I’m always a little wary about writing down what I want to achieve. Some people swear by it as a way to stick to your goals and put it all out there, but then I also worry that maybe it becomes an anchor to which you judge yourself on. If somehow you don’t succeed, I don’t succeed, then I’ve put it in to the public domain, and therefore I’ve failed?
I didn’t get my sub4 in 2016, it was maybe a little farfetched for where I was and deep down I think I knew that. I still pushed for it though because I wanted it, I still want it. I knew I needed to aim big even if that meant I went home empty handed. I don’t feel cheated that I didn’t get it, I wasn’t ready for it, I worked super hard but it wasn’t quite enough, it wasn’t my time. Plus I definitely didn’t go home empty handed, have you seen my medal collection, or more importantly my memory collection!
It’s no real surprise that for my running this year I’m going at it hard, and not just at the marathon. My 5k, 10k and half marathon PBs are all up for grabs and I’m chasing down some big personal numbers. This is my time! Go big or go home right?
5K – needs to start with a 22. I’m currently at the higher end of 23, and taking a minute off of a 5k is seriously hard work. I’m not a fast runner, I’m not sure if I will ever be a fast runner, but this is my challenge (against me). Remembering always it’s never about being better than, it is only ever about being better.
10k – Sub50, now some of you who follow me will know I actually clocked this in 2016, right at the end! The problem is it was definitely a one off, and I’d really like to race that time if I can. 10k is my least favourite distance and I struggle to perform in 10k races, so it stays on the list.
Half Marathon – Sub1:50, my official race half marathon time sits at 1:55 at the moment. I’ve run a faster half in training but still not pushed below the 1:50 mark. The Half Marathon is probably the distance I’m best at, as I seem to be pretty good at getting my pacing right and holding it.
Marathon – Sub 4, the big one, the dream! My actual all time marathon goal is to run a sub 3:45, but I’m honestly not sure if I’ll ever get there. Running a sub 4 would be taking another 18 minutes off my time and so that has to be the aim this year. I am so determined to do this, I’m not sure anything could stop me, even if it takes me 26 attempts (please don’t take me 26 attempts). It’s not just about getting the sub4 though, it’s that I want to do myself and the distance proud! My training is reflecting that. I’m going to work as hard as I can to make it feel as good as it can on the day. And trust me I’m already visualising that champagne (beer) finish!
I continue to believe that if you run, you are a runner, and that your numbers don’t make you any more or less of one. This is just a way for me to push myself, see what my limits are, to try and be one step ahead, and to keep improving. The most important thing to me will always be to continue to love my running and the freedom it gives me, if that ever dwindles then I know I’m doing something wrong!
Saying all of that though my overall goal for 2017 and the only resolution I’ve made is to say yes more. I want to take on all the opportunities that come my way, I don’t want to think about all the ‘what if I can’t’ moments and only focus on the ‘yeah but what if I do’ alternatives. This has led me already to signing up for 7 marathons, running with old and new friends who I can’t wait to meet, and in countries I love and can’t wait to visit!
This isn’t just a running thing though this is a life thing, it’s a rather special birthday for me this year. Part of celebrating that is having a year full of amazing adventures, trying new things and not feeling guilty for being number 1 for a while.
For me 2017 is a year of being in a really positive space; where I get to step away from all the fears I have about where I’m going and just explore, adventure, and have fun. The direction of travel may be unknown, but moving forward is an inevitable consequence.
Oh yeah and did I mention, I finally have the beginnings of an ab!
Marathon Diaries: the sub4 edition, will kick off this week. I know you’ve missed them!