I have a few goals to accomplish this year, and none of them will take a whole year - it's more of a checklist. Basically, setting goals for me is all about making sure I'm on track with what I said I "always wanted to do." It's so easy to lofty, intangible goals that just float around for years and never get accomplished. I DESPERATELY need to do this for my own life, not just running...but that's another discussion entirely.
1. Run all 7 races on the Bryn Mawr Running Company race pass.
For Christmas my dad gave me a race pass that is free entry to 7 designated races this year, through a local running company. They include: a 5k "Couples Run" in Feb., three "Summer Series" evening 5ks in the summer, a cross country style 5k in September, a 4 miler in October, and an 8 mile race in December (fun fact: the exact same route I ran on Sunday). This won't be hard to do because they're all local and relatively short, however it does take planning and accountability. I'm not paying for these, so it may be really easy to bag one if something better comes along, or if I'm not feeling motivated. Also, I'm so used to going to races with my dad or my friends/boyfriend. Clearly Drew will be with me at the couples run, and I'm sure I an recruit a friend for a couple others, but I bet I may go to a few alone. That will be another mental hurdle. So I'm making this goal now so I don't get lazy later in the year. These races are emblazoned upon my calendar, and there they will stay.
2. Volunteer at a race.
I thought about this one when I was running my half marathon in November. I think volunteering at a race would be perfect, as it incorporates some of my favorite things: running (obviously), service, and being LOUD. I think volunteering would be one hell of a morale-booster. Seeing all the runners, of all abilities, all out there, would re-establish for me why I love running and racing. I had pretty low spirits for most of the half marathon, and I decided then that I needed to give myself that new perspective.
3. Join a running club.
There is one (of many I'm sure) local running club near me that I heard does weekly group runs on Wednesday nights. There have been so many Wednesdays that I say, "Okay, THIS is the night I'm going. I'm just gonna show up, and it may be awkward or nerve-wracking at first, but I'm going to be so happy I did it." Then Wednesday night rolls around I back out. Whether it's that group run or another, I HAVE to join a group run or a running club this year. I walk a fine line between introvert and extrovert in exercise, and in life. I like my alone time most of the time, but then there comes a moment where I want to SCREAM because I realize I need to be around people. I miss team sports a lot for that reason. I joined Crossfit for a little bit last year and it was really filling my need for some more social time. Now I don't do that anymore so I need to make sure I come out of my hole sometimes and run with people!
4. Run a race in a new city (aka Destination Run).
This one is hard. I have run all my races in or around Philadelphia and I want to branch out. But, I know I'm not going to be planning a trip to California or Hawaii or something crazy to do a huge half marathon. Believe me, I want to in theory, but it's not possible right now with my living situation and my money situation, and I'd need someone else to go with me of course, etc., etc. So, I haven't quite figured this one out yet. I could easily run a race in a different state by driving to New Jersey, but that's not what I mean. I want to have to PACK, and travel. I have an idea, and I hope it will work out, but I don't want to write it on here because I have done ZERO planning for it. I'm also going to London this summer so maybe I'll run a race there...? More to come on that.
5. PR in the half marathon.
As I mentioned above, I had pretty low spirits in the half marathon last year. All in all I had a lot of fun, and I certainly wasn't in a bad mood at the end or anything like that, but I just knew I could do better. I know I also like the distance, but it didn't feel like that on the actual day. So this year I want to be sure to run at least another half, and do better mentally and physically than I did last time. I will write more on this later, but I have a tendency to treat longer races (and even some 5ks depending on the day) like "Sunday jogs," rather than an actual RACE. It's like when I start getting uncomfortable in my pace and effort I'm like, "Eh, screw it." And I slow down. I don't even realize I'm doing it then at the end of the race I think, "Wow, I could have pushed myself so much harder." So PRing in the half marathon is one way I'm going to tackle that mental block.
When times get hard this year in completing my goals, I will turn to my sage, Ryan Gosling: