I am a total nerd when it comes to New Years. Not because of the fancy parties and large amounts of alcohol. Those are great, but realistically staying up until midnight is becoming increasingly difficult. I love the excitement and the idea of starting fresh. New Years is a great time for reflection and introspection which leads to personal growth and guides my running goals for the following year.
Reflection of 2016
Sometimes we forget how much we have improved. I have been a tad frustrated because I haven’t had much growth or a fancy new PR this fall season. It’s hard to imagine that this time last year, my 5k PR was over a minute slower, 10k PR over 2.5 minutes slower and my half marathon time was over 5 minutes slower. From my first 5k in 2015 to my first 5k in 2016 I dropped 2 minutes. It was the exact same course. These are all reasons for me to celebrate 2016.
I like looking over training logs, and the comments I wrote for each of the workouts. It’s easy to forget all of the ups and downs throughout a training cycle. With a bit of time and space between the training cycles, I can take a more objective look at my training logs to get an idea of what went right and what went wrong.
In 2016, I was very careful to watch my growth each week. I would look at each week to make sure I balanced out the speed and the distance. I did a much better job keeping my weeks balanced. I overlooked the bigger picture. I kept growing and maintaining, refusing to back off and allow time for recovery, until my body forced me to take a break.
Personal Records (best) in 2016
5k- 17:56 February 2016 @ Kickoff 5k
10k-37:33 March 2016 @ Great Plains Kansas City
Half Marathon-1:22:50 April 2016@ Rock the Parkway
Didn’t complete a full Marathon in 2016
Looking ahead to 2017…
So now I am looking ahead to 2017 and setting some BIG goals. I recognize that things don’t always go as planned, so I give myself short term and long term goals. I like to start with my biggest goal and work backwards. Sprinkling in smaller, more attainable goals along the way.
The teacher in me comes out when I am thinking about my goals. Come on teachers, you know you just love writing SMART goals (sarcasm). If you not lucky enough to write SMART goals at you employment. SMART stands for; specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and time-based. These are great for setting up your running goals, also. Just imagine all the fun teachers, “In 2017, the runner will…” (Sarcasm, again)
I have two big goals for myself this year; set a PR at the Boston Marathon, and set a new PR in the half marathon. I use those two goals, as a foundation, when planing my short term goals. Getting a PR in a 5k and 10k are usually good indicators towards improving my half marathon time. My short term goals are more about an action plan to support my big goals.
Setting goals is fun, but many New Year’s resolutions stop there. They don’t have a plan to make sure they succeed. The goals set are big changes and they try to tackle them all at once. Instead, I encourage runners to make and think of smaller steps that would help you reach your goals. If you want to start working out, be realistic. You’re not going to stick with a plan going zero to sixty overnight. Start with small goals, I will work out 30 minutes a day 3 times a week for the first month. When you get to the end of the month you will be able to check off one goal. Making your goals more manageable.
For me, I have set up an action plan to reach my goals. Here are some of my action plan steps. This spring, I plan on working with a running coach. This will help me with one of my weaknesses from 2016, looking at the bigger picture. Marathon training is hard on the body, so I plan on staying on top of my aches and pains that pop up. I want to do a better job of foam rolling every day before I begin my run. I was very good about doing this before hard days but neglected this element on my easy days in 2016. Toward the end of 2016 I was doing a lot better with getting in an actual warm up and stopping about a mile into most runs for 3-5 minutes and getting in some ballistic stretching. This helped me so much with those constant overuse injuries that keep popping up. I also have a physical therapist that I love working with, and a massage therapist that magically makes the pain melt away. I plan to work with them at least once a month. Another part of my action plan, is setting up my 2017 race calendar to support my two main goals. Running Boston marathon is a pretty easy schedule, so I will need to find a half marathon that will give me plenty of time to recover and train. I also will consider traveling for a fast, competitive half marathon to give me that extra push.
Those are just a few of my goals, and what I plan to do to reach my goals. How was your 2016? Have you started making goals for 2017, if so, what do you plan to do to reach them?
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