I've put plenty of thought into 2014 and what I'd like to accomplish. I don't really believe in resolutions. I do like goals. However coming off of last year, which I will remind you was pretty epic, I'm actually looking forward to not having goals. Run This Year was WONDERFUL, I know I wouldn't have ran as much as I did without it. But, more toward the end I was having plenty of "I'm so done with this" moments. I knew weeks ago that NOT having a goal is exactly what I was going to need. That's the important part, knowing when to step back & re-evaluate. Luckily my struggle didn't happen much sooner. It was close enough to the end that I knew I could and would finish, but not far enough out to have it over fast enough.
The thing with running is that it gives me PLENTY of time to think. Music playing or not my mind is always thinking. So what I came up with is no specific mileage goal. Sure, I still want to run a lot. Duuuuuh! Aside from everything else it is still my number 3 passion/priority (next to God (#1) & my family/husband & kids (#2)) in life. I've thought & re-though this because I really wanted to come up with some kind of number. But I can't seem to find a happy medium with it. I don't want to aim too low or too high. So, NO mileage goal. We'll just see what I end up with.
Streaking, of course, will continue. I'm not going 500+ days to just give it up for no good reason. Technically streaking only needs 1 mile a day to keep going. I started that way, but after 6 months or so I found 1 mile way too easy so I personally set a minimum of 2 miles a day. On rare occasion I do still run the 1 mile, but it's not often & for good reason like an injury.
Speed. I know running in not ALL about speed or being the fastest. However I can't ignore my desire to go faster. I seem to have an natural ability to push hard, run fast & often beat others. At least the others in the most common fields that I compete. I fully realize that if I were to ever run against world or even national class athletes I would likely be dead last. My fast is their slow. I'm totally cool with that. It all falls into the apples vs. oranges area anyway. When I break it down to my own personal abilities I know I am capable of more and faster times. So for 2014 that is my A goal - to lower all of my PR times.
For the first 4 months of 2013 I was able to work on my speed and handle all the miles. Then it all fell apart. I didn't care or work enough to figure out what I was doing wrong to contribute to that imbalance. I do know that lack of strength training was a large factor and I'm working harder to add that to my workout regimen. More importantly I need to not let it slip. I'm great at bringing it on from time to time. But when push comes to shove it's one of the first things I drop. *tsk, tsk, tsk* Bad 6packmomma! I not only benefit from this in the form of physical appearance (let's be honest it makes my body look really nice & toned!!) & in my nearing 40 years I need more help than before. But I have noticed a huge difference in my running abilities when I have a good strong body. When I drop weight lifting I see little things here and there that take away from me running my best. Over time and with enough it all piles up to nagging injuries & not so great running.
I also want to cross train more. With miles as my goal that's all I seemed to do last year. I wanted to do a few triathlons last year, but by time I ran for a good chunk of time, my desire to train in other areas was lacking. It's more than desire too. I have a life, a home, a family, a job to balance with all of my time too. If I could get away with training for 4-5 hours every single day I would, without a doubt, do that. But that's not the reality of my life. On my heavier training days I still workout for 2, sometimes 3 hours. When a majority of it is spent running then I don't have time for much else. Backing off the miles will allow me to still run, not worry if it's 2 or 10 miles and also focus on quality workouts that are more detailed than just getting X miles run. So, more cross training & let's tackle a few triathlons this year.
Going back to my A goal & to wrap this post up (because I could
2 miles: Typically I run 1 2 mile race each year. I found & have my eye on a 2nd one, but we'll see. I'll just plan on this one shot, one kill race. Anything extra will be bonus. My current PR is: 13:40. That includes all of my high school running times. I never ran sub 14 in high school, but that is another
5k: I set this PR last April. Yes, I ready to break it & lower it again. Current PR is: 20:41. When I was finishing my last 5k on New Year's Eve I had the crazy thought "wouldn't it be awesome if I finished in 20:13" That would be beyond awesome, not to mention a new PR. But I wasn't even close, which was not too surprising, but it put a crazy thought into my head, one that I do believe is possible. Big picture, lower my PR. Reach for the stars, the sky is the limit: run a 20:14 5k. Since 20:14 is a very specific time with only 1 second room for miss, I'd be happy to run anything lower than that as well. I will not lie, going sub 20 would be beyond awesome and if for some reason I hit that, then.....WOW! But for this year it's all about 20:14.
5 mile or 10k: I rarely race this & don't have any planned for this year. I don't even know what my PR's on for these distances. So IF I run them then I'll look it up & just set to lower my PR.
13.1: This year marks 5 years since I started even running/racing longer distance like the half marathon & above. Every single race I have done nothing, but lower my PR. My current best is 1:40:48. I don't race them often, but I really like this distance. You can still push the speed & for me running 10+ miles is not that big of a stretch. I can run that on an almost daily basis & not think twice about it. So (for me) there is not a ton of planning and/or stressing over racing this distance. However because this is sort of a middle ground distance for me I don't have a very big, super awesome goal for this. Since it's a big pre-cursor to my marathon I'd just like to see my time lowered to 1:30.
26.2 I have not stopped dreaming about my goal for this year since I finished my marathon last year. Last year my big goal was simply to BQ and I hit that without any problem with 10+ minutes to spare. Make no mistake, it was hard & it took a lot of work. However once I crossed the finish line I knew I was capable of running it at an even faster pace. I was so focused on my end time that I never did the math to realize that I ran that race averaging an 8:09 minute pace. I know...I KNOW a lot of people can only dream about doing that, but for me it's not enough. In adding to simply lower my PR time (3:29) I'm going specifically for no slower than a 3:20. I do actually think I can run it even faster than that. But I really am trying to pace my goals for this year. One thing is for sure, the sky is the limit.
Ultra: I mostly do 50ks, but have my 1 timed ultra I do in August. I really, really want to do a 50 or 100 miler. But there are not too many in close traveling proximity to a make this easily fit into my busy family life. Just like last year, my big goal for Howl at the Moon, 8 hour ultra is 50 miles. I'm within a few miles of reaching this. I CAN DO THIS! If I can focus more on training my body vs. just getting the miles run then I think I have a better shot at this than before.
So I have a big year planned for 2014. With the right training, balance & simply believing in myself/abilities I think each of my goals are very realistic. Please understand that all of this comes from me & me only. I never feel outside pressure to do more or run faster. My family could care less if I run faster. They are proud of me no matter what. My friends all think I'm fast enough as it is. I'm sure I've already gotten plenty of eye rolls from some of you just reading what I've said so far. But I'm really just being honest & laying out my thoughts & dreams. I expect no one else to have my same goals & dreams. And if yours look different or happen to be slower times, then I'm just as happy for you & think what you are doing is awesome too! NOW......let's get rolling into 2014 (oops, we already have). I'm excited and can't wait to see what happens!!!!!