Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Goals for 2013

Happy holidays to all! 

I'm not usually big on New Year's resolutions since I don't think that you necessarily need a new year to put forth your resolutions.  I believe that if you want to improve upon something, then there is no time like the present to do it.  If you start today, it's one more day that you did it versus another day that you didn't!

In any event, though, I did want to put in writing some of my running goals for the upcoming year. 

If only it were that easy, no?

I've listed these running goals in what I consider to be descending order of most challenging to least challenging goals.  Relatively speaking, of course.

1. Run a sub-8:00 mile.

Even at the peak of my running career, the 8-minute mile has been difficult for me to beat.  My best race split of the year came during the PAWS Run For Their Lives 8K last September, where my Garmin says I clocked an 8:34 mile.  I think that if I were running JUST one mile, that I might be able to come close to the 8-minute mark.  Although, I shouldn't get too confident because 34 seconds is a lot of time when you're dealing with just one mile.  Either way, I better be careful about what I eat before I attempt a PR mile as it will surely require pushing myself to the point of nausea.

Ideally, though, I'd like to get to the point where I can run a sub-8:00 mile without fearing that I might lose my lunch.  Maybe someday.

Check out this motorized cooler. 
Now THAT's the way to ensure speediness without losing your lunch!

2. Run a sub-26:30 5K.

I only ran one 5K this past year, where I finished in 27:52.  With some reasonable work I think I could break the 27-minute mark.  Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.  Admittedly, I was tempted to list this goal as sub 26:00, but breaking 26 minutes would be a huge challenge for me and might not be realistic in the near term.  Hence the 26:30 goal.  Although, a 25:59 would be so much cooler than a 26:00.  But we'll see how things shake out.

Regardless, once again, thou shalt be careful about what thy eats before attempting thy goal.

3. Run a sub-2:15:00 half marathon.

My best half marathon this past year was run in 2:22:52.  I think can run a sub-2:20:00 half marathon without too much difficulty.  Getting below 2:15:00 will probably take some effort (but I think it is much more doable than a sub-26:00 5K).  Regardless, I am bolstered by hearing about several people who shaved 10-15 minutes off of their half marathon times in one fell swoop.  Very inspirational!
4. Run a sub-5:00:00 marathon.

Had I not been dealing with searing groin pain during the Chicago Marathon, I think I already could have come reasonably close to the 5-hour mark.  I feel pretty good about being able to break 5 hours the second time around.  In fact, I was already tempted to list my marathon goal as sub-4:50:00.  But I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

Other Race Distance Goal Times
For race distances other than the ones listed above, I either do those distances less frequently, or place less emphasis on them.  But here are the goals I'd have for some of those others:

8K - sub 43:00
10K - sub 58:00
10M - sub 1:40:00

I realize nearly all of these goals I've listed could be the great beneficiary of speedwork.  I've never really enjoyed doing speedwork because I don't like pushing myself to the point of major discomfort.  Admittedly this is the more prevalent reason that I don't do a lot of speedwork.

But, I do know that speedwork doesn't have to be that extreme to be effective.   Plus, moderate speedwork is better than none at all.

At the moment, I'm still only running one day a week.   But once I get to the point where I'm comfortable running a few days a week, I'd like to add some speedwork back into the routine.  Maybe once a week.

Goals Which Don't Require Running Shoes

Do yoga at least once a week
I've done very little yoga over the past few months due pretty much to lack of interest, and also because so much of my PT routine already involves stretching.  But PT stretches are certainly not a substitute for a full yoga routine.  Therefore, I need to find myself a way to get back into yoga.

Strength-train at least once a week
I actually do enjoy upper-body strength-training, but it's very much a momentum thing with me.  I go in spurts.  But my condo building just installed strength-training equipment in the building's fitness room.  Now I really have no excuse not to strength-train. 

Although, I am sure that on days when I'm not motivated, I'll still manufacture plenty of excuses.

Hmmm... guess I can't do any strength-training today.  The old sock drawer needs to be organized.  Again. 

Bike or do some sort of aerobic cross-training at least once a week
I've been doing a lot of stationary biking and I've been feeling the burn in my hips and glutes.  It's been good. 

I'm not huge on the elliptical machine, but it would be fun to throw in some other forms of cross-training wherever possible.  Now that it's winter, it'd be fun to do more ice skating.  Even in lieu of the dastardly NHL lockout, which makes me turn Barney-purple with rage everytime I think about it.  But I digress.

Do my physical therapy exercises at least 5 days a week.  Especially the core work.
Have I mentioned before how much I hate doing planks or any other core work?  The planks are often the first exercise to be dumped when I don't have time or don't want to do my full PT routine.  That is not good.  I need to just gut those planks out (literally and figuratively). 

In keeping with the "do it now!" philosophy, though, I have already been much better over the past few weeks about planking.  Yesterday I set my plank PR, which was 2 minutes and 15 seconds!  And wow, am I ever feeling it today.

Drink more water
While in the office, drink at least four glasses of water during each workday.  Drink another four at home before/after work.  It's a little tough for me to drink plain water, hence why I drink a ton of very diluted fruit juice.  But adding a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to plain water also does the trick, so I'll try to do more of that instead.  In short, I'd like to try drinking more actual water as opposed to diluted fruit juice.

And finally...

Eat more good chocolate
Don't laugh.  In all seriousness, I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've eaten some ho-hum dessert just because it was there.  I want to adopt the philosophy that if I am going to eat dessert, that it better be a GOOD dessert.  No more calories wasted over so-so desserts.  In short:

Quality over quantity!

Unprocessed over processed! 

Gelato over ice cream!

How could anyone argue with that?!?!


  1. I think you are going to smash your goals this year!

    Sub 8:00 mile, sub 2:15 1/2, sub 5:00 full are all within your reach. Consistency, speedwork and strength training (along with remaining injury free) will most definitely get you to all those goals. Who knows, if the timing is right, maybe I could help pace you to one of your goals...

    I think 2013 is going to be your year :)

    Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

    1. It was really great to see you and L at the Nike event last Friday!!! My arms and back were sore after all those pushups and core work, you too?

      Thank you for the positivity regarding my goals!!! I think that remaining injury-free will be my biggest challenge this year (I'm feeling your pain, literally, with the crankle). It would be awesome to have you pace me to one of my goals! And I think that 2013 is going to be your year, too!!!

  2. I think you can hit all those time goals (esp. if Xaarlin or a friend help pace!!!). Do you have any running goals that are fun and not time related?

    I like the chocolate goal. I can help you with that one... if you want :)

    1. Thank you for the confidence and I would love to have any and all assistance regarding the chocolate goal. =D

      Interesting that you bring up running goals that are fun and not time-related. To be honest, other than the cross-training-type goals, I didn't really have any non-time goals in mind. If you have any suggestions for fun goals, please do share!!!!!!!!!

    2. Some of my fun goals are to try a new race distance/type or race or run more with friends :)

  3. Nice goals! I think with some speedwork, you can hit those goals! Also I love your last goal. And it's so true, I often eat sweets/junk food just because it's there, but not because it's actually GOOD. I need to save the calories for what is worth it.

    1. Thanks, Maggie! I was so inspired after reading your post where you shared your PRs before 2012 and after. You are huge proof that consistency and speedwork can bring about AMAZING results!!!

  4. I am totally confident in your ability to rock all your goals!! You've become such a strong runner this past year, and I'm excited to see where your running career takes you in 2013. You've learned from your achievements and mistakes, and this will be key in propelling you forward in the upcoming year.

    I think my favorite goal of yours is the one about chocolate...I'm also guilty of eating dessert just because it's there, but it's so much more satisfying eating something that actually tastes amazing (whether it be dessert or any food). I always make sure to splurge on high-quality chocolate because it's ALWAYS worth it :)

    1. Thanks, Irina! Likewise, you have made HUGE strides with your running in 2012, and 2013 is just going to keep getting even better and better for you, as well!

      It really is so much more satisfying eating something that tastes amazing, whether dessert or not. Why waste calories on anything else, right? And high-quality chocolate is SO worth the splurge. =D

  5. Great goals! I love that you have clear ideas in mind for each distance. (I might have to steal this idea!) I want to say that I think all of these goals are within your reach. You have lots of room for improvement and you will get there.

    As for speed work, I used to be very very against it. Oh how my tune has changed. I think you need to find the kind of speed work and the pace that is approrpriate to you. I'm planning to write a post about that very topic, although I'm definitely no expert! Good luck with all these goals!*

    1. Thanks, Amy! Likewise, you have made such huge leaps and bounds during 2012 and 2013 is just going to keep getting better for you, as well.

      And you hit the nail on the head regarding the kind of speedwork and pace that is appropriate. I was thinking about what you said during a speed session that I did yesterday, and the right pace made ALL the difference to me. I am really, really looking forward to reading your post about your experience with speedwork!!!