Friday, November 26, 2010

Thinking Ahead (Already)

Happy New Year!

I'm skipping right past Thanksgiving and Christmas-related posts, working a little ahead of schedule and ready to write my goals-for-the-next-year post.

I prefer not to call these resolutions. It seems to me that people who make resolutions think about them for a few weeks or even a few months at the beginning of the year, then they fall back into their old habits.

Having something that pushes me through the whole year works better for me.

It's probably not surprising that I've been starting to think of my goals for next year. Luckily, most of my goals I set for this year have been checked off - some readjusted a few times to raise the bar just a little bit higher.

Yesterday, on the ride to TC's family's Thanksgiving get-together, was the first time I'd spoken aloud about my plans for next year. Until then, they'd just been ideas in my head.

Today, the #dailymilemission directly asked: What are your 2011 goals?

Having just had the conversation less than 24 hours earlier, I didn't have to give it much thought.

I like to think that my annual goals push me just a little bit, but aren't so outlandish that I'm setting myself up for failure. I also try to vary my goals enough that I'll be focused on various aspects of my training and fitness - distance, time and events.

That being said, in 2011, I will:

Log 3,000 miles in a combination of running and cycling.
Last year's goal challenged me to run/bike 2,010 miles in 2010. I'd never really tracked my mileage for an entire year, so I didn't know what to expect. I surprised myself when I hit that mark relatively early, during my September vacation to the Napa Valley.

My increased efforts on cycling certainly helped this venture - it's easy to knock out consecutive 100-mile weeks during the summer riding season. I want to make sure that I don't take the "easy" way out - if logging 3,000 mile can be considered easy - so I will add a qualifier that the 3,000 miles be made up of 1,000 miles of running and 2,000 miles of cycling.

Run the Boston Marathon and raise $4,000 (or more!) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team In Training.
That was a relatively obvious to add to the list, since I've already signed the paperwork and started training and fundraising.

Still, I didn't want to diminish that this is most certainly a "goal" that needs to be included for 2011. The thought of running another marathon is still a little daunting - and doing so while raising more than $4,000 give me stomach flip-flops.

I'll be happy to check this one off early in the year - April, 18, 2011, to be exact.

Complete a Century Ride.
This is the only carry-over from this year's list of goals. (*sigh*) Truth be told, I probably could have squeezed a 100-miler in somewhere during the late summer or fall, but just didn't. I don't have any excuses or reasons, it just didn't make it to the top of the priority list.

That will change in 2011. A century ride's going on the calendar, just as soon as I decide which one to do.

Run a sub-9 pace for a 10K (or longer) race.
Despite the fact that I continue to get stronger and faster, I've only run one race at a sub-nine minute miles - my very first 5K three years ago. Honestly, I have no idea how that happened.

More recently, I ran 9-minute-miles when I broke the 2-hour barrier in my first half-marathon of the year last February and my more recent half-marathon and relay paces range somewhere from 9:10-9:20, so I'm pretty confident that I can eek out a sub-nine early on in the year.

I included this goal on the list because I want to be sure to continue speed efforts, in addition to the distance training that will naturally come with marathon training.

There you have it, my plan for 2011.

Or at least a rough draft. Writing out my goals makes me wonder if I can push myself just a little bit more. Perhaps 3,300 miles - which would mean a coast-to-coast distance? Or perhaps I can manage a race at an 8:45 pace? Or 8:30's?

Who know what I can do.

The nice thing about goal is that they're a starting point - at least that's how I think of them. Goals give me something to focus on up ahead, then when I reach it, I can look a little farther down the road.

But all this is about next year. I've still got six more weeks or so of this year.

And, more immediately, I still have 18 miles to run in the next five days to make my goal of having a 100-mile running month in November.

**REMEMBER, I'm running the Boston Marathon to help save lives!**
Please visit my fundraising page to support a good cause and learn more about a very special little boy. Thank you for your support!


  1. Excellent goals! I totally agree about new year's resolutions too, I never make any.
    Best of luck :-)

  2. Wonderful goals! Happy new year


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