As previously stated in this post, I will be taking a break from marathons and ultras this year. I will be re-evaluating my feelings on this mid-year, but I know at least January through June I won't be racing 26.2 miles or longer. This is for my own mental sanity, and I'm already reaping the benefits of not feeling pressured to run 15-30 miles every weekend.
In lieu of racing long and slow, I've decided to race short and fast this year. I've found that I do miss the thrill of a crushing a PR (personal record) and I would like to set a few new ones in 2014. Here are my six running goals for 2014:
1) Run short & fast trail races
To date, most of the trail races I've run have been long and slow, except for the Tyler Trail 10k, which I will be running again this April. I'm excited to hit the trails in 2014 for some shorter, speedier races.
2) Run my first (timed) 5k
I incorrectly stated in a previous post that I'd never run a 5k. I realized recently, that is, in fact, untrue. I've actually run 2 5k "fun runs", a fundraiser 5k in college, and the Color Run in 2012. Since these races were both for fun and untimed, I will consider the Hangover 5k on January 1 my first "real" 5k.
3) Set 10k PR's (sub 53:00 road, sub 55:06 trail)
My current road 10k PR is from the first real race I ran, the Jan Peek 10k. This was a tough, hilly race, which makes me think I can beat it easily this year with some speedwork. The trail 10k might be harder to beat since I ran my heart out at that race, and was in peak shape for a 50k. Regardless, I will set out to beat both PR's in 2014.
4) Set a 10 Mile PR (sub 1:25:49)
I was feeling less confident about reaching this goal until last night, when I ran 10 miles in 1:28:49. As long as I can keep up my current fitness and speed up a bit, I think I can achieve a PR at the Broad Street Run in May.
5) Set a 13.1 PR (sub 1:50:38)
This is the goal I am most nervous about. I know I CAN run sub 1:50 but the last time I ran this fast for 13.1 miles was in 2010, over three years ago. Today, December 30, marks day 1 of my 12 week training for the Love Run half marathon, which will take place on March 30, 2013.
6) Strength train 2x per week
This is a goal I set nearly every year, but this year I am going to hold myself accountable. While I would love to say this goal is purely driven by athletic goals, it is definitely partially driven by a vain desire for my arms to look buff in my wedding dress this September. Of course, getting stronger will help me run faster so it's a win-win situation.
So there's an idea of what 2014 will bring and the goals I hope to achieve. Of course, I will post updates along the way as I attempt to get back into faster running and racing.
Happy New Year!