In my last post I described how and why I got back into running after such a long layoff from it. Sure I ran in high school to compete and to expend energy, but in adulthood, I picked it up again as a form of therapy and an escape from the madness of everyday life. In looking back I am so glad I picked it up again and now that I have, what’s next?
In 2017, I ran more races than I ever thought I would run. By the time this year is complete, I will have run 12 races and all of them at different distances. For comparison purposes, I ran three races in 2016 and one each year before that dating back to 2012.
The amount of races this year however speaks to something I wrote about in another previous post with regards to goal setting. I’ve heard the excuse that “running can be boring”. I know that not everyone will be crazy about running like I am but in order to continuously experience some of the positive vibes that running can give you, setting goals for yourself via races can definitely help you accomplish that.
When i was rejected for the NYC Marathon lottery numerous years in a row, I decided to try my luck at the NYC Half Marathon lottery. In my first shot, I got accepted! The race happened this past March but It was around Thanksgiving 2016 I believe when i got the acceptance email from New York Road Runner Club about my entry into the NYC Half Marathon. I had been running in 2016 on a more consistent basis than previous years but my runs were never longer than 4-5 miles. After the excitement of my acceptance into the NYC half marathon sunk in, I began to realize that I would have to step up my training to a place I have NEVER been to before. I don’t think I ever ran more than 6 miles in any one run, not in high school, not after college, not even in my sleep! Now I had to work up to close to 13 mile training runs since the half marathon was going to be 13.1 miles. Further, the reality of it was that I was gong to have to do this in the dead of winter.
Forget everything I had ever learned about running – this was going to be dedication, commitment and a bit of guts to run in the cold! As December started, I started to increase my miles. Holiday parties and lunches kept getting in the way though! Then i caught the flu just after new years! Training kept getting derailed every time I was ready to go on a string of consistent workouts. Finally in late January and in February I got it together. By early March I had gotten up to 9 mile runs. I felt great about it all. Then about a week before the race, NYC got slammed with a snow storm NYC got slammed with a snow storm in March! I think I ran once in the final week leading up to the race. Heck there was even snow on the ground still on race day. But the race came and went and the crowds and my workouts gave me enough to get thru the race relatively easy. The feeling at the end of the race was like none I had ever felt before, not even in high school. This led me to give the New York Road Runners an opportunity to give me an entry into the 2018 NYC Marathon. To earn that though I would have to run 9 of their races in 2017 and volunteer to work one. Thankfully I completed that and then some.
So now my goals have shifted to November in 2018 when I attempt to run the NYC Marathon then. In the meantime, I’ll continue to set shorter term goals in an effort to beat some of the times I established in 2017. It’s exciting to think of each of these goals that I have set as a test for myself that only I can pass. There are no teammates or no superstars on this team whose shoulders I can hop on. Only me. Me chasing those feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment that I felt this past March.
Those feelings I describe are something that I wish all of you could experience. It isn’t something thats unique to me. Just go out set a goal, work hard for it, and conquer it. It really is that easy. Please reach out to me if you think it’s not. I would love to help you all get to that place of reaching your goals!