Pushing your Limits

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2013 is over.  I really didn’t have a mileage goal for the year, but ended up putting in 1,134 miles.  This included 16 races.  Racing miles totaled 255.1.  That’s 5 marathons, 9 halves and 2 5k’s.  Almost a quarter of my overall miles were put in during races.  That is an interesting stat to me.  Really just goes to show that I enjoy competing and pushing my limits.  My goal for 2014 will be to reach the same.

My main goal for last year was to remain injury free.  Check!  Secondary goal was to run a combination of 13 half and full marathons throughout the 2013 season.  Check!  Where does that leave me for 2014?  I would like to log 1,200 miles this year, and qualify for Boston.  Of course, all the while remain injury free again.

When setting goals, do you go for broke?  Really push the envelope?  I like to set goals that are achievable, yet lofty.  Boston is a lofty goal for me.  Can I do it?  I’d like to think I can.  Will I qualify?  That is yet to be seen.  A runner friend of mine recently said that he plans on running less, but getting faster In the new year.  That running a five hour marathon just isn’t fun enough anymore.  I guess as we begin our running journeys, it’s great to pass milestones.  To run that first 5k, to work up to distance racing, if that’s what one chooses.  Running a first Half or Full is a huge accomplishment.  Finishing is usually the only goal for a first timer.  Once having run a few to several distance races, just finishing isn’t good enough anymore.  I like to get better, to push my limits.  At this point, running a marathon over four hours would be a disappointment.  For me, this would mean that my body didn’t react and do what I have trained it to do.  I enjoy running distance, and after setting a new marathon PR at the end of 2013, I would be lying if I told you that setting another PR at the marathon distance this year wasn’t important to me.  Is it.  So is qualifying for Boston.

I will push my limits, and go for it.  I have to keep telling myself to run harder, run faster.  That is the only way I will get to Boston.  I will be disappointed if I don’t qualify this year, but as long as I am making progress toward that goal, I will be ok with it.

How are you going to push your limits in 2014?

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Wrapping up the year and looking forward…

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December is the final month of the year.  2013 will be over in just a few weeks.  Where did running take you this year?  Where will running take you next year?  Make no mistake about it, runners everywhere are checking those goal sheets, reviewing plans, and reflecting on the year.

Whatever your goals were for the year, did you meet or exceed them?  I surpassed my goals for the year.  For that, I am thrilled.  I made it through my 2013 running season injury free.  That really is what I wanted most.  To use the knowledge I have gained from running over the past few years, and use it to my advantage.  Running smart, listening to my body.  Resting when necessary, going hard and all out when it counted.  I succeeded.  As I sit here and contemplate new goals for the new year, I can’t help but reflect on this.

Listening to my body, and taking care of it.  Carefully training, treating my body well, really does pay off.

To date, in 2013, I have run over 1,100 miles.  I ran 16 races.  Two 5k’s, nine Half Marathons, and five Marathons.  I competed hard, ran the best races I could.  I challenged myself with new goals, and set a new marathon PR.  So much to be proud of.  Now where do I go from here?  What have I learned about distance running?

I really learned that running a 26.2 race is now my new favorite.  It used to be the 13.1, but the challenge of the marathon really grabbed my heart this year.  I enjoy all distances really, as they all are unique in the challenge they provide to me.  The Marathon, however, gives me the most self satisfaction.  Learning this about the marathon this year, has really changed how I view running as I go forward.  Running marathons is no easy feat.  It takes a lot out of you, and is very taxing on the body.  Because of this, I know that if I want to run more marathons, I need to cut back on the overall number of races I run next year.

As of right now, I have plans for 5 marathons in 2014, in the first five months of the year.  Charleston, Hilton Head, Wrightsville Beach, Raleigh, and Fayetteville.  I will probably throw in a few 5k’s along the way with my boys.  I also have plans to run my first 10 mile race in April.  A new distance to try, and a guaranteed PR.  My older son has decided that he wants to run his first Half marathon next year, so that will be really great.  Helping him train, giving him advice, and watching him shoot for a new goal.  A huge goal!

After running 9 Half marathons this year, it feels strange not to have any on my schedule for the first part of 2014.  In fact, the only Half I have planned so far for next year isn’t until October.  Hum…  Wonder if that will change.

All I know is that 2014 has a lot in store for me.  I still love running, and plan a tackling new distances, bigger goals, and new races.  2013 was a success, and starting this blog half way through the year, has really helped me to record my memories.

I hope you have enjoyed my running ramblings.  I really enjoy reading the posts, memories and teachings of other bloggers as well.  I really have learned a lot through other runners.  So, I will keep blogging, and keep reading.

What do you have planned for 2014? I hope it’s an epic year for me, and you!