Making resolutions at the beginning of every new year has never really worked out all that well for me.
If I’m going to make a change and try to better myself, the fact that the calendar changes and a new year begins is probably not going to motivate me to do it. Usually I write down a whole lot of things I want to change or do (couldn’t we all think of hundreds of things if we really tried?!) but the list gets overwhelming and then I don’t follow through with any of them.
Last year I kept it pretty simple and realistic with my 2016 running goals:
1. Beat my Boston 2014 time of 3:38. – done, by 5 minutes.
2. Sign up for more races (I only did 3 in 2010). – done, I think I did 7-ish in 2015.
3. Stretch after every run. – not yet every run, but getting much better.
4. Foam roll at least twice per week. – yes, for most of the year.
5. Pay more attention to what I eat and what works for me. – not really sure how to judge that one but maybe slight improvement.
I know those sound like pretty whimpy goals, but at the time of writing that post, I probably knew I wasn’t ready to committ to a PR goal. And at least those were little things, all of which I really wanted to do, and was pretty much able to accomplish them. I also knew I would be ending a job and starting school so from August to December I had no clue where I would be or what I would be doing.
I am almost surprised that I wasn’t tempted to set some kind of crazy running goal, but maybe in my head I was thinking I would judge how Boston training and the marathon went, see if I could finish un-injured and go from there. Obviously that didn’t happen and it just made me want a PR even more, but this year I think things will go much differently.
My expectations for myself at this time have changed, and my priorities are not what they were a year ago. I am demanding a lot of myself in terms of school and career, and running has become something that provides relief and precious alone time, not another category in which I need to perform.(Just to clarify, this doesn’t mean I’m not pushing myself or enjoy seeing the small improvements in my workouts – it just means that I’m pushing myself to the extent that I want to and not as a means of achieving a certain time goal).
I still have long-term visions for myself with running, and I think being 20-something with a handful of marathons done, it will be a perfect time to take at least a year off from intense running after Boston. (I’m not saying I will completely stop running, but definitely long distances.) There are also things going on with my health right now, that I’m not willing to share on the blog, that suggest a break is what I need.
So in 2017, my ‘goals’ are:
1. Finish my 2nd and 3rd semesters of grad school.
2. Have fun running Boston and accept what my body is able to do on that day.
3. Take a real break from running after Boston.
4. Accept that I am still learning and take each day one at a time.
In reading everyone else’s goals for 2017, it is hard to not compare or feel like I’m falling behind, but I know that these goals are what’s right for me right now, and that I have plenty of time to accomplish my long-term visions for myself as a runner. Sometimes short-term breaks are necessary to move forward long term.