Friday, January 17, 2014

Running Goals in 2014

It's January and yet somehow I haven't done any kind of a goals/resolutions/intentions post.

Partly that's because I wanted to really consider what kind of goals I should shoot for, and partly it's because I wanted to start training again to get a better idea of what goals were or were not realistic. I'm all for big goals, but me running a 3:30 marathon just isn't happening this year (or next year, or probably the year after...), and I'd just be setting myself up for failure if I tried to attempt that.

Let's back up, though.

2013 Running Goals

I had some running goals in 2013 that I laid out after an amazing wine-fueled vision-boarding session with the awesome Beth and Abby. I actually forgot about my goals until December, but when I looked back at them, I realized I'd met half of them. Not all, but looking back, I feel absolutely content with my year of running. And one was absolutely unrealistic (oops).

  • Breaking 25:00 in a 5-K. <-- DID IT!
  • Finishing my first 10-K.
  • Running my first 10 mile race in D.C. at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. <-- DID IT!
  • Breaking 2:00 in a half-marathon (at the NYC Half, hence the shamrock).
  • Placing in a race. <-- DID IT!
  • Racing the Chicago Marathon in under 4 hours.

  • Can you guess which one was crazy? Racing Chicago sub-4:00. At the time I was so new to running that I didn't realize how difficult it would be for me to do something like that. And that's fine -- I learned, and I was insanely excited and happy with my time of 4:20:17, and still am, so no regrets here.

    I also didn't meet the sub-2:00 half marathon goal. I ran the NYC Half in 2:00:00. Literally missing my goal by one second. I know I can't check that goal box off, but I actually feel "at peace" with missing it. I'm gunning for a PR at the NYC Half this year, so hopefully I'll have redemption.

    The other running goal I didn't meet was to run a 10K. Somehow I went through all of 2013 without doing one of those. I was even signed up for one on Roosevelt Island in December, but when I got an email saying that the course would be inches of muddy slush, I decided running a 10K wasn't as important to me as not getting sick from running in wet shoes for an hour.

    But I just ran a 10K! Two weeks late. Oops. I ran the Joe Kleinerman 10K on Saturday as my long run (probably won't recap it since I ran it as a long run).

    Remember when sunglasses and tank tops were a necessity for a race?
    Summer, I miss you. Come back.

    I think the most exciting goal I met was placing fourth woman and first in my age group at the Northwest Raspberry Festival 5K. Honestly I thought there was no chance I'd meet that goal and kind of threw it on there because I had a blue ribbon sticker. I won't be placing at a NYRR race any time soon, but just getting my hands on a ribbon was pretty awesome.

    2014 Running Goals

    This year, I'm embracing the idea of big, crazy "dreams" -- or as I like to call them, goals.


    (In case you haven't seen Inception, the irony of pink block letters for that quote is hilarious. Here's the clip.)

    So, here are my "dream a little bigger" goals for 2014.
    • Run a sub-23:00 5K.
    • Run a 1:50:?? half marathon.
    • Run a sub-50:00 10K.
    • Place in a race again (shooting for the stars here).
    These are fairly aggressive, I think, but why not set some fairly aggressive goals? It worked out last year, for the most part.

    One thing not on the list? A marathon. I still haven't been at work long enough to get a sense of the rhythm and whether or not running a marathon is a possibility. I absolutely loved training for my first marathon and really want to run another one, but I want to be sure I can really put my heart into training. So for now, I'm concentrating on training hard for shorter distances that don't require as much time.

    Speaking of setting goals...

    Team Challenge

    Danny at the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America reached out to me about sharing information on Team Challenge to readers. I know several runners who are battling these terrible diseases, and I've heard great things about the program, so I'm happy to share the info for those of you looking for a team-based race training program.

    Have you been looking for a way to challenge yourself while improving the lives of others in 2014? With Team Challenge, individuals have the opportunity to be part of a supportive group and train for a half-marathon or a triathlon while raising funds to cure Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. Collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, (IBD) these debilitating diseases affect over 1.4 million Americans.

    In the upcoming 2014 Summer season, participants will have the opportunity to complete a triathlon in Philadelphia or run or walk a half-marathon in either Napa, Kona, Jamestown, or Chicago. Team Challenge is made up of individuals from all walks of life-individuals who either have Crohn’s or Colitis, have a family member or friend with the disease, or people who just want to take part in something bigger than themselves and get in better shape at the same time. Importantly, patients of Crohn’s and Colitis have found the experience to be empowering as they can contribute to their fight for a cure!

    Past participant Jennifer Lonschein sums it up when she says “If someone was considering running with Team Challenge, I would recommend it until I was blue in the face. I've run a half marathon before, without TC, and it didn't even come close to comparing to this experience. The camaraderie, support and motivation you get from your coaches, mentors, managers and teammates is what drives you to cross the finish line and get one step closer to finding a cure.”

    Check out the Team Challenge website to learn more!

    What are your goals for 2014? 


    1. Great goals! I'm with you on the 10K goal.

    2. Those goals are totally doable for you. Just think: you have another year of training, racing, and overall experience under your belt. You've got this! I would absolutely love to run a 47:XX 10-K off the bike; we'll see how that goes. :)

    3. Great goals!! And funny I am yet to write this post myself.

      I am excited for you, you smashed 2013 and are going to have an awesome 2014 I am sure.
      I think it is wise to wait on the full marathon until you have work more figured out. I still have no idea how I survived 12 hour days 6-7 days a week and marathon training...I think it makes sense looking back how I was just done by the time the marathon actually came around.
      Here's a goal of mine: RUNNING WITH YOU! let's make that happen in 2014 :)