As yet another year is completed and another begins, I find myself as always reflecting on the past 365 days that made up 2011 and constructively hopeful for the upcoming days of 2012. As I set my running goals for 2012, I find myself attaching personal goals to each one. Considering how personal running is to me, it’s no surprise there’s no separation of the two! J
2011 was a pretty tumultuous year. Most of the days of January and February were spent on the treadmill due to relentless snow and ice storms that seemed liked they would never go away. Treadmill running has some benefits, but when not mixed with outdoor running can be problematic in training for road races. I still somehow managed to place 3rd overall female in the Last Chance For Boston ½ Marathon at the end of February. Once March came around, I ended up in the E.R. after blacking out during an easy run. Literally the day after I got out of the hospital, I was recognized formally at my high school as a teacher that greatly impacted one of my students. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!!! April was the glorious Boston Marathon, which led into training through one of the hottest summers on record in CLE. During that time, I started blogging (WOO!) and was forced to make some personal decisions that resulted in exactly what I needed to make some much needed positive changes in my life. I entered fall with mixed emotions regarding the monotony that my life had seemed to entertain too dearly, just to discover that my life was anything BUT monotonous! I had finally freed myself from anchors that had been holding me back for years, was having fun, and running P.R.’s while I was at it! I ended up nailing a 1:30 P.R., 3rd overall female place, at the River Run ½ Marathon. I followed it up with my all-time best marathon, 3:16 at the Columbus Marathon. I was flying high and nothing could bring me down!! The New York City Marathon was just the icing on the cake, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more confident about the person I had grown into. At the end of November, things changed quite a bit. A student at my high school passed away in a car accident on Thanksgiving, and although I never had the pleasure of having him in class, it really hit home for me. I had to dig deep down into myself to be strong for my students and colleagues, trying my best to be as supportive as I possibly could. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a best friend, sibling, or son. Even blogging about it brings tear to my eyes. During that time and throughout the month of December, it really forced me to reflect on my faith, and the importance of cherishing every moment and person you hold dear to your heart. God doesn’t let us know our expiration date, but we all know we have one. We are responsible for living our lives to the fullest, loving each other and ourselves. Don’t wait for the right moment, the right person, or the even right hair-day for the matter…if you want something, someone, or what have you, YOU have to GO GET IT!! Get busy living, or get busy dying!
Okay, so my top 10 constructively hopeful goals for 2012:
1) Run a sub-3:10 marathon. Yep, I’m committing to this goal. It’s definitely a big jump from 3:16, but I know I have it in me to get there. I’d ideally like to make this happen at Cleveland with my entire family there to see it happen, but if it doesn’t happen there I’ll make it happen in the fall! If I stay confident throughout the ups and downs that inevitably sneak their way in throughout my training, I will make this happen. That’s just the kinda gal I am. J
2) Run a sub-1:30 ½ marathon. Yep, I’m committing to this goal as well. My P.R. is 1:30:08, so if I work just a little bit harder this time around, I can nail this one.
3) Run a sub-19 minute 5k. My P.R. is 19:34, so this one is a little steep. I may crash at the finish, but give me a flat course (and maybe a cute guy to chase) and I’ve got this one!
4) Race unplugged! I stopped running without my headphones for all races and most of my training this fall which proved to be very beneficial. It really opened me up to the race experience, and helped me learn how to channel my inner spirit. All I wanted this fall was a sub-3:20. I had no idea a 3:16 was even possible for me. I believe that my ability to break through some of my over-analytical racing ways was by hanging up the Ipod, believe it or not.
5) Chill out on my perfectionism. Is that even a word? ;-) I really am a slave to my own desire to be perfect, all the time. It’s exhausting. Sometimes I wish I there was a way to take a vacation from being me! Perfect does not exist, and I need to accept that. If I don’t run a perfect race or training run, I need to reflect and move on. If a student doesn’t get the grade I thought they could, reflect and move on. If a guy turns out to be a different person than I thought he was, reflect and move on. Pretty simple when I put it in words…now if I can just convince my brain…J
6) Let people in. I have become so incredibly independent over the years, which has been both a blessing and a curse. It’s important to be able to do things on your own, but it’s also crucial to have positive, uplifting people in your life to share experiences with. Running with others this year has been incredible for so many reasons, and has helped motivate me to reach and exceed many of my goals. You may not keep around every person you meet, but if you don’t give yourself the opportunity let people in who knows what you could be missing out on!
7) Just say NO. No, not in the Nancy Reagan way haaaa. In my drive to be perfect, I also strive to please people. I tend to take on too much because I feel that I will be letting someone down by saying a simple “NO.” I need to exercise that word more often, for the sake of everyone.
8) Keep having fun. I run because I love it. I love it because it’s fun! I don’t understand why some people find it miserable…? But fun can’t be limited to just running. I need to be open to all kinds of fun, whatever that may be!
9) Try something new. I have no idea what I want that to be yet, but I want to explore a new opportunity. Suggestions are welcome!
10) Be spontaneous. In addition to being a perfectionist, I also tend to get too wrapped up on plans. Some of the greatest moments of my life have been based on spontaneity in one way or the other. I need to let things just happen!
I’m really looking forward to this year…I will be going on the class trip to Quebec in February, running my 2nd Boston Marathon in April, running my 3rd Cleveland Marathon in May with my family there to see me, planning and celebrating my sister’s wedding in June, having another niece/nephew in August as my other sister recently discovered she is pregnant, and will be turning the big 3-0 in October! 2012 will inevitably be filled with many highs and lows, and I am adequately prepared to roll with the punches as I go!
Go get busy living….it’s 2012!!!! J