I know we’re one week into 2016, but I wanted to fully celebrate 2015 and slowly begin the new year before talking about what’s ahead. Lately, there’s been so much discussion on social media about resolutions–to make them or not to make them? The first time I really thought about my opinion of resolutions was last year, when I ran my first full marathon on January 11. That was a milestone I had been training to achieve for about six months. One day in July 2014, I started training for a half marathon. In November 2014, I decided to continue training for the full marathon. Only days into 2015, I ran that full marathon. I didn’t wait for a new year to begin training. In fact, the new year was almost the finish line. And the first of seven races in 2015.
If you consider the root of the word (resolve), it means to find a solution. A solution is needed when there’s a problem. There was no problem that led me to run a marathon. I wanted to train for and run it to celebrate my health and to prove to myself that I could. This is why I don’t like the idea of resolutions. However, if you’ve read my blog before, you know that I’m a goal setter. I’m not afraid to set a goal any day of the year and begin working to achieve it. I try to surround myself with people who do the same. The beginning of a fresh year does feel like a great time, though, to set goals for the 365 days ahead.
First, let’s talk fitness. When I think about the seven races I ran last year, only three of them were planned before January 1. I set three goals to run races in Orlando, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver. Along the way, I said yes to training for races in Toronto, New Hampshire, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. While I consider myself a planner, I’m proud that I said yes to a few spontaneous challenges. For this reason and a few others, it’s hard for me to say how many times I’ll say yes to races in the coming year. Right now, I have two registrations and plans for two more.
In two weeks, I’ll be running the 3M Half Marathon in Austin with my mom. This will be a fun run. In August, I’ll be running Lululemon’s SeaWheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver for the second time. This time with a group of 10 of my favorite fitness bloggers. I was also asked to run a spring marathon with a brand but had to decline because I’ll be traveling to Italy and Spain in April.
While I love destination races, the two races that will be my major goals for this year will take place in New York. I hope to PR at the Brooklyn Half Marathon in April and the New York City Marathon in November. All other races will be fun runs or training runs for my goal races. In 2015, I felt like I had to aim for a PR at each race. But really, I’m a moderately-paced runner who races for more than the time on my watch. Two big goals is enough for me. I’m still waiting to register for each of these races but will get a bib no matter what it takes.
I’d be happy adding another 2-3 races to my calendar. I hope to run a Ragnar Relay with Team Nuun at some point and also to run one or two other destination half marathons. I’d love suggestions from races you’ve loved, especially for September and October!
While my blog focuses on fitness, I am setting goals in other areas of my life. I plan to grow in the role I created for myself at work by learning new skills and attending conferences in 2016. I’d also like to set a few goals around cooking and sleeping, as I don’t do enough of either. Finally, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I chose one word to set the tone for 2016. You can find out what that is here. If you chose a word for 2016, I’d love to hear about it.
I hope you set a few big, scary goals for 2016, as well. I don’t think resolutions are terrible, but they often lack a specific plan. Decide what you want to do. Give yourself a deadline. Surround yourself with people who will help you get there. And don’t forget to cut yourself some slack when there are setbacks. I know that this time next year, we’ll all have dozens of finish lines to celebrate!