It was almost a year ago that I laced up a pair of subpar Nikes, downloaded the Couch 2 5K app on my phone and hit the streets.
In that time, I have gone from barely being able to run a few blocks, to completing two half marathons. I have evolved from hating the very idea of running to sometimes loving it.
And pretty darn cool, too.
Over the past 12 months, I have made it my goal to reach what I thought was an unattainable distance: 13.1 miles. And somehow, in spite of what I thought possible, I did it.
Once a little better than the other, if the truth be told, but it doesn’t matter. My big goal was to get it done, and I accomplished that.
So. Now, what?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the next steps in my running journey. What I want to achieve. Where I want to go.
The first step is looking at my race calendar. Last year, my races were kind of a hodgepodge of what sounded fun or interesting. There wasn’t much rhyme or reason to timing, other than avoiding the summer and giving myself enough time to heal and retrain after my tonsillectomy. Mr PugRunner and I ran some things simultaneously and some things apart, not really paying much attention to each other’s schedules, and with different end games in mind.
Looking back, I can see a lot I want to change and a lot I want to fix.
I have been very selective about choosing races this year. There are some I want to repeat (Space Coast, for example) and some new ones I want to try (Divas). However, I also have that dreaded Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO, if you will), and I get so excited about joining friends for big races that I forget about what my body can and should be doing. That needs to stop. Or at least get cut back. The races will be here in the future, and there will be other opportunities to run.
My second priority is to look at the quality of my running. I have been incredibly busy training for distance, so my speed has suffered. I am not even remotely happy with my 5K times, and I have a chance at redemption on February 22 at the Donna 5K & Family Fun Run. I am taking the rest of the week off to recover from this past weekend, but on Monday morning, I will be lacing up and digging deep.
I think shaving a few minutes off my time will do wonders for my confidence and overall ability. It will also be the basic building block for improvements in the future. No matter what races I have on the docket, I know I want to work towards honing my skills and stamina. And, looking even further down the line? The word “marathon” has come up in more serious conversation. So, there’s that.
I’m excited to get to work.
What are the next steps in your running journey?
How do you decide on your goals?