Category Archives: goals

2014 Goals

Lately, I have been enjoying some down time on the running front. In December I spent some time just running for fun following my marathon, and I wasn’t ready to set any next goals following the race. Since mid-December, I have also been dealing with some nagging quad pain, as I mentioned the other day. I’m hoping it all clears up soon because I’m finally starting to feel more ready to make some 2014 goals!

Here are some of the things I hope to accomplish this year:

Complete my first half iron distance triathlon. I’m targeting the Folsom Triathlon in June. I haven’t signed up yet (hopefully soon!), but I’m pretty excited to try a new race distance.

Read more.  I love reading and this got lost in the shuffle of life and my dissertation in 2013, so I’m excited to read some new books for fun. Right now I’m in the middle of Daring Greatly.

PR the half marathon. I don’t have a goal race in mind yet, but I’m eying the Zooma Napa Half marathon. I’ve heard so many awesome things about Zooma races, and would love to run a race in Napa!

Volunteer for some races. I have been fortunate to be able to run many events the past few years, and I am always appreciative of the volunteers. This year, I want to give back a little! I’d like to volunteer for at least 2 events.

Consider a trail race. In December, I ran a couple short trail runs just to mix things up, and I kind of loved running on the dirt instead of the pavement. I think it could be fun to try a trail race at some point this year.

Be present. Lately I have been trying harder to notice the beauty in my surroundings, and be grateful for the little moments in each day that make me smile. For 2014, I want to make sure to be present and appreciate these little things in life.

What are your goals for 2014? I’d love to hear about them!

Have any good books to recommend for me? 

Exercise Lately and Next Goals

I love having goals! And not just for exercise, for everyday life too. They help keep me on track and have a plan for each day, week, month, and year. Goals prevent me from being stagnant.

Now that I’m basically fully recovered from the marathon, I have been trying to get back into a regular workout routine. I don’t have a goal race set up yet for the spring, so my goals right now are going to be more about getting in a rhythm and preparing for next year.

1. Work on upper body strength — I missed working on pushups and pullups over the last few months during marathon training, so I want some of that strength back! Last week I did my first upper body workout in a few months. I knew I’d be sore from it so I tried to keep the weights lighter. Even with keeping it easier, I was sore after for days!!

2. Get some variety — I like mixing things up. So for now, I hope to do a lot of different activities every week. So far this is going well — I have done some running, spinning, walks, and strength. I want to also do some yoga and swimming.

3. Start planning spring races — I only have one thing officially scheduled so far for 2014 (Ragnar FL Keys!), so I want to start figuring out what else I’ll be doing!

Do you enjoy goal setting? What are your goals for this week? Mine are to have fun on my 10k turkey trot on Thursday morning, finish writing my dissertation (yikes!), and decorate for Christmas on Friday! OK, and eat lots of pie too. 🙂

Marathon Training 2.0 — OBX

So this week is officially the start of my marathon training cycle for the OBX Marathon.

Since this will be my second marathon, I’m hoping I can do things a little bit better after learning more about what works for me in round 1. 


Because of my past knee issues, and my love for too many different activities, I’ll be subscribing to the 3 days per week of running plan — something similar to the Run Less Run Faster philosophy. In general, it will go something like this: M – strength (arms), T – speedwork, W – strength (legs), Th – tempo/hills, F – rest or yoga, Sa – long run, Su – rest or swim or bike. Strength days will also include some core work.

I put together a 19 (yeah, I know…weird number) week plan with a nice slow mileage buildup, but leaving plenty of time for some other fun races thrown into the mix including one or two more triathlons, Hood to Coast, and a couple half marathons.

My big goal is to be more consistent on completing all scheduled runs. Last fall I let myself slip a little, both on runs and on strength training (legs) and yoga/stretching as the weeks went by. I think the strengthening and stretching aspects are really key for a successful race and to keep me without injury so I’m going to focus on being more consistent there too. Previously, I was trying to do a leg strength day on the day before my long runs — that left me without enough umph for completing a good strong long run. So this go-round, I’m changing it up and making it Wednesday instead.

I think I am coming in with a much stronger base this year too, due to staying on top of running this spring and early summer, which makes entering this training cycle also better than last year. I’m really excited about a new round of training!

Hope you had a great 4th of July!! Did you do anything to celebrate? We went to a friend’s house to hang at the pool and then another for a BBQ. But not until after a morning run and hitting the pool for a few laps. Holidays are perfect for getting in some extra exercise!!

February Goals

Wow — I seriously don’t know where this week has gone! Or this month — can’t believe it’s almost February! January really flew by for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I have been getting used to a new schedule this month or what, but seriously — where has the time gone this month??!

January Goals
Get back on the running schedule – start training for March half marathon. Fit in my long runs — made it up to 11 miles for longest run this month. I’d like to get to maybe 15 before the Shamrock’n Half.
Do speedwork once a week in running. Did not do well with speedwork at all this month. I probably only did one day of speedwork. So, this is staying in my goals list for February. Instead — I did a lot of plyometrics workouts (via P90x)
Try to get to the pool at least 3 times this month: Actually did GREAT with swimming. Went once a week, and have more swimming on tap for February. I have really been enjoying this.
Finalize your spring race schedule. I think my schedule is pretty firmed up. Lots of races scheduled! Check it out here.

February Goals
Do speedwork once per week in running
Try out running one day per week over lunch
Keep doing core, hip and glute strengthening exercises — at least twice per week
Stretch for a few minutes every day
Focus on posture during the day (stop hunching over at the computer)

I told TorontoRunner that I wore a super bright workout shirt this week like she did last week (yep, on just a regular day too, not even for working out) and she asked me to post it. So, here it is:

Need your sunglasses for that one? Loving the neon pink! 🙂 I wore it with a sweet chevron BIC band — but unfortunately didn’t get it in the photo. Next time for sure.

I’m so sore today from my P90x workouts this week! Had to do two days in a row rather than every other day because Ryan and I were tired from our bike ride this Sunday. Oops! At least we are listening to our bodies, right? I’ll be giving you an update on my first month of the workouts soon — keep an eye out for that.  

2012 Recap & January Goals

I know, I know… it’s January 4th… everyone else looked back at their past year nearly a week ago. I’m just getting to it though, so you’ll just have to bear with me as I review my December goals, and maybe even throw in a few highlights of 2012 overall — maybe even some things you haven’t heard about before!

December Goals
Run my first marathon!
    Sub-goals for this race were: Don’t hit the wall, Finish!, Reach goal..finish under 4:25. Finished! Read my recaps here & here. Didn’t make my reach goal this time, but maybe that means I’ll just have to run another one someday.
Don’t eat too many Christmas cookies –just pick one or two of your favorites. Actually did pretty good with this, except for maybe a couple days. It helped that I didn’t bake any of my own this year.
Run when you feel like it, but at least keep getting to the gym (workout at least 3-4x/week) Did some treadmill runs when I was itching for it. Got in lots of days to the gym for total body circuit training and some yoga.
Make the most of time with friends and family for Christmas YES! So many people were visited.

Best of 2012
I also wanted to take a moment to recount some of my best moments of the last year.
1. In April, I PR’ed in the half marathon by 14 minutes over my first half marathon completed in 2011!
2. In June, I completed my first triathlon (sprint distance). It was so much fun. I actually ended up second in my age group (and so did my husband)! I can’t wait to do a few more of them this year.

3. Also can’t forget (again!) that I finished my first marathon! It was definitely a highlight of the year.

4. Overall, I completed 11 races this year — 1 10k, 1 sprint triathlon, 7 half marathons, 1 20-milers, and 1 marathon. Sweet! Oh yeah, and I won a pushup contest!

Thanks for sticking with me through the first few months of blogging. I’m enjoying meeting you and really appreciate your readership. 

January Goals
Get back on the running schedule – start training for March half marathon
Do speedwork once a week in running
Try to get to the pool at least 3 times this month (gotta start somewhere!)
Finalize your spring race schedule

Not too many goals for this month. I’m hoping to be able to have some relaxation time. I have a massage scheduled in a couple weeks too. I always like taking it easy a little in January with planning because after a hectic holiday season I just want some time to unwind.

What do you have on schedule for January?

What’s Next?

Now that my marathon is past, and we are quickly approaching the new year, I thought it would be good to start thinking about my next big goal. (I always like to have goals!)

I’m working on my spring race schedule still, but I am really hoping to PR in the half marathon. I haven’t ever integrated much speedwork into my training routine, so I plan to try to do at least a little bit of that. I’m looking forward to researching speed workouts — is that weird?

My current half marathon PR was on a course with a couple long hills, so I think that if I can push myself I should be able to do pretty well on the flatness that’s found in most of the races around Sacramento.

Two races that are definitely on my schedule are:

Davis Stampede (still deciding between10k or half marathon)
Shamrockin’ Half Marathon

Still not sure what else, but most likely another half marathon or two, and possibly even a late spring marathon. Any suggestions of what I should do somewhere on the West Coast??

Some good reads about running just for fun:
The Golden Rules of 26.2: Steve Smythe describes some of his biggest takeaways from years of training and racing for a marathon. A good read –just thought you might all enjoy his tips as much as I did.
How to recover from a marathon: Lots of good tips. Paula Radcliffe says after a marathon, “I take a month off to recover, do yoga, and cross-train”
Oscar Pistorius races a Horse: Find out how he did! By the way, I think this guy is incredible.

Davis Turkey Trot Half Race Goals

Tomorrow is the Davis Turkey Trot. I will be completing the half marathon distance race. As I start my taper, I need to be sure to get in a few more quality workouts. So for this race, want to have some good goals to achieve and keep me focused.

Turkey Trot Half Marathon Goals:
1) Start slow! I mentioned in my post about last week’s race that I started a little too fast. I would like to make myself practice starting slow at the race, and not let the race day excitement make me run to fast and cause a burnout.

2) Negative split, or maintain consistent pacing the whole race. Although I didn’t do too poorly at this my last race, I didn’t really do well either.  I really don’t want to burn out at the marathon. Practice makes perfect, so I’m going to practice this too!

3) Try to enjoy running in the rain. We haven’t had much rain for the past few months, so I haven’t really trained at all in the rain. I don’t mind the rain, but I’m just not used to it. So even though it will be cold and wet, I want to again be sure to have a good time. Weather is predicted to be 100% chance of rain at the race start!

For running in the rain, I just saw some tips by Aron from Runner’s Rambles. Some of the best tips, I think are:
– Wear a hat. It really helps keep the rain off our face and out of your eyes
– Don’t wear cotton. Sticking with wicking fabrics can really help a rainy run be comfortable. Cotton gets too heavy and you will really feel wet. Similarly, you might also want to avoid cotton socks. Wool socks are much better at keeping blisters away.
-Be careful not to overdress. It doesn’t always get cold when it rains, so keep an eye on the temperature before you go out. Wearing layers can help with this too.

I already did packet pickup (actually a friend got my stuff for me yesterday!), so I really just need to get to Davis and be at the start on time. By the way, the women’s tech t’s are pink! I’ve never seen a race with pink shirts, so that’s kind of fun. Or if you don’t like pink, the men’s tech shirts are an awesome maroon-ish red! Very fall colored. I kind of like that they are different colors.

Even though this is another training run for me, I always love the race environment. I’m looking forward to another fun race weekend!

20 Mile Race Prep

Sunday I will be racing in the historic 20-miler as part of the Clarksburg Country Run. This will be my third run of 20 miles as part of my marathon training program. See my other long run recaps here and here.

Clarksburg Country Run

I am really looking forward to this race, and am hoping to use it as a good check-in for how well my training has gone. The course is nice and flat, so I won’t have to worry about any crazy hills like at the NWM in October.

Looks hilly, but check out the elevation bar on the left. Basically flat. Ha!

My goals for this race are:
1) take in adequate nutrition and hydration along the route (although  I think I do pretty well with this in my training runs, I always think race conditions feel a little different since I don’t carry my own water) 

2) Finish with a 10:00/mile pace (this is my goal marathon pace, so I hopefully I can fare well on this 20-miler. I also did my other 20 mile training run in a 10:17/mile race, so I think this is attainable)

3) Finish strong and not hit the wall

4) For every race, I want to be sure to have fun!

Sunday’s weather is looking a little chilly, but generally nice. Sunny!

I am really hoping to learn some good lessons from this race and afterward feel completely prepared for my marathon in a few weeks.

Anyone else racing this weekend?

November Goals

This week has been pretty light in terms of workouts. Since I was away last week, I have to make up some time in my TA position, so that meant an extra day of working late. Add on Halloween, where the kids start coming around for candy at 6pm (our usual gym time), and we’re down pretty low in the exercise front.

Luckily it is a step back week, and my body felt pretty tired after last weekend’s long run, so I’m trying to fit in a lot of stretching in the time I do have.

For October, I was able to meet most of my monthly goals. I am super proud of myself for actually doing 2 runs at 20+ miles. It makes me feel so much more ready for the Rock & Roll Las Vegas marathon. We are now one month away! Crazy! I am really starting to get excited, and more confident. I now am feeling like I could complete the distance, but I’m still unsure of how long it will take me.

October Goals
Really enjoy the Nike Women’s Half Marathon experience. Try carrying a camera to take photos! Had a ton of fun with this race, but couldn’t figure out the camera thing. Thankfully Ry was around to take photos! See more here.
Get in a 20-miler by the end of the month Actually did 2 runs at 20+ miles! Here & Here.
Go on an trip with Ryan to Napa I knew this would be happening, and it was awesome. Such a great weekend!
Put a focus on networking on your Dallas trip. Get business cards! Bring your resume! I went. I saw. I conquered.
Do yoga once a week. Make it a priority in your schedule with new school year starting. The yoga was definitely more difficult to fit in this month, but I think I did do it — even on the travel week.

November Goals
Run a strong, evenly paced 20 miler

Eat healthy through Thanksgiving in prep for marathon
Make a good salad at least once a week for lunch (I’ve been lazy and need to gt back on track with this)
Keep up with the yoga — it has been helping stay balanced!
Enjoy your fun upcoming events with friends.