Thursday, January 1, 2015

Making, Revising and Revisiting Goals. Because, You Know, 2015.

I really do enjoy the start of a new year.  It feels so fresh and full of possibilities - like anything could happen this year, if I'm willing to work for it.

I do not have any silly notions of flinging myself willy-nilly into the future with abandon.  I'm too skeptical for that kind of action plan, but I do feel cautiously willing to start putting in some real work again.  I've been hanging back for months now, recovering from anemia and then recovering from my last marathon.  I know I'm not in racing shape -  at all - but I'm ready to get there.  Slowly.  Carefully.

Because boy howdy, do I have some big ass plans for 2015!

Pink circles are my races, yellow circles are the kids' and UltraIronHub's races.  Please note that there are twice as many yellow circles as pink.  Ahhh, the life of a Cross Country and Track mom and endurance athlete wife.
A few months ago, when I first started feeling better and was ready to look forward to racing again, I started cooking up some ideas for 2015.  I am weirdly OCD about the stupidest things, and I like to have sort of a theme to my year.  Don't worry if this doesn't make any sense to you, just go with it.

So, one theme I thought of was blatantly stolen from a girl I follow on Instagram, who ran a half marathon (or more) distance every single week of 2014.  Pretty badass, right??  And I was all set to do that, except that I really like to run marathons.  And ultras.  And the thought of not having a few of those on my schedule just didn't sit right at all.

Back to the noodling board!

I decided that what I wanted to do was run more marathons.  The best way to get better at something is to practice, right?  So I went searching for local-ish marathons and found a grand total of four for the entire year that would work in my schedule.  Yes, that's (one) more than I would normally do, but that's hardly The Year of the Marathon that I was sort of envisioning.

Time to re-think things again.

Then I thought that adding some half marathons to the mix would do the trick, so off to Google I went.  I found the usual suspects, nearby races I've already run and not necessarily enjoyed.  Sort of the lima beans of the racing world - I don't love them, but they're here on my plate, so I guess I'll eat...errr, run them.

But in the course of deciding to run the Davis Stampede again, which I vowed I would never do ("Oh, is that humble pie?  Yes, please, I'd love another slice."), I happened across a race series that I'd heard of but never previously considered doing:  the NorCal Tour de Fit.  Link is to the Change of Pace website, the race director who puts on the series, in case you are local and would like to join the challenge, too.  Or not local and just curious.  Lo and behold, every race in the series fit into my calendar.  What are the odds of that happening?  There are several unusual race distances, which will net me my favorite thing in the world, a guaranteed PR.  And at the end of the series, I'll have earned a big, ol' two-part series medal.

{Cue angels singing, stars aligning, harps trilling and whatnot}

OMG, and??  The best part??  At the end of the year, with the marathons and the one ultra I decided I just couldn't live without and the Tour de Fit races?  I'll have run 15 races in 2015.  Dude!  My OCD couldn't be happier.

Do I think the year ahead is going to shake down exactly the way I've plotted it out on January 1st?  Yeah, no.  Life happens and plans and goals change.  As evidence of this fact, let's revisit last year's goals, shall we?  I promised myself that I would "Get stronger - specifically, learn to do a pull-up, work on inversions and add weight to my squats."

That, my friends, lasted less than two weeks.

I did meet my other goals, though!  Except maybe the one about being nicer.  That's hard to measure.

In order to have something to look back on at this time next year and either gloat or cringe, I'll lay down a couple of running resolutions:

  • Get back to racing weight.  Because my pants are pretty unhappy right now, and this post-anemia lumpy butt isn't going to run me to any (non-guaranteed) PRs this year.
  • Run an actual PR.  Ideally at the marathon or half marathon distance.  The half is slightly more likely, though they both sound ridiculous to me right this minute.
  • Add regular speedwork back into my training.  Because the only way I'm going to snag anything close to a PR is to work for it!

That's it.  I had been considering making a resolution about cleaning my house regularly, but who am I kidding?

What are your goals and dreams for 2015?


The Rock Star said...

Here's to race OCD! My biggest problem is scheduling a race year is scheduling proper recovery. Keeping healthy will allow you to crush these goals!

Tiina L said...

Love me some race OCD and 15 in 15 has a pretty ring to it :)

Kate said...

I'm working on my goals. They aren't going to be running-related, though! I love that you have 15 races for the year. How perfect!

Laura said...

OMG, I just spent about 5 hours trying to leave a comment from my phone. Okay, that may be a SLIGHT exaggeration... But it was WAY too long.

I don't even remember what I was trying to say. Something about what a year! And good thing there wasn't anything about cleaning. You're not going to have time for that!

In case I have phone issues in the future and don't leave a comment, you can just pick the appropriate one from below and imagine me saying it. ;)

- You're a rock star! I didn't even drive that far today.
- You're going to do great! Just pretend everyone's in their underwear.
- That sort of reminds me of that time in Paris when someone threw poop at me from an upstairs window and it landed on my head.

PahlaB said...

Hahahahahahaha!! Laura, I've missed you! Did somebody really throw poop on your head? Because that's a story I would need to hear.

PahlaB said...

I'm looking forward to reading about your goals! I stopped making self-improvement goals because I really don't stick to them. Running goals? Totally gonna happen. Other stuff? Meh.

Laura said...

Yep, true story. And that's pretty much the whole story. My friend and I were walking down the street and SPLAT. Oh. And then my friend laughed at me.