Goals are wonderful things, so long as you actually believe that you can achieve them. They should be big enough to scare the bajeebus out of you, and yet realistic enough that you think you an achieve them within whatever time period you set yourself. I like to create lofty yearly goals, and then slowly see myself tick them off one-by-one. It’s a great way to see progress throughout the year, and remind yourself of all the incredible things you’ve achieved.
Let’s recap on last year’s goals:
- Sub-3:30 marathon – My main, super scary goal got ticked off at the Berlin Marathon, earning me a spot at Boston Marathon 2019
- Sub-1:40 half-marathon – Only had one shot at this at the Thames Meander Half, and scraped in with 3 seconds spare
- Sub-20 5km – Alas, I didn’t even get remotely close to this. I didn’t even PB at the 5k distance last year.
- Sub-2:45 Olympic triathlon – Finished the London Tri in a whopping 2:37:45. Didn’t even know I was capable of that.
- Run 17 different parkruns in London – Yes! Had so much fun trying out different parkrun events in London each week, and wrote a summary of them all here on the blog.
- Reach 100 parkruns – I was so close but didn’t quite make it. Finished the year with 95 parkruns, which means the 100 t-shirt will be mine in just a few events time.
- Get a coaching qualification – Because of moving to Paris, I decided not to pursue a UK qualification. Perhaps in the future.
- Run a negative-split race – Another yes! Not only did I run a few negative split races, but I ran two negative-split marathons in Reykjavik and Berlin.
- Go for a proper ‘naked’ run (with no watch, no phone, no way of knowing how far or how long run either during or after) – A highlight run of my year, up the Wodi Wodi Trail near Wollongong, Australia with Sye.
- Set a Guinness World Record – 😄 ‘Fastest Marathon dressed as a Cheerleader (female)’ right here thanks 💁
- Raise £2000 for Trekstock through the 26.2 marathons challenge – So far I’ve raised £1000 for Trekstock, which I’m still incredibly proud of. (The fundraising link is still live should you wish to donate too!)
- Give blood – Not running related but I gave blood for the first time in November and helped 7 babies or 3 adults. That’s pretty darn cool.
- No more drinking alcohol (except post-marathon celebrations) – TROLOLOLOL yeah that didn’t happen.
So that was 2017. I remember writing those goals down and thinking “oh my gosh what am I committing myself to”. And yet looking back on the list, I did pretty well! 8/13 is more than half the list. If I can achieve a similar portion of goals in 2018, I will be more than happy.
One of the goals I should have included for 2017 was to continue making progress towards running 26.2 marathons by age 26.2. Last year I ran 10 marathons to bring my total to 15, and this year I need to continue with the momentum and finish the year with 23-25 different marathons completed. I’ve realised by now that running a lot of marathons in a year does take it out of you, so it’s important to recognise this as a goal and celebrate the effort put in.
As for time-based goals, it’s pretty hard right now to think about getting faster because I don’t feel like I’ve made any progress lately. However, a year is a long time, and of course I’d love to PB (or better!) across all distances. For the marathon, my ultimate goal (now that Boston has been achieved) is to qualify for New York marathon, which is sub-3:13. I don’t think that’s going to happen straight away or even this year, so I’ve given myself an interim marathon (and half-marathon) goal too.
Lastly, I’ve signed up to my very first ultra marathon this year, the North Downs Way 50-miler in May. That sort of distance is totally terrifying and foreign to me, but I’m excited to do a lot more trail running and become better running up and down hills.
Here is the full list:
- Sub-3:20 marathon
- Sub-3:10 marathon
- Sub-1:35 half-marathon
- Sub-1:30 half-marathon
- Sub-40 10km
- Sub-20 5km
- Continue making progress towards 26.2 marathon challenge
- Reach 25 volunteers at parkrun
- Run 4 marathons in 4 weeks under 4 hours (In April: Manchester, Brighton, London, Hamburg)
- Run an ultra
- Run the distance of Sydney to Perth (4080km)
- Give a talk at a running event
- Learn French!
YIKES. Can I back out now? No? Time to get training then…