I’m not a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ kind of gal. I love goal setting, but I don’t like the idea that new goals should be restricted to the first of the year.
With one exception: Running goals!
I think it’s just the timing; living in the desert Southwest, our winter months are some of the best running weather we have. It’s a perfect time to start training for late spring races. And I usually have a December goal race, which brings my race and training year to an end. So January 1 becomes the perfect day to start thinking about next year’s running goals.
Next Big Goal: 5k PR!
I haven’t raced at 5k in, maybe, 35 years? Think high school cross country (although I don’t think our races were quite 3.1 miles long). I’ve been obsessed with longer distances for the last 10 years at least, so although I did run a handful of 5ks over the years, those were fun runs that landed in the middle of half marathon or full marathon training cycles. I never tried. I just showed up and ran.
Best laid plans
My original plan was to finish 2019 strong with a kick-ass performance at CIM, but a health scare in my family turned my world upside down, so I never made it to Sacramento. But even if I had, my plan was to pivot to the 5k for a spring goal, specifically the Carlsbad 5000 with its “fastest 5k” reputation. I should have started that training cycle on Monday of this week, but last week I fell on a trail run (not a trip, but a ground-collapsing-beneath-my-feet fall) and broke a rib (and really banged up my left elbow, shoulder, and quadricep – and pulled a muscle in my chest that keeps swelling up in a scary monster way). So I’m not supposed to start running again until next week. So I’m counting on all of the training leading up to CIM to carry me for a couple of weeks, while I limit myself to trail walks/hikes.
A different kind of goal: Own an 8 minute mile
As I’m getting in shape for a fast 5k, I’d like to get fast enough to run 1 mile at an 8 minute mile pace.. Right now, I can run about a half mile at that pace, but it has to be an incredibly flat road, no head wind, muscles warmed up, etc. It’s rare for me to see an 8:00 or anything faster than that on the shortest interval, so this will be a good stretch goal for me. (I am not counting the handful of speedy downhill races I’ve run in the past, where I know I exceeded 8:00/mile, but I was heavily assisted by gravity.)
But what about Boston?
Heck, I will always have Boston somewhere in my running brain. But I’ve been stuck in a never-ending marathon training cycle forever (but really, for at least 4-5 years). I purposely chose the 5k distance to break out of that cycle. I was really hoping I could make some magic at CIM last month, but life stepped in and said ‘not this year’ so I’ll never know what might have happened. I was tempted to try to find another race (and not ‘waste’ this fitness I’ve achieved) but that’s exactly how I’ve ended up in the endless marathon training loop for years. So will I have a “fast” marathon goal this year? Time will tell. I’m really excited to see what my 5k looks like now that I’m in my 50s. If I were to “go for it” it would be a winter race, so I won’t have to make any decisions until late summer. Oh, and I’m running the NYC marathon this year (I’m sure I’ll share more about that in future posts), so I am going to be training for a marathon anyways. The question is: run or race?
Time to change my mindset
In all things running, writing, and life in general, I’m trying very hard to settle on a new mindset. It’s not about positivity, or negativity, or anything like that. It’s more about confidence and belief. I’m choosing to believe I’ll be successful in the goals I am setting. And to support that mindset, I’ll be doing the work! I’ll be sharing my running journey here: the good, the bad, the wins, the losses, the unfiltered thoughts and ugly truths. If anyone on earth ends of reading this and finds some value in what I share, that is truly my only hope.