28th November 2011 | Megan
The end of November… a time when gluttony is hidden beneath big sweaters, then juxtaposed with the need to have “good arms” for the cute black dress. I struggle with this even in my leanest, most competitive years but especially in a year like this in which I didn’t have a big “season” of racing and am entering the off-season a little more soft and squishy. So to keep my eye on the prize, it is this week that I put up the holiday decorations, plan the family December and then carefully craft next year’s race season.
Even if you are a newbie at running races, it is good to have a goal in mind. What are your plans for 2012? What do YOU want to accomplish? It doesn’t have to be purely athletic; it could be personal development, a family commitment or just a hobby you would like to delve into more seriously. BUT, it is good for your mind and body to come up with a plan. I also believe it is best to do this now and not wait until January 1st. If you wait until that ominous day you could be caught in the frenzy of radical changes that won’t last more than the month. Start looking now at your goals and match them to events that complement. By doing so now, you will have a solid, confident entry into January.
By planning now, you have a month before January 1st to ruminate; become comfortable with the work that needs to be done and develop a plan and it will keep you in check during December. That extra glass of wine or that peanut butter ball that is staring at you will be easier to put aside. Getting comfortable with the goal for a few weeks before the kick-off date, makes it less daunting.
Is it a few 5Ks that you would like to do? Perhaps increasing your personal best by twenty seconds each race. Or is it a marathon that has you thinking? Are your goals realistic considering your family life, work or other commitments? Will your significant other be supportive or will it be a stressful conversation? Is your body ready for the next level? Do you have the resources to accomplish the goal safely such as a training plan, training partners, a gym if needed or even available daylight. All are points to consider.
I have spent most of today ironing. Not with a board but with a calendar and a pencil, working out the kinks of next year’s schedule. It started with a run and coffee this morning when a good friend said she would like to do a triathlon and a half marathon this year. Her little admission stole my day away. I finished the Christmas decorating then sat in front of the calendar and worked it out.
I have had a rough few years but see light and am planning accordingly. I partially detached my hamstring in 2010, which caused a lot of down time in a year that my family really needed me. Now recovered and rejuvenated, everyone is “on board” and my athletic season is taking shape. This will be a year of Ironman for me. Having just run the Philly Marathon last week, I have proven that my hamstring is on its way back. Not a fast race but a race that showed I could handle the load. I am excited to see what I can do this year and with my family’s support, I feel back in the game.
Goals races don’t have to include a marathon or Ironman. A goal is not determined by the length or distance, rather how it stimulates your own personal growth. Set one. Don’t be happy with, “I just want to be healthy” or “I want to lose a dress size”. Put something out there that is a bit scary or daring…be out of your box for a minute. This is where you grow.
So, I encourage you, get the calendar, and plan it out. How are you going to grow in 2012? Encourage friends to commit with you but do it for yourself.
I am going to shout it from the rooftops, here is my plan for 2012. I am not going to say maybe or have a back-up, I am going to shoot for the stars.
-Bike races- a series of Criterium style races, every weekend in March and April
-Another bike race, undetermined
-Ironman 70.3- Eagleman
-Ironman Lake Placid, to race well enough to qualify for Ironman World Championships in October.
There. I have said it to 10,000 of my closet friends. It is daunting and scary to put it out there but if you don’t you will never know. Get it done!
This post is inspired by a run this morning with a great friend that has also overcome a ldifficult year. I hope she has her pencil and calendar out too. Run on!