Well, here we are, the last month of 2017. I don’t know about you but I can’t help but look back on the year. I set a few goals at the beginning of the year and I’ll be honest with you all. I didn’t reach all the resolutions I made. I am sure I’m not alone either. It might sound weird at first but it’s ok to admit you didn’t hit the mark. The important thing is that you make progress.
I set a goal for myself to break an hour and twenty minutes in the Philadelphia Half Marathon this year. Unfortunately, I missed that goal by about 7 minutes. Although at first, I was mad about not reaching my goal, I looked back on my training and saw all the good that came out of it. And even though I missed my goal I did hit a personal record for the half marathon which is still exciting.
Training for a race is never easy in my book, especially when you have a goal time in mind. One of the best things I did for myself was plan out the three months of running leading up to the race. I put everything from distances, types of runs, rest days and cross training days into a spreadsheet in order to keep myself on track for my training. It was a big help because I knew what workouts were coming up and could prepare. It also made me look forward to the rest days when I was partially through a tough week of training.
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Preparing For a New Year Resolution
After getting back from Nepal (see my previous posts), I got myself a new pair of running sneakers which also got me really excited to train. There is something about a new pair of sneakers that makes me want to push myself and adds a little fuel to reach the goals I set. I wrote two mini mantra’s on the soles of the shoes, a new tradition inspired Nike’s Breaking2 Project in May. One shoe reads “No finish line” which is a reminder to always reach for a new goal and that self-improvement is always something to strive for. The other shoe reads “Take the dive”. This is part of a quote from Herman Melville where he talks about how taking risks are an important part of improving your life. Writing this on my shoes gives me an inspiration every time I lace up for a run to give my best effort and strive to be the best version of myself.
All of that being said, there is definitely room for improvement in my training and there are some things I am going to change moving forward with my goals for next year. One of the biggest things I am going to do is pull these goals out of my head and into the real world. Although making the training schedule was helpful, I didn’t always do the workout planned for that day. Keeping my training plan digital was very convenient because I could access it from anywhere but writing down goals actually gives you a better chance of reaching them. I’ve already written down some goals I want to achieve moving forward and put them where I will see them every day. If you are constantly visualizing your goals, you are much more likely to reach them.
Talk about your goals to other people
It keeps it in your head and also might find you a workout partner! After the Half Marathon, I made some new training friends based off of the goals I want to achieve. Having someone with similar goals to train with helps to keep you accountable and could also bring in some friendly competition. You may have to go outside of your regular friend circle, so say hi to the person you always see at the gym, go to group runs or strike up a conversation with a coworker and who knows, they might help you achieve your goals!
Whatever your goals are for next year, make sure you take things one day at a time. The important thing is progress. Even if you don’t reach that 5k time you wanted or only worked out 3 days a week instead of 4, it is the effort and dedication that really counts. Set a schedule for yourself and break your normal routine.
For me? I am setting a goal to eat healthier, qualify for the Boston Marathon and continue to live a happy and positive life!