At the start of 2016, in the midst of a post-holiday slump, I set myself a set of pretty audacious goals. But to paraphrase my homegirl Lauren Fleshman, “you need to not be limited by what you think you can achieve”. Or something like that. So as we head into Autumn, and 2017 looms ever closer, here’s a check-in on those goals.
1. Hit the trail
Hmm, definitely haven’t done this quite as much as I’d hoped, but I have had three big trail runs- the South Downs Way, the Breacon Beacons, and of course a little pootle round Epping Forest. I’d like to get a few more in before Winter sets in, but living in London can make it a bit difficult. It’s an improvement though!
2. Keep working on my relationship with food.
I have to say this is going okay, and I am cautiously optimistic. It’s gradually dawning on me that I want to be a stronger and better runner, and my relationship with food is really holding me back in that respect. I’d rather be a strong runner than obsess over my weight. So I’m working on it at least.
3. Remain injury free
This is a tricky one! Whilst technically I’m “injury free,” marathon training has that effect on you that just makes your whole body fall apart ever so slightly. I have niggles and twinges, plus some really tight calves that keep threatening to scupper my progress. After the disaster of my first marathon though, I’m determined to keep a closer eye on things.
4. Finish a marathon.
Woooo! This is a goal that I can 100% say I’ve accomplished this year! Nothing subjective about this one. I finished a marathon in April, and whilst race day was a disaster of epic proportions, at least I can say I did it! I’m currently training for my second marathon which, let’s be honest, is primarily an attempt to banish the demons of the first one. But at the start of the year, running a marathon was completely out of the sphere of possibility. So yeah, pretty pleased with that one.
5. Run a decent half marathon (preferably sub 2h)
Wooo! I’ve ticked this one off too! I finally decided to conquer my weird mental block about the half marathon distance, and headed to Reykjavik with some fellow City Runners for my first shot at 13.1- and I came away with a time of 1:53:01. I’m thoroughly pleased with that.
6. Hit a sub-45 10k
Lolllllll as if this was gonna happen. I’ve only raced one 10k this year, and whilst that was a fantastic race for many reasons, it was also more of a time trial to see if I was back to pre-injury fitness. I hit my old PB, but with the amount of distance training I’ve been putting in this year, a sub-45 is not a realistic goal (or to be honest, a priority) right now.
7. Work on a 5k PB
Well I kind of did this! I recently raced the Sri Chinmoy 5k in Battersea Park, which was a lovely evening race, taking full advantage of the longer days. I’d always dreaded the pain of the 5k, so I’m pretty happy to have come away with a time of 23:03. It was my first proper race at that distance, so I think I’ve got a good benchmark to work from.
8. Complete a sprint triathlon
Yeah this didn’t happen. Oops. I was completely knackered after marathon training, and I just decided it wasn’t worth it for me. If you want to see more of my logic, I wrote a whole post on it!
9. Volunteer at Parkrun at least once a month
Shiiiit. This is a goal I haven’t even come close to, and to be honest there’s no excuse. But I’ve moved my long runs to Saturday mornings to benefit recovery and the rest of my weekend, and that makes Parkrun a little difficult. But I figure I can recoup this by trying to volunteer 12 times in 2016, which averages out at once a month. The running community in general has given me so much, that it’s really important to me to do something small to give back…so I’ll keep you posted on this!
10. Travel more!
Check! As I just mentioned, I went to Reykjavik for a Half Marathon, plus I’m off to Budapest for the Marathon in October. In addition to this, I’ve been saying yes to far more opportunities, which has led to more adventures, such as trail running on the South Downs Way and trying out a new race distance in Dorking. There may even be a sneaky trip to Lanzarote happening in December, which would be amazing.
So there you have it. I really believe in the value of setting goals, even if they seem lofty. Because even if you don’t quite reach them, or completely fail them; well, at least you tried. You have to have some ambitions to measure yourself up against.
Okay, I swear I’m done with the motivational speeches now!
What were your goals for 2016- how are you getting on with them?
Lots of love,