Posts Tagged ‘goals


Running Goals for 2011: Looking Back

As has become a yearly right for me, it’s time to review my running goals for 2011 and see how I did. Overall I’m pretty pleased with this year, but there are clearly somethings that could have gone a little bit better.

  • Distance Run: 1500 miles
    Nope – I’m pleased to say that I came much closer this year. However, there were four extended periods where I did little to no running. In March I spent about three weeks in China. I went running once while there and really stuck out, but the bigger issue was that the air was toxic. In August I made the stupid mistake of trying to barefoot and getting huge blisters on my feet. Just when I was getting better I managed to get the norovirus. In September I spent two weeks in Europe. Finally, December was shaping up great to make 1500 miles, but my achilles tendon started to hurt, so rest was in order. I’ll finish the year with about 1375 miles, depending on whether or not I go running today or tomorrow.
  • Marathons: 3 (Grandma’s, Chicago, NYC)
    Yes! Grandma’s Marathon in June was a blast. I set a PR and ran most of it with a friend before she threatened to kill me around mile 22 and told me to go on ahead of her. My experience in Chicago, on the other hand, was downright miserable – hiccups made me want to die by the end of the race. It was so bad that I signed up for the Hartford Marathon six days later where I PR’d. I managed to shave a few more seconds off this PR at New York three weeks later. It was a good year for running marathons.
  • Weight: 170lbs
    Nope – according to my spreadsheet I hit my lowest weight at 173.2. Right now I’m a little over 10lbs north of that figure thanks to holiday bingeing while visiting relatives. Still, I’m about 15lbs better than I was at this time last year.
  • Fastest Mile: 5:50
    Nope – I did only a single one mile race, the 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile. I finished in 6:10. I was happy, although I’d love to see that leading six change into a five.
  • Marathon: 3:30
    Nope – marathon time predictors say to take your half marathon time and double it then add 10 minutes for your full marathon time. If I could do a half in 1:40, then a full in 3:30 should be possible, right? Not quite. While I did drop my PR in the marathon about 17 minutes this year, at 3:57:45 it’s not even close to this goal.
  • Half-Marathon: 1:40
    Nope – I was tempted to call this an “Old-School Boston Yes”. However, let’s be honest, that second digit is still a 4, and for me to make this goal the second digit needed to be a 3. I missed this goal by 23 seconds at the 2011 Brooklyn Half Marathon.
  • Cross-Training: 2 days a week
    Nope – I often manage this in Minneapolis. In New York I lack a bike and fail miserably at this. I rarely cross-trained.
  • Barefoot/Vibram a race of 10k or more
    Yes! – I did this at the 2011 Independence Day Races in Minneapolis. Not only that, I turned in a 10k PR that was a faster pace than my 5k PR.
  • Bench Press My Own Weight
    Nope – I think I tried bench pressing three times this year. Fail.
  • Run to and from Work at Least Five Times
    Nope – by the time I thought about this it was already late September and getting too dark to run on the roads around work in the evening. I never even did this once.
  • Post at Least 50 Blog Entries
    Nope – this blog was a bit more predictable in 2011. Assuming this is the last post of the year I’ll finish the year with 36.

So, what’s the overall conclusion. I didn’t run as much as a I hoped, I didn’t cross-train nearly as much as a I hoped, and I didn’t write about running quite as much as a I hoped. Was this year a let down? No. I don’t feel bad when I set an ambitious goal and I fail to meet them. I think I would have felt worse if I set goals and met each goal – it wouldn’t mean that they weren’t stretching me enough.

Next up, 2012 running goals.


Running Goals for 2011: Looking Forward

In my last post I performed a retrospective of my 2010 running goals that I set in December 2009. For the most part these goals were failures, largely due to injury. I don’t want to dwell on these failures, so I’m moving onward for 2011.

  • Distance Run: 1500 Miles
    This is the same goal as what I had for 2010. It’s a feasible goal especially if I plan on running a trio of marathons.
  • Marathons: 3 (Grandma’s, Chicago, NYC)
    Last year my goal was two marathons, Big Sur and Chicago. I might have added in another late fall marathon if I was healthy, but I wasn’t. In 2011 I’ve already qualified for the NYC Marathon, and I still want to do Chicago, even though they’re stupidly close together. For Chicago training I’ll run Grandma’s marathon in June.
  • Weight: 170lbs
    I ballooned once I stopped running this year. I even crossed that dreaded 200lbs mark once I stopped exercising and stopped cooking. I’m setting some other goals outside of running that deal with junk food consumption that should help me actually reach this weight.
  • Fastest Mile: 5:50
    I managed to do a mile on little training in 6:26 this year. I was thrilled. I’m pretty certain that if I push myself I can make it under 6 minutes.
  • Marathon: 3:30
    A huge stretch goal. I’ll need some help, but with training, motivation, and most importantly, a coach to help me out, I might be able to pull this off in Chicago.
  • Half-Marathon: 1:40
    Last year I managed a 1:43:44 in the NYC Half Marathon. I’m not certain what half marathons I’m going to run this year, but if I run one on a decently flat course I think I can make 1:40.
  • Cross-Training: 2 days a week
    This is what killed me and probably led to my injury. I need to work more on core exercises and cross training. Maybe I’ll even see about taking some swim lessons.
  • Barefoot/Vibram a race of 10k or more
    I bought myself a pair of Vibram Five Fingers for my birthday last year and have run about 30 miles in them. I’m not certain if it’s better of just different. It makes running a little bit more fun and exercises some different muscles, so I’d like to try these in an actual race.
  • Bench Press My Own Weight
    I have no idea how much I can bench right now. The buildings for both of my apartments have workout rooms, so I really have no excuse to continue to ignore my arms. This could be really hard.
  • Run to and from Work at Least Five Times
    By the shortest route it is a little over six miles to work from my apartment. If I take the scenic route it’s about eight miles. This requires me planning ahead and bringing an extra lunch and clothes the day before, but I think I can do this.
  • Post at Least 50 Blog Entries
    I’m not going to do a long-time-no-blog post, but let’s just say that it was hard to continue to post about running when I couldn’t run for a good chunk of the year. I’ve also got about a half dozen race recaps that I never fully completed. Maybe I’ll do some long term recaps on those. This is basically the PostAWeek project that is promoting.

Some of these are certainly stretch goals, such as the 3:30 marathon and 1:40 half-marathon. I fully intend on joining the Westchester Track Club and getting some better training, which should help out. The mile is a bit of a stretch, but I did the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile without any training and slightly injured this year and still managed a 6:26. I’m looking forward to incorporating some cross training and possibly doing a sprint triathlon this summer. Most importantly, I’m positive about 2011 and putting this last year behind me.

So, how was your 2010? What are your running goals for 2011?


Running Goals for 2010: Looking Back

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I regard 2010 as a big fat failure when it comes to running. Something went wrong in my right hip and lower back in May and it took me four months to finally see the doctor. Since then I’ve been in therapy and haven’t exactly made wonderful progress. My hip still hurts, but at least I can run. I’m optimistic about the next year, which means that it’s time to set some goals for 2011.

However, before setting goals for 2011, I’d like to take to some time to go over my successes (few) and failures (lots) of my 2010 goals:

  • Distance Run: 1500 miles
    Nope – injuries limited me to 676 miles this year. Since September I’ve run under 60 miles. I didn’t run at all in June and only ran twice in July. That’s a huge disappointment and has cascaded to other aspects of my life.
  • Marathons: 2 (Big Sur and Chicago)
    Nope – I ran Big Sur and registered for Chicago, but I made the decision to pull out of Chicago in early September because I hadn’t trained enough and was in some serious pain. That was the point where I finally decided to see a doctor. Not like that helped any.
  • Half Marathons: 2 (NYC and ???)
    Yes! – I started out the year with Manhattan Half Marathon in Central Park, followed it up with the NYC Half Marathon in March, and closed the year with a very painful Grete’s Great Gallop in October.
  • Other Races: Enough to qualify for 2011 NYC marathon
    Yes! – I did 10 NYRR races and volunteered at one. I’ll be running the 2011 NYC Marathon!
  • Weight: 165 lbs
    Nope – Utter failure on this one. Not running made me FAT. Seriously FAT. Next year I need to really watch what I eat.
  • Fastest Marathon: sub 3:50:00 (Chicago)
    Nope – I didn’t run Chicago. Big Sur was brutal on me, but I was still happy with my 4:22:49 time on a challenging course.
  • Fastest Half-Marathon: sub 1:50:00
    Yes! – I managed this twice, both for the Manhattan Half Marathon at 1:48:26 and then two months later clocked a 1:43:44 for the NYC Half Marathon. AWESOME!
  • Marathons ran with friends: 1
    Nope – I was hoping to run Chicago with some friends. That didn’t materialize.

It’s refreshing to see that I managed to complete some of my goals, but I’d still say that this year was disappointing. It’s really difficult to say what 2011 will hold. I’m still injured, but I’m getting a better idea of how to deal with my injuries and what I need to do to ensure that I stay healthy. Primarily this requires taking a more holistic view of running and my personal health.

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Marathon Times

2011 NYC Marathon3:57:45
2011 Hartford Marathon3:58:17
2011 Chicago Marathon4:20:16
2011 Grandma's Marathon4:07:43
2010 Big Sur International Marathon4:22:49
2009 NYC Marathon4:37:05
2009 Twin Cities Marathon4:43:28
2009 Pittsburgh Marathon4:14:38
2008 Erie Marathon5:11:40

Upcoming Races

  • Nov 6 - New York City Marathon, New York, NY
For previous races, check out my Race Log