A Better Runner&2015 Goals

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.”
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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.
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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.

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-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!

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2015 goals:
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.

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tell me one of your 2015 goals!

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50 thoughts on “A Better Runner&2015 Goals

  1. Nicole – you have the best attitude and approach to running. It’s so clear that you LOVE to run and watching you improve so much in 2014 is really inspiring. Looking forward to what you’ll do in 2015!

  2. Love this post. You had an amazing year! What I’ve learned in my short year of running is that being a better runner has nothing to do with anyone else, just yourself. I think we are all striving to get better in one way or another – we may be inspired by others, but the competition is internal.

    My 2015 goals? I want to get faster. 🙂

  3. With your work and determination Nicole those goals are in the bag! You are such an amazing runner, person, and I’m happy to say friend. I really wish I was up north to be able to train with you in person. I could soak up so much especially regarding distances of 13.1 and beyond. You truly have had such amazing year!!!! Like AWESOME SAUCE OVERLOAD amazing!!! An your BQ was the icing on the cake I still get emotional from a joy standpoint for you reaching this goal especially everytime I think about your Boston back story. Now as far as my goals for 2015 I’d b like to go 1:45 or better in the half marathon and break my current 5th PR of 21:00 and inch closer to that ultimate goal of going sub-20 all health willing. And most importantly I just want to continue to build on what I accomplished at the end of 2014 especially from the mental strength side of my running

  4. Loved your year-end post. It’s a great time to reflect and establish new goals. Congratulations on all of your amazing accomplishments! I am 49 years young and just ran my first marathon in October and clocked in at 3:36. I am living proof that age is no obstacle! Going for sub-3:30 this year. Maybe 3:25.

  5. My 2015 running goal is the same as every year.. To watch my BFF cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!! Xoxo

  6. Dear Nicole, do you remember me? I’m your Italian follower. I love reading your blog but I seldom post comments. This time I had to because your words really impressed me. I love your attitude and I’m happy it brought you so great and tangible results.
    I wish you the very best for 2015 and I hope all your hopes and projects become as real as you are. Most of all, I wish you health and happiness with your family and life.
    Keep shining!

  7. Nicole this is absolutely perfect and that’s why I love you! I hope in another year I can be writing a similar post about how I pushed my limits and succeed in 2015. I’m so happy for you and all that you achieved!
    My main goal for 2015 is running a sub 2:00 half and setting a 5K PR!

  8. Your definition of a better runner is spot on. I truly admire the way you’ve learned to balance the different aspects of your life. And you may have big goals for 2015 but if there’s one thing I know about you it’s that you can definitely do it 😀 Go get em, girl!

    I like to make goals for the season as opposed to the whole year because I feel that it keeps me more focused and determined for that particular racing season. My main spring goal will be a sub-1:45 half marathon! By the way, are you running Hyannis?? I signed up for the half and I’m mixing a trip to Boston with it!

  9. Yes, Yes, YES and YAAAAAASSSSSSS! 🙂

    It is easy to think ‘better’ has some inherent metric, but it really doesn’t. It is, like you say, establishing your ow goals and metrics and doing what it takes to meet those goals.

    Personally I ran 312 days this year, over 3250 miles, never took a day for injury in nearly 26 years of running, and also made sure that my kids and wife and life came in first priority which meant no races until December when I made such a crushing PR at the 5K that I totally stunned myself! It really doesn’t matter how many people were in front of me because I TOTALLY won that race 🙂 haha

    As for age, well it actually DOES matter for many – at 32 it isn’t a factor but as I close in on 49 the reality that my body is fighting progress is a reality. But since I am still relatively new to running races I can still get a couple of years of PRs out of these old bones. Reading Miss Zippy’s post is a reminder that for all of us there comes a time when no matter what you will only get slower … and for those who competed at younger ages (like you) it isn’t always easy to accept. So you are doing the right thing by kicking total butt right now!

    Absolutely fantastic post and I look forward to all of the running, wifely and motherly happiness 2015 brings you … just my only advice as you charge towards your 3:10 is – remember that if you get hurt you won’t even be able to do 3:28 again. 🙂

    • I can’t wait to see how you do in the races you choose for 2015!

      You are right… I do think you have a few more years of PRs left in your legs, but aging does have a way of shining it’s light on us! Although, I have to tell you that last year, the female winner of my favorite marathon won it in 2:49…and she is 54!!!!! She just keeps getting better! Food for thought!!

      I will keep that in mind! An injury is the last thing I would want!:)

  10. You are just so incredibly inspiring. Not just by all your amazing running progress but also by your mindset and you positive attitude. So many of your posts have me thinking “yes! I can achieve big things too!” I have been learning that I do my best when I set big goals. Moving into 2015 I want them to be bigger because I met all my 2014 goals so that tells me maybe they weren’t challenging enough. Keep being amazing!!!

  11. I think it sounds like you had an awesome year. 🙂 I just want to start getting back into training for races again- 2014 was a rough running year for me, and I am excited to really get back into it.

  12. Cheers to a new year and you fighting hard for incredible goals! You inspire me Nicole, get out there and get it. (And blog about it, don’t forget us) 😉

  13. DAYUM girl. just DAYUM. You are incredible. You did indeed work hard, but kudos to you for being a real person in the midst of it! I hope for BIG things for us this year (and injury free, of course!) Happy New Year!

  14. Love every word of this and love your beautiful attitude and your 2015 goals!! You accomplished so much in 2014 and I know you’ll keep accomplishing goal after goal!! Happy New Year!!! Have fun!! XOXO

  15. One of my goals for 2015 is running 10K under 1 hour. I started running 2 years ago, and sometimes I think it might not be possible for a 47 year old to go faster. But on the other hand 3 minutes should be doable. I still feel my running is improving and the most important thing for me is enjoying my time outside and it makes me a better mom when I’m back home again.

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