A New Year is a lot like the starting line of a marathon. You’re all rested and renewed, either by the holidays or your taper (though for some those things might make you feel weak and drained). You start full of plans, goals and expectations, some you will achieve and some you might not, but either way you are ready to try your damnedest to succeed. Soon people fall back, maybe their goal was too ambitious, they didn’t prepare themselves or they don’t believe in themselves enough. Some who stumble early will drop out, others will find the strength inside to push and surpass what they set out to do. In the end just finishing another one (year or marathon) is reason to celebrate. I did not have the perfect 2012 when it came to my fitness and running goals. I don’t think I bit off more than I could chew, but some unhealthy habits relapsed and held me back from full success. Even with the stumbles along the way, this was my best running year yet, and I learned some things that I can apply to make 2013 even better.
Going into 2012 I had 3 main running goals, run 2000 Miles, run 2 marathons, and Qualify for the 2013 or 2014 Boston Marathon. How did I do when it comes to those goals?
Run 2000 Miles
I blew this goal out of the water! In 2012 over 327 runs, I ran 2446.78 miles in 333 hrs 23 minutes 42 seconds. I spent nearly 14 days running at an average pace of 8’10” a mile. I ran an average of 6.2 times a week, with an average run being 7.48 miles. With my lapsed training during the summer, I’m amazed that I came out this successful.
Run 2 Marathons
Qualify for the 2013 or 2014 Boston Marathon
This goal, I did not achieve. As I’m in the 18-34 age bracket I needed to complete a 3:05:00 or below to qualify, and my best time was 5’46” short of it. If I hadn’t lapsed in training during the summer I think this was a completely achievable goal.
2 out of 3 isn’t bad, so I’m not going to castigate myself or say this year was a failure, because it wasn’t, it was a great year (Not just for running, I got engaged to my best friend and love of my life Alysha!). Sure I came up short on one of my goals for the year, but in failing that goal, I learned some important lessons that I’ll be able to share here, and with my clients in the future once my training business is off the ground.
Lesson 1: You can’t take success for granted.
After my great time at the Yakima River Canyon Marathon I was absolutely certain I would BQ at Portland. I worked my butt off in April (232 miles including my reverse taper) and May (281 miles), but then got busy rehearsing for Henry VIII and let my training lag. I took for granted that my prior training would carry me through, so I missed runs for the next 2.5 months (including long runs and entire weeks off) and didn’t adjust my calorie intake accordingly. I gained 15 pounds over the course of those 2.5 months, and my speed dropped drastically. By the time Portland came around I was in no way ready. To prevent this, I’m going to be better about tracking my runs, and my calorie intake. Even when a goal seems easily within reach, that doesn’t mean not to work hard for it.
Lesson 2: Consistency is key.
I was horribly inconsistent this year. Taking an extra day off because you’re pushing too hard or injured is one thing. Missing multiple runs in a week for no other reason than I’m busy and too lazy to get up early or stay up late is another, and absolutely not okay. I’ve made a commitment to myself to be as healthy and fit as I can be, and missing workouts all summer didn’t honor that commitment. If I miss a run, I have a rest day built into my schedule each week, I need to use that rest day to make it up. If I stay consistent, I will achieve my goals.
Lesson 3: Don’t let failure beget failure.
You’d think I’d have learned this before now, and I have, but this is something I tend to forget. If I make a misstep, it doesn’t mean I’m going to make another one. Too often I’ve said “Oh, I slept in too long, I can’t go for my run…” when I went to bed late, and snoozed my alarm. 98% of the time, I still have plenty of time for a shorter run. A shorter run is better than no run. If I’m groggy from not running, that doesn’t mean I lack the self control to avoid over snacking.
With the lessons I learned in 2012, I’ve got 5 running/fitness goals for 2013
- Run 2500 miles
- Run (at least) 3 Marathons
- Qualify for the 2014 or 2015 Boston Marathon (hopefully both!)
- Get to and maintain my goal weight of 180
- Run a sub 19 minute 5k again.
To achieve these goals I’m going to focus on the lessons I learned last year, log my meals and runs everyday, and hold myself accountable more publicly by blogging at least once a week.
Now a couple questions for you, dear reader. How did you do compared to your goals in 2012? and What are your goals for 2013?