As runners, there are many ways to establish goals, the most common being the finish time on the clock at your races. Earning a new Personal Best time is always very satisfying, but sometimes not the easiest thing to do. Some runners prefer to run as many races as possible, while others race just a few times a year to have a better chance at improving their speed. There are clubs such as Marathon Maniacs and Half Maniacs for those runners who do alot of races of those distances close together. This is something that I have avoided as an older runner, but is very popular for some. Going back to the fall of 2010, when I first laced up a pair of running shoes, I just tried to survive half marathon training so I could get to the starting line of the Princess Half in one piece. But here are the five biggest running goals that I have accomplished, while none except one includes the time element.
1. My first and only running goal was to complete the 2011 Princess Half Marathon and hang up said running shoes. While the race did not turn out exactly as we had planned, the discovery for me that I enjoyed racing and running was made. More running was in my future and I came home from the race weekend excited about choosing my next race.
2. My second goal was to complete a runDisney coast to coast challenge (running a half marathon at Disneyland and at Disney World during the same calendar year) which would result in a lovely medal for the accomplishment. Talking my sister into traveling to California was not too hard and by the end of 2011, I was hooked on the sport. After completing this goal, I scoured the internet for more races and the obsession had begun. Still training on my own and using books and the Jeff Galloway training plans I found online helped me gain more speed as I raced more frequently.
3. Several months later, I made the decision to run a marathon. Why would I want to make this easy on myself? With just over two years of running under my belt, after my start to running, I challenged myself with not just the marathon distance, but the Goofy Challenge as my first experience running 26.2 miles. This was not the easiest way to start running marathons, but it was the reason I started because I loved the runDisney races. After following a training plan and achieving this goal of running a half marathon and then a full marathon the next day, it was time to consider what would be next.
4. When the announcement came that runDisney was offering the Dopey Challenge in January of 2014, four races in four days including the Family 5k, the Minnie 10k, the Donald Half Marathon and the Mickey Marathon, I knew this was the perfect way to celebrate a milestone birthday. So to celebrate my 60th birthday, I ran all these races with Christine after training for 5 months. We worked really hard to make the marathon our goal race and both of us had PR's by a substantial amount, I was even within striking distance of a Boston Marathon qualifying time missing it by just over 6 minutes.
|Dopey Challenge complete|
|The flowers I received from Christine and the book on my night stand after the race!|
6. Bonus goal: In just a few weeks, I will be lining up with thousands of other runners in Greenwich, England to run the London Marathon. This will be my third marathon major and while I don't have a specific time goal in mind, I hope to be finished around 4:35-4:45. With my training a little behind due to my January IT band injury, I'm being cautious so I complete the race with a smile.
How do you establish your running goals? Do you make new goals each year?