With my goal of 1500 miles for 2010 out of the way (I passed it last week) and the end of the year rapidly approaching, I want to take a look back on my running goals of 2010 and then look ahead to those of 2011.
Last Christmas, the wife was thoughtful enough to give me a leather-bound journal to use as a running log. One of the first things I wrote in it were goals for 2010. They included the following: 5K – 20:00 (check! 19:27), 10K – 40:00 (check! 39:29), Half-Marathon – 1:30:00 (nope! 1:33:47), Marathon – 3:20:00 (YES! 3:19:19), Total Miles – 1500 (check, I should finish the year at around 1550). I am happy to say that I was able to accomplish 4 out of 5 of my goals (just missing on my half-marathon goal). Not bad for my second year of running, right?
In the process of accomplishing much of what I set out to do, I ran 12 races – 2 5K’s, 2 10K’s, a 5-Miler, 2 Half-Marathons, a 20-Miler and 4 Marathons. Along the way I set 9 PR’s and was in striking distance of a 10th. I got to run Boston and then I qualified 6 months later to run it again. I was asked to join the RaceMenu/mix1 racing team, which I have been running for since April. I even had a few podium finishes (both overall and in age group).
It has been a fantastic year of running. When much of my world around me seemed to be going to hell in a handbasket, running kept me centered and grounded. For that I am grateful.
A few days after I passed 1500 miles for this year, I realized that with no chance of accomplishing a 1:30 Half-Marathon in the remaining days of 2010, maybe it was time to look ahead to 2011. So, I pulled out my running log and began to jot down some numbers.
5K – 18 minute handle
10K – 38 minute handle
Half-Marathon – still 1:30:00
Full-Marathon – 3:15:00
Mileage – 1800 miles
All respectable goals I think.
But I got to thinking, should my running goals continue to be solely number related? Yes, numbers are a big part of what we do. Their importance varies from runner to runner, but there is a reason why we wear stop watches, count miles and run races. Numbers have meaning to us. They show us whether we have made progress or not. Sometimes we use these numbers to see how we compare to others, but 99% of the time, we use these numbers to measure our current state against ourselves.
Still, something continued to tug at me, so I turned to the people I knew would have the answer – You! On Twitter I asked the question, “what are your running goals for 2011?” I thought that I was going to receive a flood of responses related to race times. What I was surprised to find is that for most, it had more to do with race location than race time (although a BQ was on many people’s lists). Another popular answer was to stay injury-free. Of the responses I received that had to do with numbers, the most common one was that people hoped to run more consistently from month to month.
So, based on your wisdom, I have revised my goals somewhat for 2011. I am still hoping to accomplish the times I have set for myself, but I want to run at least one race this year in a state I haven’t run yet (not hard to do considering I’ve only raced in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York). I would like to remain relatively injury free for the next 12 months. I would like to run more consistently from month to month. 2010 saw me run a monthly low of 75 miles in May to a monthly high of 210 miles in March. My goal for 2011 is to run a consistent 150 miles per month, every month. Finally, I hope that I can run at least 12 races in 2011, ranging in distance from 5K to possibly taking on the mountains of Vermont in a 50-Miler. I already know where I’ll be come SuperBowl Sunday (the SuperSunday 5K/10K is a fabulous race located in the heart of Boston) and on Patriots’ Day (the Boston Marathon – this time I won’t be the very last starter of the second wave). Boston 13.1 in June (where Autism Speaks will be the sponsored charity) and the possibility of the Vermont 50 in September aside, the rest of my calendar is wide open.
Do you have running goals for 2011? Maybe it’s just to start running? Whatever they may be, I wish you the best of luck in the New Year!