Unlike 2018, I feel like my direction for 2019 is pretty clear. I signed up for 90% of my races by November, and had already started training for some of them by the end of that same month.
While I’m really proud of what I accomplished in 2018, I realized that not having clear direction on my races left things a little chaotic. I’m really driven by having targets to reach and end results to work towards. Ultimately, I completed all of the races I signed up for, but they didn’t get me to my goals of speed targets, etc. I’m going to try to structure 2019 a little differently.
GOAL RACE #1
For 2019, I actually have some direction and a method to my madness. To start, I signed up for my first ultra-marathon. The Antelope Canyon 50 Miler in Arizona. I knew from that start that this was going to dictate some of my other races and the timeline around them, as I wanted to be smart about my training and not put myself at risk of injury. Tie this into the fact that I set a goal of working towards a half marathon or greater in every state, and wanting to make it to every National Park… voila! You have my race strategy.
So for a training run (really, a taper at that point) for AC, I signed up for the Zion Half Marathon in February. I’ve always wanted to check out Zion National Park, and a half marathon there sounded pretty incredible. From that race, I’ll pretty much roll right into the Antelope Canyon 50 in March.
PR GOAL SETTING
After those two races, I won’t have anything else until May when I run the Yosemite Half Marathon. Now this might be the craziest of my goals as I will have done AC a couple of months before, but I’m going to try to PR in this race. Crazy? Maybe. I’m giving myself a little recovery period after AC but after that I’m going to concentrate on training for this downhill course. It could be a great opportunity to PR as my other half marathons for the year have a ton of incline. If my body gives any twinge of ridiculousness to this notion when I’m training, then I’ll back off, but I’m trying to not neglect my speed work and comfort with the half distance as I train for AC, just so that I can be fresh going into Yosemite. Anything faster than a 2:09 half would be a PR. I don’t think I’ll be ready for that sub 2 half coming off of my ultra-training, but I hope to at least get closer to where I once was when the half marathon was my boo.
Once Yosemite is done, I’m taking a race break until the Fall when I participate in the Great Smoky Mountain Black Bear Challenge. A 5k and half marathon that will cross another state and National Park off my list. Training in the Summer in North Carolina is no joke, but I don’t want to make it where I find running unenjoyable because I ‘have’ to get in crazy runs.
GOAL RACE #2
That being said though, my final goal race for the year is the New York Marathon. You may recall from my 2018 recap, but I ran the City of Oaks Marathon in November to fulfill the virtual marathon requirement for NYRR… this essentially guaranteed me a spot for New York 2019. I cannot wait to participate in this iconic race, and we’re going to make it a family trip to the Big Apple.
Completion of these races will bring me to a total of 11 out of 50 states (I’ve already done a race in California so this just bring my total up 4 from the previous 7).
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that with how many races I have participated in since I started running just under 4 years ago, I have never actually supported one. I’ve already signed up to volunteer at one of my destination races (registration the day before I actually run), and I’ve reached out and/or signed up to be a volunteer at some other local races. Whether in an official capacity or cheering along runners throughout the course, I’m going to make a conscious effort to give back to the running community, starting in 2019.
A challenge that I faced in 2018, along with my wonky race schedule, was I set a lofty target to finally get my CPSM, or become a Certified Professional in Supply Management. This was a career goal and a big one; I’ve had it on my radar for a couple of years, but could not seem to make the time for it. So why not do it when I’m busier than ever? Some things had to fall by the wayside. With all of the running and work I was doing, I needed to keep my family as my number one priority (obviously). Bu this meant that I couldn’t spend as much time at the gym or teaching. My work schedule really did make it easy to push-back on those obligations, but it was a hard mindset change from being a gym rat for the two years prior. Ultimately, it was a success and I passed the 3 required exams and received my certification before the end of the year. I’m not going to stop there, but my next target (CPSD), is just one major exam versus the three. Because of the pressure that I put on myself this past year, I need to be smarter about my goals and finding the balance between personal, professional, and overall hobbies.
Finally, I’m setting a lower target of books for 2019. I set a target of reading 38 books in 2018, and was of course, stressing over reaching this by November. Well, I met it (42 actually), but I didn’t like the pressure it put on me. I love reading and also don’t want to take the enjoyment out of it. So for 2019, I’m just aiming for 24. I listen to a lot of books on Audible during my commute or some of my runs, so that helps, but I don’t want to be forced into it. I also now have quite a collection of running and fitness training books that I’d like to make a dent in so that I can work towards those speed and efficiency goals that I have set. So 2019 is going to be the year to make reading a more enjoyable pastime once again. That being said, if I also find some time to dust off my sewing machine or various needlework projects, then great, otherwise, I know they’ll be waiting for me when I’m recovering after AC.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a list-maker and I love crossing things off. Writing everything down, setting dates and charting out plans gives me such satisfaction; especially when I can start crossing things off my list! I’ll try to be better about documenting my progress here, but you can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates and pictures along the way.
What are your 2019 goals? Do you set resolutions or just targets for the year?
What race are you most looking forward to?