It’s about that time of year when I start thinking about my running goals for the year ahead. Last year for example, my goals were pretty big. Run a marathon, run 10K in under 50 minutes and dominate The O Course. I managed two of three, the largest of which was completing my first marathon in October. I didn’t manage a sub-50 10K, but there were a lot of other great accomplishments this year that make up for it. Not one, but two successful 30K races, the Spartan Sprint and my first overseas race.
This year, my goals are more modest. In 2013, I turned running into a bit of a chore. I took the thing I love doing and did it so much, I actually stopped enjoying it, especially in the final weeks leading up to the marathon. This year, I want to do more running for the pure and simple reason of loving it.
Here are my top goals for 2014.
Stop caring about time
Sure, setting a new PB is a great goal and wonderfully satisfying accomplishment, but sometimes I feel like it ruins a race for me. When I first started running, I got used to a track record of continual success. Pretty much every run was a PB and it was amazing and addicting. I started assuming that I would get a better time with every race, and when I didn’t, I would finish a race feeling crushed and disappointed. This sucks. I’ve run every distance available to recreational runners – 5, 10, 21.1, 30, 42.2. I have nothing to prove anymore. So for 2014, I plan to run more races with no time goal at all. Just sign up and run. I’ll try to put more emphasis on how I feel during the race. Even if my time was a personal worst, I’m going to try to consider the race a success if I had a great run throughout.
Run a sub-50 10K
I realize I just wrote a heartfelt paragraph about not caring about time, but I would still love to achieve this goal from my 2013 list. My PB for the 10K is 49:59. I know a sub-50 time is attainable. I’m going to spend some time in early 2014 working on speed and trying to get faster. If I work hard and manage not to get sick again right before race day, I think I can do it. And this year, I’ll have two chances in close succession: the Toronto Yonge Street 10K and the Sporting Life 10k. The biggest difference this year will be trying not to care so much if I don’t do it. I’ll give it my best shot.
Run a cool race in another country
Not sure what or when, but the idea of travelling somewhere for the purpose of running a fun race is very intriguing to me. We’re currently cooking up a plan to run the Rock n’ Roll half marathon in Edinburgh in July but it’s a work in progress. If not another country, I’d love to run more races outside the city. The Ottawa Half Marathon is also a possibility.
Complete the Tough Mudder
This year, I watched my husband and one of our friends complete The Tough Mudder – affectionately dubbed the “toughest event on the planet.” After my challenging experiences with The O Course, this race intimidated the hell out of me so I was perfectly fine attending as a supportive spectator and photographer. But during the 4-hour event, I couldn’t help feeling a bit envious. It looked like a lot of fun and watching the whole event took a lot of the scariness out of it for me. I think the thing that is the scariest about these sorts of races is the fear of the unknown. Now, I know exactly what to expect and I’d love to give it a try. No time goal involved, just finish it.
What are YOUR goals for 2014?