Thursday, January 1, 2015

Running Goals for 2015

Happy new year!

It's time to set goals for 2015. Looking back on the past several years, I've decided that five goals is just right. Not too many to lose focus, but not so few that you don't have back-up plans if one goal goes astray. I also like a combination of process and product goals. Hopefully at the end of this year, I'll look back and see that I acheived 5 of 5 goals. At least go 3-2.  In 2014, I was 3 wins, 2 fails. Those are documented here: Did I Reach My 2014 Goals?

1. Qualify for the Boston Marathon. I'd like to run Boston in 2016. If I do, I'll be 50 years old, so I need a finish time of 3:30 before September registration opens to make it to Boston. Since they do a registration lottery based on qualifying times, people usually need to beat their minimum qualifying standard by 2 minutes. I'll need a 3:28 or better. I'll shoot for 3:25 at the Illinois Marathon on April 25. I ran 3:47 at Illinois last year. I can knock off 22 minutes and finish in 3:25 this year. Wildcard is the weather. If it's cool and crisp, I have a great chance of reaching my goal. If warm and humid, not so much. If it doiesn't happen at the Illinois Marathon, I may have to adjust my ultra plans and try for a fall marathon.

2. Set at least one new personal record. If I qualify for Boston, that will be a PR for the marathon distance (best is currently 3:33). If not a marathon PR, then another distance. I have my eye on a new 50-mile trail PR at Tunnel Hill in November (current best is 9:04). I was excited to set a new half-marathon PR in 2014 (1:32), but I think that can be broken again. Maybe a 50K personal best in 2015? Don't care. I just want to keep setting personal records.

3. Finally reach 100 ultra/marathons. I thought it would happen last year, but no such luck. This year will be the one I finally achieve, maybe even break, 100 ultras or marathons. I had 96 at the end of last year. I'll post my proposed 2015 race schedule soon. It'll have me over 100 by December 31.

4. Stay injury-free for the entire year. This is an easy goal to state, but not easy to achieve. I suppose it's also a natural goal for all runners, yet we often fail to take steps to stay injury-free. I did it last year and want to keep that going this year. What does it take? Discipline. Don't push too hard. Take rest days. Push enough, then recover. Don't get too ego-driven. Delay gratification and concentrate on your long term goals. Small, steady steps, lead to significant improvement.

5. Run over 1,600 miles. In good consistent years, I tend to run about 1500 miles. This year I am teaming up with my brother to run 2,015 miles in 2015. It's the "Run the Edge Challenge." I don't think he'll run that many miles, so that means I need more than "my fair share." I probably won't need a full 1600 miles to get us to 2015, but what the heck. We log our individual and team miles each month. It should keep my brother motivated...and me too.

Hope you are setting goals for your own running. Without goals, we are aimless. Don't be an aimless runner!

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