Don't get me wrong. I strongly believe that goals are important. You need something to strive for, to challenge yourself. Otherwise, you will become stagnant, stay the same or simply become a shell of untapped potential.
My only 'beef,' if you will, is this notion that because it's January 1 and a brand new year, one should be setting new goals and that this is the only time to do so. This should not be.
Goals should be ever changing and an on-going process. Goal-setting should not be limited to one time of the year.
Goals are meant to inspire, invigorate, push a person to become a better version of themselves. To confine goal-setting to one time of the year is to put limits on yourself.
I say all this not to decry all the New Year's resolutions. Never do I want to discourage anyone from goal-setting and challenging themselves. But for me, personally, I prefer to continually add to the list, especially as I cross some off.
In the past, I had set yearly mileage goals as well as weekly and monthly mileage goals. Given the year I'm coming off of, I'm not inclined to do that.
Yes, I would still love to post another 1,500-mile year and I would like to even hit 2,000-plus miles within a year. A 200-mile month would be awesome as would logging 75 miles in a week.
But that's not where I'm at right now.
To hit some or all of those marks, I would likely have to run 5, 6 or even 7 days a week at times. And given my limited free time to exercise and workout, running is about all I would be doing. If 2014 taught me anything is that there is more to being a good runner than running.
Running takes a toll on the body, especially as one gets older. With this in mind, my focus is on overall fitness and well-being instead of piling up the numbers.
And for those of you who know me, this is a drastic change of pace for me. I am a numbers guy. There's a reason I love working in sports communications, and it's doing with statistics and numbers.
It is my hope that by focusing more on my overall fitness and health I will become a better and stronger runner so that I can get some of the goals and numbers that have eluded me. Goals such as:
- A sub-2 half marathon;
- A sub-4:30 marathon;
- A sub-1 hour 10K (I accomplished in training, but in a race);
- A sub-25-minute 5K (In fact, I like to see how close I can to 20 minutes);
- A sub-6 50K;
- A BQ.
Yes, I said a BQ. I want to run Boston one day, and I want do so by qualifying. I've got a lot of work ahead of me to hit this one. After all, to do so before I turn 50 (which is less than 7 years away), I will only have to take an hour and 17 minutes off my time.
With this in mind, what's the plan for 2015? Glad you asked.
This spring, I'm focusing on the half marathon. On my schedule are two half marathons - Run the Bluegrass on March 28 and the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon on April 25. I'm helping a friend run her first half marathon at Run the Bluegrass, so my only goal there is to help her cross the finish line.
But at the Derby, a PR is what I am shooting for.
My current half marathon PR is 2:04:20 - the only time I've been under 2:05. In all, I've posted four sub-2:10 times in my nine half marathons. The Derby course presents itself to be ripe for a PR and a possible sub-2 for me. My only question is if I can shake this PF for good in order to work on my speed. Time will certainly tell.
This rest of the year is still in flux.
I've yet to decide on what I want to focus on in the fall. Do I want to stick with the half marathons, or do I aim for redemption in the marathon? I really did fall in love with the 50K at the Pistol Ultra, so perhaps another ultra.
This approach has me feeling refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated. The pressure to have to log X amount of miles is off, and I feel I can focus on bigger things such as improving me as a runner and my running times.
So, how are you approaching 2015, and more importantly, your goals?