Hooray! Marathon Training Week has arrived! I’m starting off my 20-week training cycle with a Rest Day (duh) after a few weeks off of training (two weeks off running altogether) and working a lot on strength and attending regular weekly yoga classes. This seemed like a good day to reflect more on last year’s goals, as I set off for new achievements in 2017.

A lot of things changed in 2016, including the goals that I set for running. For starters, I had no idea in setting these goals that I would be living in a different place; so by March when we made our big move to Des Moines, I knew it would take some time to not only adjust but also get back into a running grove. Strangely, I spent the early part of 2016 dealing with some weird knee pain during my runs and then another 6 months or so of a foot issue – I was convinced it was a stress fracture. Though an x-ray showed nothing… and it basically stopped bothering me after that same doctor’s appointment. WEIRDNESS. In any event… these were my 5 Goals for 2016:

Run a 2-hour half marathon
700 miles for the year
Run another full marathon
Do a Ragnar or 50k
Run in costume

WELP.

I did PR my half marathon, but I have another 12 minutes to shave off before meeting that 2-hour goal.
I ran 512.97 miles in 2016, and while an increase over the 28.18 miles I completed in 2015, it was not anywhere close to 700!
Maybe if I trained and ran that full marathon. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There were no ultras or Ragnars for me — but I did discover trail running!
And I never had enough confidence to be in costume during a race (though I did have a lot of fun this year).

I didn’t feel like this year was one big failure though AT ALL. I really enjoyed most of my race experiences and the challenge of trail racing completed a really awesome year for me. I left 2016 feeling REALLY accomplished and ready to take on bigger challenges this year.

So what’s next?
What’s that saying: If at first you don’t succeed, try try again? I had a lot of fun getting faster this year — when a PR slaps you in the face multiple times, there’s no way to not feel a sense of accomplishment from all the hard work. This year while I’m not quite so focused on time goals, I do want to be sure that I realize my full potential.

And that’s what I plan to do: TRAIN HARD.

Oh yeah, and in 2017 I’ll find myself in a new age group and being called things, like, a Masters runner.

That said, my 2017 goals look pretty similar to 2016:

running-goals-for-2017

I have a pretty full running schedule for the year (with accompanying PTO already requested), and I’m really excited about how this year will unfold — particularly the destination races that I’m registered for. I’m running 2 marathons in 2017 (Vermont City and Chicago), so there’s a good chance of maybe possibly getting a marathon PR (Though it’s not really my focus this year, I know sometimes these things happen organically).

Chicago will be something of a training run for MY FIRST 50K. Yep, I signed up for the GOATz 50k that happens in October. Several people in my trail running circle have said it’s a great beginner 50k. Plus there is a really amazing trail running community in the Omaha area!

I’m signed up for my first Ragnar race in March — with complete strangers (well, with internet friends who I haven’t met yet IRL)! I have a lot to learn still about these races and I’m sure the experience will push me out of my comfort zone in a completely new way.

Another goal this year is to volunteer and continue supporting the running community in different ways. I intend to sign up for a race day Cheer or Aid Station to support my fellow local runners and be more involved with organizations like Girls on the Run and the Courage League. I participated in Girls on the Run this fall as a Running Buddy, and it was an incredible experience; I really want to focus on giving back even more next year.

Mileage goals? Meh. The miles will come, and I know a year with two marathons and a 50k will likely push me over the 1,000 mark in 2017. But I’m going to let all that come naturally. I was intentional with my race scheduling to allow for some down time, with plenty of recovery weeks to prevent burnout and injury.

I may or may not gain enough confidence to wear a costume in 2017, but I want to encourage those who do. I want to be surrounded by people who challenge me and who can also make me laugh and help pass the miles — because there will be a lot of them this year! I’ve already made some amazing connections being part of the BibRave community as an ambassador in 2016, and I get the opportunity to continue that partnership in 2017. Likewise, I’m already looking forward to exploring more trails with the CS Turkeys and gaining All The Knowledge about running an Ultra.

This is going to be an awesome year! But first… MARATHON TRAINING.