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?

My Running Goals for 2018

Last year was rough for me. I decided to start running both as a way to add structure and discipline to my life at a time when it was sorely lacking any kind of order and to give myself a reason to push myself and feel proud of myself again. I jotted down an initial set of goals and while I achieved some of them, I still have a lot of work to do this year… The one goal I’m so glad I met was joining a running group. As an introvert AND a new runner,  the idea of meeting up with a group of strangers and make small talk *while* trying to keep up with their pace was absolutely overwhelming and daunting. But that was also the point right? Getting outside of my comfort zone a bit… I waited until the second half of the year to muster the courage to show up at Pacers and Summit to Soul but it’s been one of the best thing I did last year. While I haven’t been able to make to as many Wednesday runs on the hill as I’d like, I’ve mostly stuck with Pacers’ Monday runs and have already met so many inspiring runners. This year, I’ll still join Pacers on Monday, though I’m setting the mini-goal of graduating from the 3 miles group to the 5 miles by the beginning of February and to the 7 miles group by March. If I’m going to run the Rock’n’Roll half marathon on March 10th, I should be able to run 7 miles easily by March 1st. At least that’s the plan…. I’m also going to try and make it to as many Wednesday runs with Summit to Soul as I can (thinking every other week hopefully) and starting at the end of January I’ll join Potomac River Running for track work on Thursday nights and long runs on Saturday, all with the goal of training for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler on April 8th. With that in mind, and given some of the races I have already signed up for or plan to sign up for, here are my running goals 2.0 for 2018!

1. Make Running a Regular, Consistent Habit

Yes, I’ve been running in 2017 but I know I’m not running enough right now. One of my goals in 2017 was to join a running group and turn running into a social activity. And I’ve done pretty well as far as this goal is concerned. But I don’t really run outside of that and that has to change. And it will as I’m looking to up my running schedule to 3-4 runs a week, including one evening of track run and a long run. This is what I should be doing anyway to properly train for half marathons and build up to training for a full in the fall. 

2. Run a 5K Without Walking and in less than 30 Minutes

I still struggle with these goals from 2017 so I’m putting them back on the list and lumping them together! I ran my last 5K in 34:56 so I’m getting closer but I’m not there yet. Which is why I am adding goal #3 and #4 below.

3. Start Doing some Track Workouts

I haven’t stepped foot on a track since high school probably but as part of my Cherry Blossom 10 Mile run training I’ll be joining Potomac River Running at Wilson High School every Thursday night for some track work. I’m glad I’ll be doing it with a coach because despite reading a lot of track work for beginners guides (I like Lazy Girl Running’s primmer or Why You Need to Add Track Workouts to Your Training by Eat Pray Run DC) I’m still very intimidated and have no idea where to start!

4. Become a Faster Runner

Hopefully running more regularly and adding track workouts will help with this. Running with groups is motivating as well because it forces me to push myself to keep up when I may be tempted to slow down and walk if I were by myself. And Runners World has a couple of speed workouts I might try as well…. 

5. Run the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler at a 10:30 pace or under

Last year, one of my goals was just to run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler but this year I am determined to run it well. This will be my fourth time running DC’s prettiest spring race so I actually have some benchmarks to base how fast I should be able to run the race. The fastest I did so far was 1:54, which is a 11:28 pace. I currently run my regular runs between a 10:00 and 10:60 pace per mile and since I plan on training this time I do feel confident that this is a realistic goal for me and that I can shave off 10 minutes from my previous Cherry Blossom PR (cross the finish line in 1:45.) Ideally, I’ll be able to set a more ambitious goal for a fall 10 miler, perhaps the Army 10 miler.

6. Run a marathon

I’m still trying to figure out which one that will be but I *will* run my first marathon in 2018, most likely in the fall. I had to rule out Paris because I don’t think I’ll be ready by April (also, it’s on the same day as the Cherry Blossom 10 mile run and I’m definitely committed to that race!) I had summarized my options in this post “Where Should I Run My First Marathon?” but I’m pretty sure I would like to run the Marine Corps Marathon. Of course, I have no guarantee that I’ll get in at this point. I’m going to try and sign up for the Access Granted 17.75K, a race through Prince Williams Forrest Park whose distance reflects the year the Marine Corps was established. One of the best part of running that race is that all the men and women who cross the finish line earn access to the Marine Corps Marathon… And even though I always said I only wanted to run one marathon in my life and no more, I’m pretty sure I’ll wanna run Paris in 2019! And then run the marathon du Medoc (possibly dressed something like these guys below… I do love me a good race costume/outfit!) 

7. Run a Race in Paris

Speaking of running the Paris marathon in 2019, I actually really want to run a race in Paris. Running the Disneyland Paris half marathon was super fun (you can read my recap here) but I really want to run in the actual streets of my hometown, not in country roads nearby 😉 Some of the options include le fitbit semi-marathon de Paris on March 4 (that one would be really cool because it runs through Bastille where I grew up, but it’s a tricky date for me because I have a HUGE work conference starting on the 10th!), the Paris-Versailles on September 30th or the 20km de Paris on October 8th

8. Stretch More

I know I need to stretch more, both before and after runs. I’d love to do yoga more often too, so there, writing it down into my resolutions!

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

Most of my friends fall in one of two categories: they hate running or they love running and are WAY too fast for me to run with 😉 Nonetheless, even if I only keep up for 5 minutes, as was the case when I ran the Disney half with my friend Caitlin, it’s still more fun to hang out with people you know when you’re in your coral waiting for the start (and in my case usually have them wait for me at the finish!) It’d be great to have people to travel to races with and that sort of thing. Running with Pacers has been great so far in meeting other runners and I want to continue to meet inspiring people through running in 2018.

10. Feel Good About Myself After a Race

Unlike all of the other races that I have run so far, I would like to cross a finish line and feel like, no matter how long it took me to get there, I gave it all I could on the course and in training. Like in most sport, you get out what you put in and I know I’m not putting in enough. And that has to change in 2018 ! 

Bonus Goal: Take Better Race Pictures

Seriously, mine are terrible right now. And that’s the ones I pose for… you should see the ones from during the actual races 😉 Clearly I need to start paying closer attention to the photogs along the course!