2014 was a year of rest for me. Not complete rest. But, no races, no set training goals, just learning to love running again and focusing on staying injury free. After injury prone 2013, burn out, and even worse, doubt, crept into my training and combined to make me forget how much I love this sport. So, I took the year off. I ran when I felt like it, walked when I didn’t; cycled a lot; hiked with my man from the mountains and beaches of the Big Island, to the urban intensity of NYC and New Orleans, and multiple spots in between. And, guess what? I ended the year injury free, and renewed my love affair with running to the point that I’m ready to hit the ground running (pun intended, lame as it is) in 2015.
To that end, I’ve set some goals. I usually set my yearly goals on my birthday (in October), but I even took the year off from that last year.
Fortunately, I’ve been a runner long enough to know that comeback is the name of the game. There will always be another injury or illness to recover from, always be down time to rev back up, always be another race down the road to make up for the one you bailed on when you had chills and fever. New years, new challenges, new goals. I live in conscious and constant thankfulness for that truth.
As always, my goals are simple. I’m a pretty uncomplicated gal. Unless you ask my man. So, here are my goals, for what they’re worth. I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments.
1) Get back to racing form/weight/endurance. As I think back over decades of struggles with weight, I realize that the desire to be “thin” left me when I started running. That’s weird to think about now, but my goal has gone from being that “perfect” weight that society or some doctor decreed was “normal” to being the optimum weight to feel good, run well, and race faster. I would share my goal weight here, but it’s a constantly moving target as I move forward and decide what feels right. The number isn’t that important to me anymore, the way I feel is. And, of course, I would like to be faster. I heard or read the other day that for every pound you lose, you shave 2 seconds off your time. So… losing a thousand pounds ought to be just about right. 😉
2) Remain injury free. I’ve learned the best way to do that is to ease back into a training plan and listen, listen, listen to my body. I’m not a runner who can race a lot, for whatever reason, so I have to be very conscious of selecting races/training plans that challenge me, but don’t require me to run myself into the ground. Because I love the half marathon distance, I don’t sprinkle many 5k’s or 10k’s in my year. I hope one day to run another marathon, but I have some very specific criteria for myself about deciding when or if to do that.
3) Read more. I have at least six books stacked on my shelf, calling my name, and a list of titles on my iPad at least 5 times that long. So many books, so little time. So, I’m going to use my time more wisely.
4) Connect with friends more. I tend to be a solitary soul, given my choice. But, whenever I connect with my friends, I remember how much I love good company. I have terrific friends and I’ve joined a couple of groups toward that end. More on that later.
5) Seek God’s presence in my day to day life in a more intentional way.
6) Accept where I am, dream of where I want to be, work like heck to get there.
Simple list. Ongoing goals that I’ve set before, and come back to again and again. Yep, forever the Comeback Kid. I’ll take that.