Before I launch into today's topic, I have exciting news! I have been named a Nuun Ambassador for 2018! I was introduced to Nuun (pronounced "noon") products back when I first started training for endurance events, which was nearly ten years ago. I can say with complete honesty drinking Nuun is part of my everyday routine, so I am really excited to represent this great company and spread the Nuun love! They have a variety of products, so head over to www.nuunlife.com and check them out!
And now let's talk about something a lot of running blogs are probably focusing on right now (no, not a holiday gift guide for runners!). I'm talking about goals. December is a great time to reflect on the past year and decide what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. I went back to my post from January 1, 2017, which stated my 2017 goals, to see how I fared. Not bad! I did not break three hours in the marathon, but I did stick with my goals of stretching and foam rolling, and keeping my easy runs truly an easy pace.
I listened to a podcast today that featured Cindra Kamphoff, a performance psychologist. She mentioned "ink it, just don't think it" when it comes to goal setting, which I absolutely love. She went on to reference a Harvard study that indicated those who wrote down their goals at graduation were significantly more successful thirty years later than those who did not write down their goals. So here we go, you heard (or read) it here: in 2018, I want to run a sub 3 hour marathon, and I want to break 1:30 in the half marathon, which I should be able to do quite easily but it hasn't happened yet.
Those are my big goals. They seem huge and intimidating, so it's time time to break it down into more manageable pieces and ask myself on a monthly, weekly, daily basis, how I am going to make this happen. I am going to continue with what I started this year, stretching and keeping easy runs truly easy, and add two more things: consistent strength training 2-3 times per week, and incorporating more marathon pace miles into my training. I want my legs to memorize what 6:52 pace feels like so that on race day it feels familiar, not foreign.
The great thing about goals is you can adjust them as needed. Resolutions tend to be black and white, but goals can change their shape based on how you are progressing and what, if any, curve balls life is throwing at you.
One more thing - make sure your goals are challenging but within your reach. On the flip side, don't set the bar too low. Given my marathon PR, a 1:30 half is probably within my reach without too much of a stretch, so let's say 1:29 instead.
My goals are set, now it's time to plan out my race calendar!