After writing my 2016 goal recap post, I realized that I set the bar a little low. Which, is totally fine given that when I set those goals I was three months postpartum and wasn’t sure how my schedule would go with working full time and raising a baby. I wasn’t sure if I’d even be motivated to workout four or five days a week, let alone my normal six to seven with the occasional double day (nor would I have the time, I assumed).
But life has changed a lot in the last year. I changed my lifestyle to one that makes our entire family happier – I get to spend the majority of my day with my daughter, I get the satisfaction of a career through my Beachbody coaching and part time digital marketing consulting, I spend more quality time with my husband thanks to the flexibility of our schedules, and I have more opportunities to workout and train – with or without Siena. In fact, I consider working out my job now that I’m a Beachbody coach. It’s pretty amazing!
That’s not to say there aren’t the struggles of balancing it all. As I shared in my post about why I was on the fence about training for the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon, which I signed up for before I actually ran the New York Marathon (which I suffered immensely during), the extended time away from home to train for a marathon has put some strain on my relationship with Mike in the past. However, after I wrote that post, Mike and I had a long talk about what it means to me to train for the marathon and how we can make both of us happier if I pursue Mountains 2 Beach. At the time, Mike wasn’t training for anything becuase he felt like he couldn’t – but I’ve helped him realize that we both can pursue our fitness goals. He supports me in this and that was my main concern when I was on the fence about it.
The other concerns I had – whether or not my heart was truly in it – are gone. I was definitely in a post-marathon slump when I wrote that post and the pain of the NYCM was still fresh. I’m ready to train for this marathon and I’m ready to give it my all. I learned that I don’t like to train without a serious goal. I want a marathon PR and that is my main goal for 2017. And yes, that PR would likely mean a BQ given my current PR is 3:35:26 BUT the goal isn’t to BQ. I’m done with letting some arbitrary time qualification dictate my success. I want to be my PERSONAL BEST, whether that’s a BQ time or not, or if it means I actually make the time cut off and am eligible to run the race or not.
I’m happiest when I’m making progress in running. When I’m pushing myself, feeling strong and good. I struggled a lot in 2016 with the fact that I continued to feel slow yet I wasn’t doing a lot to change that. Yes, I was still doing speed work once a week but I wasn’t pushing myself in the speed work like I should have (especially mentally given I did the majority on the treadmill while watching Scandal!) and I wasn’t doing all of the other things that you need to do to move forward – work on my form, get plenty of rest, stretch & foam roll, incorporate race pace into the end of long runs, etc. Maybe I could get away with skipping those things 7 years ago but I’m getting older and chasing around a baby all day keeps me on my feet all day. While I set a good endurance foundation for myself in 2016, 2017 is going to be about sharpening everything and getting myself ready for a great race at Mountains 2 Beach.
I’ve officially joined the Seaside Striders Running Club and the coach, Jim, has been giving me plans for the last four weeks and I’ve been attending the Wednesday group speed workouts and Saturday long runs. I’ve already seen improvement in my running and Jim is coaching me on my running form as well. He believes that I have it in me to PR and from what I’ve been told by the other runners, he would not tell me that if he didn’t believe it. Do I believe it? Well, yes. But do I know it’ll happen at Mountains 2 Beach? No. Big goals are meant to be scary – if we knew we’d achieve them, they wouldn’t really be goals right? I’m ready to put in the work and see what happens on race day.
That being said, here are my 2017 fitness goals:
- Set a PR (sub 3:35:26) at the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon.
- Strength train, including at least one leg specific workout, three times per week (this will be all Beachbody programs).
- Foam roll and stretch at least twice a week.
- Schedule recovery into my weekend to allow myself to recover from long runs (i.e. don’t plan a million activities and schedule a nap or at least couch time!).
- Fuel my body with healthy foods, especially after tough workouts and long runs. Don’t use hard workouts as an excuse to eat low quality foods (though some on occasion are totally fine!).
As you can see, these all revolve around the marathon, though I hope to continue most of them after the race, especially the healthy eating strength training. While I still would consider my diet healthy, I’ve noticed over the last six months or so that I’m dropping some of my healthier habits (like I eat toast for a snack instead of almonds now that I’m home and work near the kitchen and a toaster!). I’d like to refocus and remind myself that sweets are meant to be a treat, not a nightly occurrence. Luckily my challenge groups help with this as I’m inspired and motivated by my fellow challengers.
After some relaxing downtime over the holidays, I’m ready to focus in 2017. Let’s do this!
What are your 2017 goals? What do you think is the most important non-running aspect of a successful marathon (i.e. stretching, nutrition, etc…)?