recently posted..2014 & December Goals ReviewMy Profile

    7. Great goals!!!! I am fixated on that jacket though! Who is it buy? Saucony? I need it! And that wooded running trail is awesome. We have some boardwalks in the woods we can run but I like that one so much better. Almost trail running but not!
      Happy New Year!
      ~Ang
      Angela recently posted..2014 RecapMy Profile

    8. Strength training is definitely up high on my goals list – I never have gotten fully into it, but now as I get a bit faster and tackling longer distances, it is becoming apparent that it is something I need to do. Also, if I ever want to get back to running track, I need to strength train.

      I also need to eat more fruits and vegetables!
      Rebecca@RunningFoodBaby recently posted..Ripley’s Aquarium of CanadaMy Profile

    9. I LOVE these goals!! I totally want my hubby to run with me more – especially a race! And I would love to work again too. I was in school when I first had her, but she’s two now, and I’d like to at least do some side things! Great 2015 goals. I think I’ll keep my loose like this too because umm ya, I don’t think I followed through on any last year!
      char eats greens recently posted..Post-Christmas ThoughtsMy Profile