where do I go from here?

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.

Crazy.

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.

 

Twice.

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?

 

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Comments

  1. You have done amazing things in your first year of running! Can’t wait to see what you get into next. =)
    Diana recently posted…The Polar Vortex Of DOOOOMMy Profile

  2. I’m running two half marathons in February and then I just want to log 500 miles this year. I might run more races…we’ll see… but I want to save money for Europe. I just want to keep myself healthy and injury free!
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #1My Profile

  3. Congrats on a great year.

    Staying healthy is my primary goal. I too after this half want to run faster 5ks for awhile.
    Darlene recently posted…My Bucket List RunsMy Profile

  4. This story sounds really familiar! I started running a little over a year ago myself, with a subpar pair of Nike shoes and the Active.com Couch to 5K program!
    2 Half-marathons later, I’m currently training for my 3rd, and trying hard to get faster for this one.
    Next I think will be a full Marathon in the Fall. I’m still debating the “if” and “if so, which.”
    I try to take each “big” milestone race as a gauge for where I’ll go next. My fall Half-marathon was not what I wanted it to be (I was disappointed in my time), so I decided to hold off on a full Marathon and try another Half while focusing on improving my time. I think based on this next race, I’ll know whether I’m ready to double the distance and go for it.
    GPMyersGetFit recently posted…Tech Review: @Jaybirdsport Bluebuds ReviewMy Profile

    • How funny to have so much in common!

      I was a little disappointed in my last half I know I can do better and I want to do better. I just need to do the work to make it happen. It’s daunting and hard, but I guess nothing worth doing is ever easy, right?

      Best of luck to you in your goals!
      runswithpugs recently posted…where do I go from here?My Profile

  5. My next step is to get healthy and reevaluate. You have had an amazing year.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…#FFCheckInMy Profile

  6. You’ve had an amazing first year of running! I can’t wait to see what’s next for you :)
    I make my running goals based on what’s going on in life and what is doable…I’m struggling with my next step for the fall…decisions, decisions!

    Karen @karenlovestorun
    Karen @karenlovestorun recently posted…Friday Five 1/24My Profile

    • There is definitely a lot of pressure to fit everything in and maintain a healthy balance with my family and friends and personal interests. We will see what happens! I hope you are able to come up with a great fall plan that makes you happy :)
      runswithpugs recently posted…where do I go from here?My Profile

  7. What a great journey you have had! Can’t wait to see where this year takes you :-)
    Meg @ Meg-in-Training recently posted…Five On Friday – 30th Bday EditionMy Profile

  8. Oddly no matter what distances I accomplish, 1/2 marathon, 10k, 8k, etc., I measure my fitness and general running ability on my 5k time. I have no idea why!! Good look in training for your race!
    jan recently posted…Winter Weather WardrobeMy Profile

  9. You had a great year; well, minus the whole tonsillectomy thing (that was when I first started reading your blog). Congratulations on stepping outside of your comfort zone and finding a new passion!
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…Somebody’s Gonna Be Happy… Yaktrax Winner!My Profile

    • It feels like that procedure was ages ago! It was hell going through it, but I’ve felt so much better after the fact. Which was the point of all the suffering, I guess.

      I hope this is a “hobby” I can keep up for a really, really long time.

  10. Holy. Cow.

    Girl, I am so inspired by how much you have accomplished in less than a year! Seriously, I wish I could say the same!
    Races Schmaces you’re a wonderful runner! Now that you have such a solid base, you have the luxury of maintaining it, and hoping into almost any race that comes along and strikes your fancy!
    Anne @ CandyCrazedrun.wordpress.com recently posted…Fast FridayMy Profile

  11. Congrats Jenn!! 2013 was a great year for you!! I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for you! Keep up the good work!

    I know how you feel about getting back in the groove. Last year, I ran my first full marathon in October. Quite honestly, I felt like I hit my goal and didn’t want to run any more. But, running was always on my mind, I just had to find my motivation again.

    So this year, I plan to run faster. I covered my distance of 26.2 miles so now I want to see if I can speed up my times. My goal is to run a half marathon in under 2 hours. My fastest is 2:14 so I have to cut out over a minute per mile.

    Good luck you this year and keep running!!

    Ron
    Ron @RunningFromDebt recently posted…My First Marathon ExperienceMy Profile

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