Some Goals for 2014 (Notice I Didn’t Say Resolutions!)

I don’t like making New Year’s Resolutions. At all. Let’s face it, they usually don’t stick. But I DO like making goals for myself, and hopefully I can stick to them for 2014. I don’t think that my goals are ridiculous by any means (well, to some they just might be) but I find time and time again they simply aren’t reached. I realize that by spinning my wheels and not really applying myself, I will never reach these goals, but I need to dig deep in order to push myself harder and dedicate myself to accomplishing my ambitions.

With the holidays and a long, much needed vacation, I found I have missed workout days, gained a few pounds, and have totally fallen off the anti-nutrition wagon. I haven’t really shown very much self control, and one cookie more or less equals five within a minute. Obviously that needs to be put back into check. I recently was able to work on my training calendar for 2014 and start looking for races for the second half of the year (the first three are already registered and on my radar), and it got me excited, I started feeling that drive and passion that I used to have for what I do. Time to kick it up a notch!

1) Run a sub-4 marathon again. It’s been a year and a half since I have done this, and in part I definitely blame myself for simply not trying harder. I know it’s in me, I just haven’t tried. Also, in part, many of my races that I have run weren’t really sub-4 material for me…lots of hills and tricky terrain, or in the case of AC, horrible wind that slowed me down substantially. Then again, I ran a sub-4 at the Hatfield McCoy Reunion, so WHAT excuses do I have?!?! I just need to work on it again, I know I have it in me. I would love to win another finisher award when I return to run HM this year. That should be a goal in itself!

2) Run a 100-mile training week. I know, crazy right? But it’s been something I have been wanting to try for many years, and this spring I am going to attempt an 80-mile week and see how that goes. The highest mileage I ran in a week was 72. High mileage weeks have earned me better marathon times in the past, my best finish time was due, in part, to this. The more I am accustomed to mileage, the easier a marathon will be. So I will try for the 100 mile week most likely in the summer as long as I can remain injury-free.

3) Run a couple smaller races…and race them. I want to see just how well I can run a local 5 or 10-k, and maybe just throw in a half marathon for fun if I can. When you run a marathon you have to be a little more conservative with pace and really hold back or risk burn out. So I would like to look for some more local events and see just how well I can do. I am not fast by any means, but I also think I have it in me to do better than I think.

4) Run an ultra. I have been wanting to run an ultra for years, and I am NOT sure this goal will happen just yet, as my race calendar is more important and I need to make sure I can fit it into the schedule. I am looking at six marathons (meaning six new states) for 2014 and while I definitely have a couple months of just solid training time, there usually aren’t too many local ultras that fall into the down-time.

5) Focus more on solid nutrition.  I really want to focus more on whole foods and less on processed. I did pretty well with that for a while, and want to get back to that place. I am looking into a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for my produce needs, and I am hoping I will be able to secure a membership. I want to snack more on whole foods like fruits, veggies, and nuts and less on things like GF cookies, chips and crackers. I have a real salt tooth and it’s pretty easy to dig into chips and hummus/salsa by the handful, so I need to get myself back into healthy portion control. I do have an app called “My Fitness Pal” that helps me track my calories and activity to ensure I am never under my calorie goals; I never want to under-eat, but I want to maintain a realistic goal for myself to get back to a healthy race weight. The only way to ensure that is by keeping track of it.

6) Drink less. Yup, I admit I enjoy alcohol. I wouldn’t say I am a total booze-hound, but I would like to cut back on the days a week that I enjoy a drink, as well as portion control in terms of servings. It’s pretty easy to misjudge pouring a glass of wine or shot of vodka for that cranberry juice and lime cocktail.

7) Focus on strength, especially core. I am terribly lazy about applying myself and my P90X abs that I once had have gone into serious hibernation mode. My friend J passed on a link to a few 30-Day Challenges that I want to try, one for Core and one for Butt, and many of them are moves based on ones that I did in my P90X and Jillian Michaels workout days. I just need to COMMIT the time, keep track of my progress, and hopefully the results will show!

Sure looks like a lot of goals, and I can’t say whether I will succeed or fail, but putting them down in this blog makes me feel like I now really have some work to do. I hope that I can reach these goals, and perhaps learn a few things along the way. I’m sure there will be a recap at this very time next year!

I wish you all luck as you pursue your own goals for 2014, and may you have a happy and healthy 2014!
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