Not Just 2012 Goals

We are now 10 days into 2012 and I haven’t talked about goals yet… *gasp*

I have a lot of goals for myself, and specifically to be talked about on this blog since it is a running blog after all, a lot of running and athletic goals.

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I used to sit down at the end of each year and lay out exactly what I wanted to accomplish in the upcoming year.  I would assign goals to that year and be very specific, hoping to achieve a certain time in X distance or to run X amount of miles by December 31st.  If I didn’t, or my mind changed along the way, then I just didn’t reach my goals for the year and that was that. 

While I think setting goals is a great rewarding way to stay motivated, I just found myself not really liking the whole process I was going through.  I started to resent having goals and didn’t find them motivating like I used to.  Just because I said I wanted to run a marathon PR in January, doesn’t mean I still want to train for and attempt one in September.  I found myself changing what I wanted to do, but feeling like I needed to stick to those certain goals since I set them. 

Last year I decided to change it up and set different kind of goals.  Goals that pertained to an attitude and outlook on the year, rather than hard cut number goals.  It worked, I liked it and I finished the year feeling very successful and accomplished and learned a lot as well.  Looking forward I want to continue to embrace those goals from last year.

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This year is already way different from any other year I have been running.  I am training for something huge, new, and completely different from what I have done before with marathon training, and I have no idea how I am going to feel after it’s over.  

After April 7th who knows what will happen.  Maybe I will stick to trail running and ultra-marathons?  Maybe I will want to run further?  Maybe I will hate it and want to only race 5ks?  Maybe I will want a break from running and get on my bike?  Maybe I will want to run another fast marathon? 

Maybe, maybe, maybe… only time knows.

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So for 2012 I am not going to put any hard goals down to be defined as “2012 goals” because I really don’t know what I will want to do come May.  Instead I am going to list my running/athletic goals that I want to accomplish some year, some day, some time.  Some may will happen in 2012 and some may not happen until 2022, but they are on my current list of goals.  I am sure this list will change over time and will probably have a few more bullet points as the year goes on.

  • Run a 50 mile ultra-marathon – I have wanted to run an ultra-marathon for a few years now and marathons kept getting in the way.  I am excited to finally be tackling this one!  Who knows what additions this goal will add to the list.
  • Run a Sub 3:30 Marathon – For me, that sub-8 minute mile pace is a very big deal.  If I could run a marathon that had an average pace with a 7 in the front, I would be one happy camper.
  • Run a Sub 1:40 Half Marathon – I have had this goal for a while, and someday I want to train specifically for a fast half marathon and take that PR down a few minutes.
  • Cross off the Marathons on My ListThere are a lot of marathons I want to run, and a lot that aren’t even on that list.  I want to travel and run and have fun!
  • Run all the Bay Area Trails in my Bay Area Trail Runner’s GuideI got the best trail running book for my birthday a couple years ago when I started exploring trail running.  I took a break for a while, but now that I am back, I want to run them all!
  • Run 100 miles in a week – My current highest mileage for one week is 70 miles.  I want to run 100 and I will!
  • Complete a century bike ride – As much as I love running, I do love my bike even though it takes a very big backseat to my running shoes.  I have always wanted to ride 100 miles, so one of these days when I get sick of running, I will train and complete one.

So those are just a few of my big goals I want to accomplish.  They don’t all mesh together, so it’s not like they could possibly be done in one calendar year anyways.  I will follow my heart and when the time is right, I will tackle each and every one of those goals.  

Are you a goal setter?  Did you set goals for 2012?  Do you have “someday” running goals?

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27 Responses to Not Just 2012 Goals

  1. Celia January 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    I love goals. A lot of my 2012 goals have to do with getting faster as that is what I am interested in right now.

    Looks like a nice list of goals you have there :)

  2. Running Betty January 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    If you add – run the Napa Ragnar – you might be able to combine come of those goals :)
    here’s a HM training link that might help you. It’s the advanced, and you can tell from reading the top if the intermediate is better for you:
    My goal this year was to not set a year long goal – gasp! And to focus instead day by day when I do my yoga and set an intention for that morning.
    Good luck!

  3. Karla @ myhighonlife January 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Love this approach to goal setting. I too always find myself wrapped up in the specifics & numbers of a goal. This year I’m tackling my first marathon so that’s a HUGE one for me!

  4. Rena @ January 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Sounds like a good plan! And your 50 mile race is definitely going to come true. Your training seems like it’s on a good track.

  5. Laura January 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    I have tons of someday goals. I’m trying to take little steps toward them each month/year. I am a huge goal setter though. It is tough setting concrete goals though – I set 25 goals to accomplish while I am 25 – I’m only going to get about half done and it bums me out.

  6. Marlene January 11, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    I love your ‘big picture’ goals and I share most of them!

    Oh how I want a sub-3:30 marathon! But with Boston this year and then moving to some longer distance tris, I don’t think it will happen any time soon. One day…

  7. katie January 11, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    you’ve got the fitness to ride 100 miles now, you just don’t have ermmm enough calluses on your bum :)

  8. Tim F January 11, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Hi, great list of goals for the coming years. Re the Bay area trail guide, does it have a lot of south bay trails? With Maps? If so, I might invest in it.

  9. runner26 January 11, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    that’s a great list of goals!! i like the idea of creating a list that you can work on whenever – especially when they are of this caliber ;)

  10. Sima January 11, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    I have always wanted to do a century ride too! Maybe one day when were are sick of morning runs we will partner up on some morning rides :)

  11. Kabri January 11, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    I am really not too interested in increasing my speed to any sort of specific number … I like to run hard but happily and, for me, focusing on numbers decreases my enjoyment. My goal is to be in “running shape” … like I can spend hours out running a beautiful course or trail and finish tired but happy. It’s not specific, but I know the type of work that my happiness takes.

    This year I will, however, be challenging myself by joining a training group. I have always trained solo, and look forward to the social – any, likely, physical, challenge!

    I also like to set race challenges. This year I’m going to kill the big hill at the Oakland Marathon, love every second of the gorgeous SF marathon (kill those hills, too!) and I’d like to run the Tahoe 72-miler in the next 2-3 years (before age 30).

    I can’t wait to see your 50m experience. Trails are my favorite and where I’ve spent most of my running life. Let me know if you have any gear or local trail questions!

  12. Courtney (Pancakes and Postcards) January 11, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    great post aron! i want to do a century ride too! though i get realy sick of my lady parts going numb so i’m not sure if it will actually happen.

    i will definitely tackle some of those trails with you!

    i am so excited for you for the AR50! it sounds amazing. i can’t wait to do an ultra.

  13. Page January 11, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    I love this! You will definitely demolish these and I can’t wait to watch you check each one off the list!

  14. Kimra January 11, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I love the idea of “someday” goals! I think mine would be:
    – try trail running (I’m scared of the downhills!)
    – do a multi-day hike
    – bike around Lake Tahoe
    – finish a 70.3
    – run an overnight relay

  15. kristy January 11, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    i love following your ultra training, since it’s a major goal of mine after boston! i can’t wait to take a break from the speed stuff and focus just on distance!

  16. Laura January 11, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I am so impressed with your high mileage! My highest week was in the 40’s during marathon training, but I’ve never pushed beyond that. I look forward to seeing how the ultra goes!

  17. Robin January 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    I am always afraid to set goal because I am afraid of failure, but I think saying them outloud has helped me recently. I bet with all the miles you have put in lately that your next marathon you train for will be easy to go under 3:30.

  18. kristen January 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    I love your attitude. Things should be evolving with us including how we approach our approach to goals.

  19. Abigail January 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    I love your approach to goal-making! You are such an inspiring athlete =)

    I am totally a resolutions person, so this year I want to run a half marathon in less than 2 hours (last year i missed it by 3 minutes), and I want to run a marathon in less than 4 hours 15mins.

    I am still playing the numbers game with my running, b/c it’s still a fairly new thing in my life. But I hope to vary the goals in the future!!!

    Cannot wait to hear about your training and completion of an Ultra-marathon.You go girl!!

  20. Lizzy January 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    I am so excited for you and your 50-race!!! eeek!
    one day I hope to run a 50-miler, but not this year. I am a big time goal setter…it’s been engrained into me after 18-years of competitive swimming.
    I hope you’ve been having a great week!

  21. Lisa January 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    I didn’t set any goals for 2012. I’m more of a “someday” person. There are things that I’d like to do in 2012 but I’m not specifically training for them and won’t be crushed if I don’t achieve them. Running a sub 1:40 half is one of the things on my list that I think I can do this year, but if not there’s always next year.

  22. Laura January 12, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    Great goals, and I really like your approach to not necessarily doing all of them this year. That’s a bit of how I did my goals too – realizing that my priorities may change and that what’s important to me may not matter a year from now. I don’t want to be locked in to something I’m not feeling 100%!

  23. Susan - Nurse on the Run January 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    I called my goals for this year “plans” because I think that’s more concrete! I think it’s great to have more life long goals instead because it shows we’re always working towards something.

  24. Jess January 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    This is pretty much exactly how I feel about my 2012 running goals. I don’t want to commit to something now and then half way through the year change my mind and still feel bound to my goals. I’m being more flexible this year and I’m already loving it. I hope this style of goals works really well for you too!

  25. Christine January 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    I really like the idea of life goals rather than 2012 goals! That’s something I need to think about. Thanks for sharing! :)

  26. Carlos January 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    OH I HAVE GOALS…both for this year and future.

    Country Music Marathon in Nashville (April 28th)-registered
    5k obstacle run (Doing the “Run for your Lives” in Indiana June 23)-registered
    Disney Coast to Coast Challenge (either this year or next)

    Savage Seven (7 marathons in 7 days) normally held over the Christmas Holidays.
    Ultra Marathon
    Tough Mudder
    Spartan Race
    Bourbon Chase
    Ragnar Relay
    Warrior Dash

    Most of my future just sound fun.


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