One of my running goals for 2017 was joining a running group and turning running into more of a social activity. I was very self-conscious about actually acting on this goal. I’m an introvert, so group settings aren’t always my favourite and I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with everyone which would be embarrassing, as well as discouraging. I was afraid to shatter whatever little self-confidence I have as a runner. After the Disneyland Paris half marathon in late September (you can read my recap here), it was obvious that I needed to do something different to make sure commit to training. So I resolved to get over my fears, lace up my running shoes and join some strangers on group runs.
There are SO many running groups in Washington, D.C.! I narrowed my options to two: Pacers (the 14th street store) on Mondays and Summit to Soul on Wednesdays and I’ve been a regular for most of October. I struggle to keep up with the group at times. I’m definitely typically found at the back of the pack! But while I find myself wishing the lights would turn red so I could catch a quick break more often than I would like, I’ve also mostly kept up with the group and even occasionally been able to carry short conversations. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people so it was mostly a good experience until last night. Last night was Pacers’ Halloween themed run and there were a lot of runners (in awesome costumes too!) Usually, we split into 3 different groups, running 3, 5 or 7 miles. Yesterday, we ran as one whole group and while the pace was pretty slow because we hit so many intersections, I definitely struggled to stay with the group and it really got me down. I guess I felt that by now, I wouldn’t be struggling through a simple 5K. Instead of feeling good after this run (“be in a better mood after running” is another one of my running goals for this year) I felt discouraged and ready to give up. I never thought becoming a runner would be easy but I did hope that at some point it would get easier. And I had hoped that point would be coming sooner. It’s really hard for me to look at the big picture when you’re not seeing any progress but I know I can’t focus on the small setbacks like the one I had last night. To help me moe forward, and because we are November 1st today, I decided to jot down some new set of goals for the month!
1. RUN 50K IN NOVEMBER
I’m not sure I tracked all my runs last month, I *just* started using Strava a few weeks ago (on strava too? Friend me!?). But according to Strava and Map My Run (which I was using before switching over to Strava) I only ran 42.42K in November. I thought about having a goal of 100K in November, but I that would be probably be setting myself up for failure since I only average about 10K a week. So I’m going to set my goal for 50K, hope that I crush it, feel good about it and set a higher goal for December. Do you have a monthly kilometers or miles goal? How do you decide what to set it at?
2. RIDE 100 MILES @ CYCLEBAR
I’ve been running Mondays and Wednesdays and taking a spin class at Cyclebar Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Last month, Cyclebar NoMa had a 100 miles challenge. Of course, I only found out about it with less than 10 days left… and since I average around 9 miles per class, there was no way I could achieve it. I did get close to 50 miles, so I think I could definitely ride over 100 miles over the whole month of November.
3. RUN 3X A WEEK
Right now, I’m only running twice a week so I need to add a “long” run on weekends. This may not actually be a very long run but it should be my longest run of the week.
4. RUN A 10K RACE
Two weekends ago, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon 10K. You can read my race recap here, but basically I finished disappointed in my time and barely meeting the goal I had set for myself. So I would love to find another race of the same distance so I can better my time. If you have any suggestions of 10K in the area, I’m all ears! Since I’m out of town the first two weekends of November, I’m thinking either the Annapolis Running Classic on November 18th or Carpenter’s Shelter’s Run for Shelter also on November 18th. The time to beat for this 10K will be one hour and nine minutes. I can do this! Maybe…
5. RUN A 5K WITHOUT WALKING
I’m staying in Washington, D.C. for Thanksgiving, so I’ll definitely be running a Turkey Trot that morning. And by then, I would like to be able to run it without walking, even if I run slowly…
I hope that setting mini-goals for myself will help me keep at it and that I’ll start feeling like I’m making progress… and when I do I will actually celebrate it, even the small victories which is something I have always had a hard time doing 😦