Well it is that time of year again. Reflection and goal setting time. One of my favourite times of the year!!! It is always exciting to turn the page and set yourself up to work towards new goals.
As one year comes to an end it is important to take a step back and look at what you have accomplished and what you did not accomplish. This allows you to set appropriate goals for the upcoming year. So here is my reflection on 2017 and I hope it inspires you to take some time to do your own reflection as well. *it is mainly running focused… go figure haha
The year started off on a slow note as I was injured. I was only running on the alter G in January and did not do my first outdoor workout until March. So needless to say the first few months were frustrating but I kept pushing myself. Lucky for me it paid off with a good spring race season.
I won the first two races I entered (bum run and sporting life). I was beyond happy to defend my sporting life title. I then headed to Ottawa for the half marathon. I ran a small PB and was able to come away with second place. My coach then informed me she wanted me to race two more times to my surprise. So I competed in the waterfront 10k and pride run. Both were hard efforts but just did not have the juice left.
I took one week off and then it was straight in to a three month build for the Chicago marathon with the goal of crushing 2:45 in the marathon.
This build was the first time it was all in for the marathon. I only ran one race in the fall season this year, which is abnormal for me. But I really enjoyed being all in for the marathon. There was no interruption in my focus. I said last year in the goal setting that my only running goal was to break 2:45 so I am happy to have put everything in to accomplish that goal… finally. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that it has been my goal to break 2:45 in the marathon for the past three years.
The build for Chicago went well and I ran more mileage then I ever have before. I also did harder and longer workouts then ever before. But the big game changer was the focus on down time, recovery and my mental game. I had a few break throughs in using meditation and reiki in order to help calm my anxiety and allow me to perform at my best.
In the end I crushed my 2:45 goal by running 2:41:58 and being the first Canadian female to cross the line. It has left me ranked 8th in the country for the marathon for 2017, which is super exciting as well.
- 5,330km (*approximately) ran— a few being on the alter G
- PB in the marathon by 5mins and 30s: 2:41:58 Chicago Oct 8, 2017
- PB in the half marathon: 1:18:42 Ottawa May 27, 2017
Of course, looking at the outcomes is important, but I think there is a lot more to it and a lot more area for improvement if we take a step back and look at how we approached hitting the outcome goals.
I think I have also had some break throughs in the way I approach my run training. And it is amazing that after training for 15 years as a competitive runner and having a vast education in the human body that I am just coming to this realization. But playing around the Whoop (https://whoop.com/) I have realized that training is just an accumulation of strain and recovery. As you can imagine with the weather as of late my training has been less than ideal. But as long as I am creating cardiovascular strain on my body then that is all that matters. The flip side to that is to be sure to recover from all of the strain as well. We are all good at creating strain but the successful athletes understand the importance of recovery.
The other break throughs were in realizing that running is for me and I am not hurting any one else if I don’t hit my paces in a workout. As long as I am working hard and creating strain as above that is all that matters. This in turns also allowed me to stop running in fear and rather to just run. And you know what it was much more enjoyable and a hell of a lot easier to run faster.
The down time has been huge for me. We all lead busy lives (*myself included) and down time has always been something I struggle with. But that is why it is so important when you do have the time to MAKE USE OF IT!!
I think 2017 definitely was a break through year for me and I am, excited to keep it rolling through 2018.
So be sure when reflecting you are not just looking at the quantitative outcomes but also take a look at your approach and what you could improve. At the end of the day if you continue to do the same thing and expect different results… that is the definition of insanity. And no one wants to be insane.
So, what about the rest of my life. I took some time to read through my goal setting post from last year. And I am happy to say I hit most of my goals. The one I was least successful with was being more consistent with blogging, but I still managed 12 over the year. In regard to my blog when I have something worth writing about, I write it. I do not want to be forcing out blogs without purpose. I did take a few continuing education courses and loved them. I will definitely continue this in to the new year. And in regards to reading, I did okay… you can always be better. Number 1 book I read though… How bad do you want it? By Matt Fitzgerald.
My practice at The Runner’s Academy has continued to grow and I have loved working with all the runners that have come through the door. We have some exciting things to look forward to in 2018, as we continue to grow our brand.
Coaching through NRC and privately has continued to be a huge source of inspiration for me and I am so excited to continue to coach. I am also excited to help you get to your break through moments!!
Be sure to take some time to do some reflecting of your own. And stay tuned for my goal setting blog.
Here is to a happy, healthy and goal crushing 2018!!!