Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Resolutions, Part #1 (2013-2015)

I have set New Year's Resolutions since I started running. Usually, I reach for pretty lofty goals with a mix of other goals. This gives me a pretty even mix of "succeed" and "did not succeed." I figure it might be fun to look at some of the old resolutions, see what worked and what didn't before laying out my goals for this year.

"Running" Resolutions for 2013:
1. Get down to 150 lbs
2. Run a half marathon
3. Run a full marathon
4. Train more on roads
5. Go barefoot
I didn't really need to get down to 150 lbs. The lowest I weighed was 155, which was quite lean. I miss fitting into the really skinny jeans, but have to admit I think I run stronger and farther at 160. Of course, right now I'm at 170... So maybe that could change.

I did run a half marathon in 2013, and a full marathon. That was pretty cool. 5/12/13 I ran the Providence Half Marathon, and 10/20/13 was the year I ran the Baystate Marathon. I had such a blast in those races. I'll remember them forever.

Number 4 was about the fact that I had done so much training on treadmills. I really wanted to get out and see some new stuff on the roads! I've since become a road and trail-exclusive runner. I really don't care for the treadmill much these days.

Lastly, I really wanted to be a barefoot runner. I still do, as a matter of fact, but I've allowed the barefoot days to be few and far between in the interest of keeping my mileage up. To really go barefoot, I would need to slow down a lot, run a lot easier, and for shorter miles. In the years since setting this goal I've worked up to about three milers barefoot, with an average pace in the mid-9s. That isn't bad, but if I can race faster in a glove, then I choose to do that more of the time. Who knows, though, maybe I should set a goal to race barefoot this year, time be damned.

Resolutions for 2014:

1. Swim in the Atlantic Ocean once every month
2. Sub-20 5k
3. 1:30 HM
4. More barefoot running.
5. Trail Running
6. 3:20 M
7. Maintain 150 lbs for the year
8. Vegan for two months of the year (non-consecutive)
9. Run a trail race
10. Run the Hat Trick @ Heartbreak Hill

#1 came about because I had done the polar bear plunge two years in a row. I also live within a twenty minute drive of the Atlantic, and I consider it silly that I see it as infrequently as I do. I'd still like to do this goal, although I have no idea how I'll set up the time for it with the child running around. Priorities, people. I'm not afraid of the cold, either. I checked the water temps back in 2014, and they weren't worse in February or March than they were in January. I just couldn't find the time to get to the water and jump in during those months...

I still really want to run a sub-20 5k. I don't know when that will happen, but I leave it up on the list as a goal, just as I do with the 1:30 HM. Those are real reach goals, but maybe some day I'll be able to achieve them.

I also like to keep my focus on the barefooting, and trail running. Back in 2013 I ran my first trail race, the Leadville 10k, and I absolutely loved it. I haven't had much more opportunity for trail races out here, but in 2015 I did do quite a bit more hiking, which was so much fun.

#7 didn't happen, for the reasons listed above.

#10 was an event that Runner's World put on in Newton, MA in 2014. It was a three race weekend, with a 5k, 10k and Half-Marathon. The event was a lot of fun, but sadly didn't return in 2015. I have a lot of fun stories from that weekend, and I would love for them to bring it back so I can revisit the fun of the event.

Resolutions for 2015:

  1. Run two marathons
  2. PR the Half Marathon
  3. Sub-20 5k
  4. 45-minute 10k
  5. Everest over the course of 1 year (29,029 ft. of climbing)
  6. Blog

I didn't achieve #1 because I had injured myself in training for the Providence Marathon last year. I really wanted to run it, and I think the most realistic way for me to achieve that goal currently is to run a spring marathon and then a fall marathon. I'm not really sure how I would achieve the goal otherwise.

I didn't PR the Half Marathon this year, either, although I came within spitting distance of my PR at the Jamestown HM. With a 1:40:16 I didn't PR on that race -- but I was still really happy with it time be damned. It was a good effort and it was proof that I was ready for the Baystate Marathon a month later.

Still no sub-20 5k, and I didn't even race a 10k in 2015. I have technically covered 6.2 in that amount of time, by the way, but in a longer race, so I don't count it. Maybe 2016 will be the year of the 10k? We shall see...

Everest-ing was a goal I made because I've been interested in increasing my climbing skills, especially as I learn more about Big Sur. I actually managed to climb 45,095 ft. in 2015, so if I set an elevation goal again I feel like I could set a pretty ambitious one.

Lastly, you're reading #6 now.

I have to take some time and think about my 2016 resolutions now. I'll do a part 2 post pertaining to them, perhaps next week. With regards to running: I'm trying some new things this year in hopes to spur me to really decide what I want out of running. The goal can't always be faster, I also need to think about going farther, and maintaining good form.

I'm sure I'll have some blog related goals, and some parenting goals. I need to learn a lot more about parenting, and I think part of that will be doing a lot of reading and interacting with other dads. I want to keep using the resolutions to build on my ability as an athlete, but also branch that ambition into other areas of my life.

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