With the new year just around the corner, I’ve been reading a lot of posts about New Year’s resolutions. ‘New year, new me!’ How many times have you heard that one? Perhaps the more important question though, is have you ever succeeded? If so, you’re a better person than me.
In the past, I’ve fallen into the trap of making resolutions that are either so crazily ambitious that by the middle of January, I’ve already failed. Or that I’m simply not invested in. Things that society thinks I should be doing, like eating less chocolate, or spending less money on coffee. Maybe I should be doing those things, but I’m not committed to them in a way that will make me succeed. In fact I’m not committed to them at all.
So this year, I’ve come up with 10, really specific, measurable goals. Things that make me excited, and simultaneously a little bit scared! But more than anything, I feel connected to every single one. They light a fire inside me that isn’t going to put out by a bit of rain, or a 6am alarm, or whatever other obstacles will inevitably lie ahead. And if all else fails, then I’m hoping that sharing them here will keep me accountable!
To complete 30 parkruns
When I first set this goal, I wanted to make it 50. But I was also hoping to be starting from a number higher than 1! Unfortunately, the stress fracture in my foot stopped me running for most of December. There are 52 Saturdays in 2019, plus a couple of extra new year/Christmas mid week bonuses and, although I know it’s going to be tight, I’m going to give it my all. It might also be a good excuse for some Parkrun tourism throughout the year.
To run sub 3.30 in London
With big risk, comes big reward and this one is HUGE. My plan is to lay it all on the line in London and to stand on the start line knowing that I have given it everything. I just need my foot to get better quickly enough to give me the training time I need to get there. If I’m still in a boot nearer the end of January, I do have a back up marathon later into May to give me some more time, but I’d rather not need it!
To run a sub 1.40 half
I psyched myself out of my attempt in October this year at Bournemouth marathon festival. The same will not happen next time. Those 48 seconds are going to be toast! I’m not 100 percent sure which my target race will be yet, but possibly Bath in March. It does somewhat depend on my current foot situation as to whether that comes around too quickly however.
To run my first international marathon
I have a place in Chicago in October and I’m so excited about it. I just need to stay healthy…. I’m hoping I’ve got that covered with goal number 9!
To run 1000 miles across the year
In 2017 I ran 969 miles. This year, I hit December with 902 banked and thought I had it in the bag. Then the whole foot thing ruined my plans and I’m going to finish on a tantalising 935. With two marathons planned next year, I’m hoping to hit those four magic figures before I turn into a pumpkin at midnight on New Years Eve of 2019!
To run a sub 21.45 5KM
My current PB is 22.12, but that’s a time trial as I’ve never actually raced 5K. If I’m wanting my half marathon pace to be 7.30mm then I definitely need my 5K pace to be quicker. I’m planning to attack this with some track sessions over the summer.
To join a running club
This is a big one for me. I don’t know why it makes me so nervous, but I always panic that I’ll be the slowest one, or not be able to chat whilst running, or something equally silly. I know that running clubs are usually incredibly friendly and we have lots of great ones locally, including Bournemouth AC, Poole AC and Littledown Harriers. As soon as my foot allows me to get my mileage back up, I’m going to stop being a wuss and bite the bullet. The only question is, which one?
To get a place in Boston 2020 (and enter Tokyo, Berlin and New York ballots)
This one links directly to my ability to run under 3.30 in London. Boston qualifying for my age group is set at that time limit and in reality, you might even have to be closer to 3.25 to secure a place. My long term goal is to become a 6 star finisher, and Boston is the only one of the 6 majors that needs qualification. I’m also planning to enter the Tokyo, Berlin and New York ballots. I would LOVE to run Tokyo in the year of the Tokyo Olympics, but as the chances through any ballot are becoming less and less over time, I guess I’ll have to wait and see whether luck is on my side.
To avoid injury by listening to my body and responding more quickly to problems
Ah, yes! Speaking as someone who did a 12 mile training run and a 10K race on a fractured foot, this is something I HAVE to get better at. I know deep down that one missed run does not matter, and yet I force myself out of the door when probably a rest day would be more beneficial. I know I’m not the only one to do this, and I’m not sure what the answer is, but I need to find it this year. I’m going to start a training diary to see if that helps. Any other suggestions, greatly welcomed!
To run somewhere new at least once a month
Like many runners, I get stuck in a rut at times. Time, or a lack of, means that I just get out the door and stick to a route I know is the right mileage. In theory that’s not a problem, but the beach is on a camber and I’m sure some of my injury problems relate to that repeated abnormal running pattern. We live in such a beautiful area, close to the New Forest and there are plenty of trails to explore. So I’m planning to take at least one long run every month somewhere I’ve never run before.
I’m so excited to see how the next year pans out. Fingers crossed that I can be running again by the middle of January and attacking some of these goals head on.
Have you made any 2019 plans? Big or small, I’d love to know what’s top of your list.