Well, friends, here we are…the eve of the new year. I just have to tell you that some of the moments from this past year are among the best moments of my life. There were a lot of years for me that I tried, unsuccessfully , to become a better runner. The running PRs obtained this year brought me to tears. I fought for these moments, HARD. If you have been following this blog for more than the past 3-4 months, than you already know how hard I have worked to become “a better runner.”
2014 is the year I improved immensely in my running. I’ve accomplished some GIANT goals of mine, including a BQ, a sub 3:30 marathon, a half marathon PR, a sub 1:40 half marathon, & 14+ races. The effort I put into 2014s running can be classified as “A++++”.
Still, I have trouble with the question.. “What IS a ‘better’ runner?” A runner is someone who runs. I have learned over many, many years that being a “better” runner does not necessarily mean that you are faster than me, or that I am faster than you. It does not mean that you can run more miles than me, or that you will beat me in a race.
The thing about running and being a ‘better runner’ is that I believe that every individual runner has the potential to be their best running selves, every single day. I mean, here I am, at 32, and I’m hitting PRs that I surely wished I could’ve hit in my 20s. But age is irrelevant, and so is speed. Being your best running self and a BETTER RUNNER means that you are taking care of yourself. Not only are you running, but you are eating/living/parenting/wifing/husbanding/being a person on top of all the 84,000 other things you’ve got going on.
Being a better runner for ME has meant:
– That I have set goals and worked towards them. whether your goal is to hit a new pr in the half marathon or to simply run a full mile without stopping: own your goal. Write it down, tell a friend, blog about it. I don’t care what your mentod is, but make yourself accountable and you’ll achieve it. This past summer, when my iPhone alarm clock went off it read: “get your lazy ass outta bed, you’ve gotta get the BQ.” umm, YES, I wanted to throw my phone, daily, but I got my butt outta bed because I knew what I wanted to achieve. You have the power to do the same.
–Balance. It actually is an art form. This topic is a whoooole post it’s own so I will keep this short&sweet: being a person is hard. Being a runner and a person is sometimes hard. We want to do All The Things. All The Runs, All The Races, All The Time. It’s not always possible (duh, you’re a person, remember? With 84,000 other obligations?!) and sometimes that is hard. But I have learned that you can keep on keepin on. I have learned to balance LIFE and running. And nooooo, it’s not easy. But it’s doable.
-I WANTED it. I have done half marathons in 2:40, full marathons in 6 1/2 hours. If I didn’t want to be where I am right now…I wouldn’t be. I could have given up, I could have stopped trying. Fortunately for me, hearing the phrase “you can’t get any better” uttered out of someone’s mouth only guarantees that I’d rather amputate my legs with a butter knife than believe their silly nonsense. Listen… You know what you want, and you know it better than anybody else. Don’t listen to haters, non believers, or even your own inner Negative Nancy (I hate her!) YOU can do it. YOU just need to BELIEVE in YOU.
Unaccomplished 2014 goals:
In 2014 I accomplished all but ONE goal. I ran 2783 miles in 2013, so I wanted to hit 3000 for 2014. I knew back in September that I wouldn’t be hitting this goal. As of the start of December, I had run 2475 miles.(I will have to check after my run today to see my complete year!) Even though I ran way less this year than I did last year, I’m ok with that. Maybe less is more? I know that I ran a hell of a lot more races in 2014 than I did in 2013, and I needed to take more days off than I normally would so that I could focus around each race. With all my new PRs, I’m glad I didn’t hit the 3000 mark!
5ks: I want to do more of these shorter distances. In the spring/summer of 2014, I’m going to be running a weekly 5k series to keep working on my speed. I want to break 20 minutes! This will mean keeping up with my track workouts, and continuing to push myself!
The Half. i worked soooooo hard at getting my half PR down from 1:43 (Oct 2013) to 1:35 (Oct 2014). In 2015, I’m going to get down to 1:30. Maybe break it?!
The Marathon. sub 3:10. I know I just broke 3:30 this year. I was talking to a teammate on my Kids at Heart team who told me I shouldn’t try for too much too fast:I should move, slowly, through the years, and inch my way down from the 3:28 marathon time. I know he had my my best interests at heart…But that’s just not how I roll. I go big, i dont give up, I work hard. “Quit” is not one my frequent vocabulary terms. This goal will happen this year…I know it.
tell me one of your 2015 goals!