Before I dive into my running goals for 2017, I want to recap my running goals for 2016 of which there were two. One I spoke about constantly and even resulted in me starting this blog. The other was a lesser known goal which I rarely spoke about, but I still would have liked to hit it.
Let’s start with the later one as that is easier to talk about. At the start of the year, I really wanted to run 2,016 kilometres. I quietly set the same goal in 2015, but fell short by 166 kilometres that year, mostly due to injuries and relatively light training programs (4 days/week as opposed to the 5 days/week plans I started following this year). I got off to a great start in 2016 when I ran 323 kilometers in January, the highest monthly total in the 2 1/2 years of running leading up to that month.
The next two months were also above 300, but the totals started to dip under 300 as I started to taper for the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon in May. I started piling on the kilometers following the marathon and on August 8th, it happened! I surpassed 2,016 kilometers just 8 months into the year! I’m on track to surpass 3,000 kilometers for 2016 which will far exceed my expectations.
To put this goal into perspective, here is a breakdown of my yearly running totals since I started running:
- 2013 (Started June 23rd) – 455.1km
- 2014 (IT Band Injury) – 528.9km
- 2015 (Shoulder Injury) – 1,828km
- 2016 (Injury free!) – 2,824km and counting!
My first goal, if it’s not already obvious, was a Boston Qualifying time. In the beginning of the year, I documented this goal on a chalkboard hanging on a wall at The Runner’s Academy. I ran two marathons up to this point and finished them in a time of 3:49 and 3:33 respectively. I needed a 3:15 to qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon, but wanted to be realistic about it. I would age up for the 2018 Boston Marathon which meant my qualifying time would jump to 3:25! I started to train harder and was talked into attempting a qualifying time of 3:15 at the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon. I pulled off a 3:13:42 which was good enough for a BQ and a 20 minute personal record! I eventually missed the cut for the 2017 by 51 seconds, but this leads us to my goals for 2017.
Goal #1 – Get To Boston!
Getting to Boston is a lot different than simply qualifying to get to Boston. I need a 3:25 (plus enough time to make the cutoff) to get to Boston in 2018 and I’m going to give myself the best opportunity to get there at the Mississauga Marathon on May 7th, 2017. I’ll be starting an 18-week training plan the first week of January and plan on making a few modifications to ensure I’m in the best running shape of my life (or close to it!). It was a nerve-wracking experience waiting to hear my fate; come next September, I want to register the first week so I don’t have to sweat it out! Just like I did with previous marathon training plans, I’ll be documenting my journey right here on my blog!
Goal #2 – Break 3:10 in the Marathon Distance
Just because I get ten extra minutes to qualify for Boston, it doesn’t mean I’m going to take it easier in May. I was on track to run a 3:07 marathon at the 30 kilometre mark at Goodlife, but I didn’t have the endurance to carry me through the final 12 kilometres. The weather also took a toll on me with nasty headwinds the final 5-6 kilometres. I’m planning on tweaking my training plan to build endurance over the Winter. If it doesn’t happen in May, I’ll attempt this time again when I run Chicago in October.
Goal #3 – Break 1:30 in the Half Marathon Distance
When I made the final turn at the Chilly Half Marathon on March 6th, 2016, I couldn’t believe what I saw. The clock at the finish line read 1:29 and change. I eventually crossed the finish line at 1:30:44 for a 5 minute personal record! This was the first time in my short running career that I realized I had potential to be a decent runner. I’m returning to the Chilly Half on March 5th, 2017 with plans on breaking 1:30:00!
Goal #4 – Better understanding of my running potential
I started the year off with three huge PRs in the half, 30K, and marathon distances. After completing these races, I started to wonder if I had reached my running potential. The only way to know this is to modify my training plans to increase my speed and improve my endurance (this is one area where I know for certain I can improve!). I am a huge advocate for Strava as it’s a great way to reflect on specific runs and analyze races; however, it’s not something I need to actively do. My watch automatically uploads my runs to Garmin Connect which then sends the data to Strava.
To ensure I am actively tracking my goals and results, I purchased the Believe Logbook created by professional runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas. I’m excited about documenting my journey and will be sharing my entries during my weekly marathon training updates on my blog.
Goal #5 – Have More Fun!
Towards the end of the year, I started to get really worn out from training. I tried to balance race quality and quantity and it became a little too much to handle. I ran 9 races including three marathons, one 30K, three half marathons, one 10K, and one 8K race. I felt as if I was always training and never actually running for fun. Next year will be about quality races over quantity. My goal will never be defined by how many medals I collect, rather it will be a result of balancing hard work and having fun!
QOTD: Do you have any running goals for 2017? If so, I’d love to hear them! If not, think of one and write it down and post it somewhere so you can refer to it from time to time and track your progress!