Good morning/afternoon/evening etc and Happy New Year. Yes, I am a little (a lot?) belated on this, in fact, I’m not even sure that it’s still ‘okay’ to say “Happy New Year”. I’m sure I’m not the only one to wonder when the cut off point is. Is it still ok in mid January? What about February? I assume March onwards is off the table…but who decides?
Similarly, I know lots of people who don’t conform to the “New Year, New Me” ideology that usually floats around at this time of year. I do agree that you shouldn’t need to wait for a new year/new week/new day to start making changes to your life, or to set new goals for yourself. I find that I am always trying to change, to better myself and my mindset. In my running, I am always looking ahead to set new targets, run another race, or just see how far I can run by a certain date.
However, there is something nice about a new year. Something fresh and clean about turning that calendar page, starting a fresh diary, putting your life and times of the year gone by behind you and looking ahead. I guess because January to December is a nice even 12 months, it’s easy to track, easy to say “I’ll make this one mine!”. Easier, I suppose than starting mid July and then wondering 11 and a half months later when it was you started and what you actually started to begin with!
With that in mind, I’m going to set myself some goals for the coming year. Some I’m hoping I’ll achieve sooner than others and can then update or improve upon. Others may take longer and might be a struggle or a challenge. Either way, I’m looking forward to what I can goals I can reach this year.
1. Run a 5k race
I’ve been running for a while now. On and off for around 7 years and have only really taken it seriously in the last 4 or so. But in all that time, I have never actually taken part in a 5k race. I’ve ran plenty of 5ks as training, so I know roughly in my head what I can do, but I’ve never actually competed. So I’d like to do that and then chip away at the PB.
2. Run at least 5 park runs
While we are on the subject of 5ks and my never having ran one, I’d like to take the chance to admit that I have never ran a park run either (I’m not sure I’m even a real runner). The nearest one to me is 20/25 minutes away and although that’s not that far, on Saturdays I can be quite lazy! So another target for me is to run at least 5 park runs and build from there.
3. Beat my 10k and half marathon PBs
Last year I took part in my first 10k race and I finished it in 43:47 which was a massive PB and I totally surprised myself with it. This year I’d love to smash that again, and get it under 42/43 minutes. Also last year, I took part in a couple of trail half marathons, where my times were well over two hours. This year I’d simply like to compete in more of those types of races. But! I would like to take part in a road half marathon this year and try to beat my PB of 1:48:34.
4. To run another marathon
I’ve only ever finished the one marathon – Edinburgh in 2015 – and I would love to do another one. I have my eye on Stirling at the moment at the end of April, or Loch Ness in September.
5. To run an unltra marathon
This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time and something has always gotten in the way – life, work, an excuse etc. But, this year I would really like to put my mind to it and run an ultra.
6. To compete in at least 10 races
Like I mentioned, I have been running for a while, however I never really took racing seriously until about a year and a half ago. Last year I ran in more races than I have in any year before and this year I would like to up that again.
7. To use my running to see more of Scotland
Last year, I really started to see and use my running as something different. Before, it was a method of keeping fit, burning calories and keeping myself thin. Now, while it still keeps me fit and is a good way to counteract all the stuff I like to eat, I see it as something more. Last year I got to see some amazing places while running in races or just out and about and this year I would like to build on that. I’d like to run up a couple of Munros and maybe take in some of the West Highland Way, just as some ideas.
8. To become a JogScotland leader and start my own running group
Quite often I have people telling me they wish they could run, or motivate themselves to run like I do. I quite often find it difficult to get up and go, but I have found so much joy through running that I am able to keep going and want to achieve more. I’d like to pass this on to others, because I know how much there is to be gained. So, this year I would like to become a jog leader with JogScotland and start up a running club to spread the running love!
And there you go, my goals, aims, ambitions, dreams etc etc for this coming year. I hope that I can look back on these and say that I really did it and more, or I see that some of them have changed for the better. Either way, I am excited about this year of running coming up as I am ready for it to be awesome.