My Running Goals For 2019

“If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.”

Last year, I embarked on a challenge to turn my life around and went all in in becoming a runner. I set an ambitious goal for myself, to run a marathon, and I worked hard to make it happen. The idea was to make a permanent lifestyle change and to keep pushing myself so with that in mind, I jotted down some new goals for this year. I tried not to focus on speed too much. Obviously, I’d love to be faster, but I don’t want that to be my main concern. With that being said, one of the first thing I would like to accomplish in 2019 but that I didn’t include in my goals is completing a 5K in under 30 minutes. Officially, my faster 5K on record is the Crystal City Twighlighter which i ran in 30 minutes and 47 seconds. Here’s the deal. I have ran 5K in less than 30 minutes, but not in a race so my first couple of races this year will be in that distance so that I can have it on record. Here are the running goals that made the cut for this year:

1. Make Running a Regular, Consistent Habit

2. Have Fun, Enjoy Running and Make Some Running Friends!

I’m carrying these two goals over from 2018 not because I didn’t accomplish them but because  I think they’re great goals to have every year.  Becoming a faster runner is also staying on there, though not officially. That’s never really done right? But really, having fun and enjoying running should be on the list every year 😉 Also while I have made some running friends, I don’t really see them socially outside of the running groups (there have occasionally been a party or two I’ve been invited to though). I don’t really have anyone I can run with outside of my training groups or social run clubs. And maybe all that would take is me asking someone to go on a run with me (duh!) but first I’d have to get over the mental hurdle that I don’t think anyone wants to run with someone that would slow them down or can’t really carry a conversation halfway through the activity because I’d be completely out of breath trying to keep up. It’d be nice to have people to meet up with before or after races, maybe travel to races with etc. too And yes, I am aware that perhaps all that would take is me reaching out and suggesting that we do…

3. Run at least 1000 miles (1609 kilometers)

I didn’t have a mileage goal for 2019 but after looking at the distance I had run after Marine Corps, 1194.3 km, I realized 1000 miles or 1609 kilometers wasn’t that out of reach. I had ran over 200 kilometers a month in September and October and reasoned that as long as I kept up that kind of mileage I could totally get to 1000 miles so I penciled it in as an additional goal. Of course, as a rookie marathoner I had overlooked one tiny detail: I didn’t want to run that much now that I didn’t have a big race to train for. And I was tired. And I wanted a break from running non-stop. I only ran 120 kms in November and 116 in December, rounding up the year 160 kms / 100 miles shy. But I think I can do it in 2019! I mean, I’ve already ran more in the first 10 days of January 2019 than I had in the whole first month of 2018 so I think I’m off to a promising start.

4. Participate in a Ragnar Relay

They look so much fun. I really wanna! 

5. Cheer on Others and Volunteer with a Local Race

Last year I ran all the races and I missed simple little pleasures like cheering on strangers (and the occasional friends) when they’re running. I loved seeing familiar faces in the crowd at the Rock’n’Roll half, Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and especially at Marine Corps so this year I want to sit a few races out and cheer but also volunteer. It takes SO many people behind the scenes to put on a fun experience for runners the day off and I really want to give back and help out this year. 

6. Complete one of the Abbott World Marathon Majors

Good thing I was only planning on ever running one marathon in my life because I’m currently signed up for two marathons next year, Berlin ad Chicago, and yes they’re both majors!  It’s a little crazy to be running two majors on two continents in two weeks but I’ve been on quite the lottery winning streak and just couldn’t pass down the opportunity. Hopefully I’ll make through training season injury free and will get to complete them both. And then I totally get to join Marathon Maniacs! Yeah!! 

7. Finish a Marathon in less than 5 hours

It took me 5 hours and 23 minutes to run Marine Corps so I feel like shaving off 23 minutes in a good goal for me for my second marathon. It’s going to take a lot of training and work, but that’s kind of the point. 

8. Stop Being Afraid of My Foam Roller

I really really need to foam roll more. Doing more stretching/yoga etc. is definitely in there with the foam rolling too.

9. Do a Running Streak

I did one last year for 6 weeks and it was a good exercise so why not make it a formal goal for 2019? 

10. Run my First Trail Race 

Since I’ve now ran most distance, I’d like to focus on running different types of races including relay and trail (ultra will have to wait, maybe indefinitely). Last year, I ran the 17.75K race to qualify for Marine Corps and that’s as close to a trail as I got and I’d like to challenge myself and try a trail half marathon or ten miler. 

There you have it! I’m excited to keep getting stronger as a runner in 2019, both physically and mentally. As I said in the intro, I really want to focus on racing fewer races but running them better, though that’s hard because I want to run all the races and get all the medals 😉 

What are some of your running goals for 2019? Any advice on how I can tackle some of mine?

Marathon Training: I went on my First “Run-Mute”

I’ve always had a fairly active social life but knew I would have to kiss it goodbye as I started training to run my first marathon. These days, I’m in bed by 10PM (at the very latest!) on Saturday nights so that I can lace up my tennis shoes at six the next morning. I turn down anything scheduled for Thursdays because that’s track night. Monday evenings are Pacers group run. Weekday mornings are for Cyclebar and Bodypump classes. With three weeks until the Navy-Air Force half marathon and two months until Marine Corps, I’m basically no fun at this point (unless you find running fun, then I’m a hoot!). So when my friend Bianca suggested we catch up over diner at the new Lupo Marino at the Wharf Tuesday night, I had to make a decision. I knew I couldn’t run Wednesday night since I had a going away party at the French Embassy (I also really wanted to take Haley’s 7AM class at Cyclebar that morning) so I *had* to squeeze in a run Tuesday at some point. Since I still struggle wit weekday morning runs, I decided I would try to run-mute (run+commute) home so I could do it all 😉

My office is around 6 miles away from where I live, a straight shot on the red line that takes me about 30 minutes per way. It’s actually a pretty good distance to run and fairly easy on Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenue so armed with my brand new Women’s Nathan Intensity Hydration Vest (which I absolutely love!) I decided to give this run-mute thing a try! My starting point: the Chevy Chase Pavilion in Friendship Heights:

Of course, in hindsight, I should probably not have picked 4:30PM on one of the hottest days of the year to set out on this mini adventure. The first two miles were pretty awful, as there was barely any shade at all going down Wisconsin towards the National Cathedral. 

Mile two of my runmute: the beautiful National Cathedral.

After the National Cathedral, I took a turn left on Massachusetts Avenue for a more shaded and quite pretty segment of the run. All the embassies provided a welcome visual distraction … and it was kinda fun seeing everyone else stuck in traffic. But still, yeah, it was hot. 

Made it to 5K! What up Churchill?

I continued sweating my way down embassy row until Dupont Circle. I was bummed the fountain was completely dry because I would have really loved to jump in 😉  

Almost at mile 5: would have loved to take a refreshing dip in the fountain!

The final stretch down Mass finally brought me home in 1 hour and 23 minutes for a pace of 8:32/km, definitely one of my slowest runs but it was SO hot.

Mile 6! I’s so sweaty and gross and I kinda want to die, but I made it 😉

Seriously the Dupont Circle temperature clock was showing 101 degrees!

Starbucks is selling PSL already… can we start having some fall temperatures please?

Occasionally, it’s definitely taking me longer to metro to work so I don’t think it was that bad and I definitely will do it again soon. Of course, a run-mute home takes a little less prep than a run-mute to work (and I do have a shower in my office building so I’m not ruling out giving it a try at some point). The 2 main things to prepare for are:

  • Your route: map it out in advance so you know exactly where to go and how many miles you’ll be able to cover. I typically count my runs in kilometer but the easiest route home was 6 miles or 9.7 kilometers down two large avenues with ample sidewalk space so I went with the miles.  I’m already plotting how I can take a slightly different route down Rock Creek Park next time! 
  • Your backpack: after wasting $ on cheap hydration packs from Amazon (they kept leaking after 2 or 3 uses!) I finally splurged on a $100 women specific pack from Nathan’s. I absolutely love it but the zippered rear compartments to organize additional items are on the small size so I had to be smart about packing very light that day. I brought my running clothes in a separate bag and abandoned my work clothes at the office to bring home the next day so I could run as lightly as possible. I didn’t bring a book to work or anything that day… I kept it to a minimum even stripping my wallet down to just what I needed for the day (and packing those in a small ziplock!)

After a quick shower, I ubered down to the Wharf to meet Bianca and definitely felt I had earned my pizza (I had the Calabrese with anchovies… it could have had more anchovies. I love anchovies!)! And it was so nice to have a social evening without feeling guilty that I’d skipped a run. On the downside, I basically went to bed the second I got home and my place is still a mess from Diner en Blanc Saturday. But I was so tired 😉