At the start of 2012, I set a few goals for myself. These goals included:
- Run a sub-22 minute 5k race
- Run a sub-1:43 half marathon race
- Complete a marathon race
- Race a new shorter distance (ex. mile, 4 mile, 8k or 10k)
- Increase weekly mileage to 50-60 miles
I fell short on both the 5k and half marathon goals and I have to say, the 5k one especially kills me - I'm only four seconds away! As for the half marathon goal, it just wasn't my year for racing this distance. Two of my races were greatly affected by heat and humidity, another effort was done in by a case of a nasty side stitch and my last attempt ended in a DNF after I got injured around mile 10.
These two goals will go on my list for 2013, but instead of dwelling on how I didn't accomplish everything I wanted, I'm going to instead focus on everything I gained this year:
New running friends! In 2011, I was a runner conquering the roads on my own. This year, I learned how to run with others, connected with more experienced runners who I can turn to with all of my running questions, and also made some new friends who love running as much as I do. Our conversations tend to revolve around running, racing and eating. To a non-runner, that's probably not very exciting, but to a runnerd like myself, it's heaven :)
At Riviera Maya with Laura, Melissa, Alice and Sheila
Joining the Oiselle Running Team. My excitement about this one still hasn't worn off! I am thrilled to represent such an amazing brand and can't wait to wear my new apparel and racing gear at every 2013 race.
Seeing Mom finish TWO half marathons. My mom is amazing - she is 62 years old and just started running a little more than a year ago. This year, she completed two half marathons. It amazes me how fit she is - more fit than a lot of 20 and 30 somethings that I know!
There goes Mom - happy even during a half marathon :)
Confidence that I can run higher mileage. Much to my surprise, my body felt great running 50-60 miles per week. I felt extremely strong during those weeks and had some of my best training runs. The trick to running more miles was increasing mileage conservatively and keeping most of the miles at easy pace. In 2013, I'm going to up my mileage to 60-70 miles per week using the same principles.
You have to earn every second. Gone are the days getting a new 5k PR that's minutes faster than the last. Now it's about shaving off seconds at a time. During my first year of running, it was easy to make progress by leaps and bounds. Year two meant struggling and hitting a few plateaus. It made me work harder - I like to think I spent the year laying the groundwork for a successful third year of running!
Finishing in 22:03 at my last 5k race
Accomplishing more than I ever thought possible. Finishing my first marathon, running a 22-mile long run, winning my Age Group - these are all things that once seemed out of reach. But I've learned you can't ever count yourself out - in fact, you're the only person that needs to believe in you to achieve your goals. Aim high and achieve more :)
How did 2012 treat you? Did you accomplish your goals or are you still working to reach them? What was your greatest achievement this year?
Wishing you a fabulous holiday season :)