Saturday I reflected on 2013 and some of my accomplishments. My New Year’s
Resolutions post from December 2012 didn’t spell out my resolutions, but encouraged readers to make realistic and healthy resolutions before the New Year’s Eve party started.
Today it is time to lay out The 2014 Plan. The Plan is not a resolution, but consists of the following goals:
2014 Running Goals
2014 Dietary Goals
2014 Professional Goals
2014 Running Goals
I always get excited making race plans, setting goals and creating training plans to achieve them. I love running and races so whenever I get to spend time focusing on them I’m a happy man. In 2013 ran 954 miles and 27 races. In 2012 I ran 883 miles and 20 races; in 2011 I ran 449 miles and 15 races. I am improving even as I approach 50!
I’m still planning my races for 2014 and the total number of races will probably be between 25 and 30 races. My big race for the year is locked in and paid for: The 2014 Boston Marathon. Until I cross the finish line on Boylston Street on April 21st, all training runs, races and gym workouts will be focused on this race.
As 2013 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the past twelve months. At this time last year I wrote a post called “New Year’s Resolutions” and discussed setting goals before New Year’s Eve. It is easy to have big dreams and set high goals after a few beverages and while others are boasting of their impressive resolutions.
My main point was to seize the day and set realistic goals while you are in a rational state of mind. My focus was to encourage my readers to change their diets and increase their physical activity. The combination of the two is the best way to control your health and achieve your weight and fitness goals. Trying to achieve these goals with only one method requires too much work and often fails.
Here is a review of how this approach worked for me in 2013.
A few months ago I was sitting around talking with one of my running mates. We were talking about running, of course, and got on the topic of motivation and how people stick with running over the years.
There are so many things that can get in the way of your run for today and all of the runs this week, this month and the rest of your life.
As I often say, life gets in the way of running. We all work, many of us have families. Sometimes we have to work late or travel for business. There is sickness and injuries. And with DVRs, Netflix and FIOS on-demand TV there is always a good waste of time on TV. And how could I not mention Facebook, Twitter and blogs as a major time suck?
With all of these distractions how do runners stay motivated and resist distraction? How do we get back out on the road after a long week with 0 workouts? How do we do it when we feel like crap because we are overdue for the endorphin fix?
Sometimes we get into that negative feedback loop that tells us we are now officially losers because we missed our run yesterday.
My buddy said the biggest motivator for him is the running club. Knowing that people are expecting him to show up for the Sunday Long Run and again on Tuesday night for our club run gets him out of the house.
The social interaction during the runs and afterwards is something that he looks forward to and is a highlight of his day. His only regret is not joining the club sooner.
When he said this I readily agreed. The social aspect of running is a major factor in my motivation to keep running also. I enjoy being in the best shape of my life. But that is not enough. I could probably modify my diet and keep most of that weight off and cut back on the running. Running takes a lot of time and can be hard to do sometimes, both mentally and physically.
If your New Year’s Resolution was to start running let me suggest that you join a local running club. I know many people will say they’re not a runner or not good enough to join a club. Let me tell you that your ability does not matter.
Most clubs have runners of every ability level. You are sure to find someone happy to run with you. You do not have to be fast or a marathon runner to join a club. Clubs welcome beginners and runners of all capabilities.
Don’t feel intimidated. Runners are not judgmental and are some of the most supportive people you will ever meet. Experienced runners are always happy to answer your questions and provide advice. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I learn something new from other runners all the time. Sometimes I learn from people with fewer running years than me. Good advice is good advice.
The Road Runners Club of America, RRCA.ORG, has a searchable list of over 1,000 member clubs across the country. There are clubs in almost every state, except North Dakota and Puerto Rico, three clubs in the USVI and one in Guam. Pretty much anywhere you live in the US you will find a club. If you cannot find a club in your town or close by, the RRCA has resources to help you start an RRCA club in your community.
Another place to find a local club is Coolrunning.com. Their list is more extensive and I would definitely recommend a look see over there also. For my non-US readers, Coolrunning.com also has a listing of clubs around the globe. From the numbers listed I have to assume that it is not comprehensive, but it may be worth checking it out. They list only 662 clubs in the US and RRCA has over 1,000 in the US.
Runningintheusa.com also has an extensive list of running clubs. They list 5 clubs in North Dakota but do not even list Guam or the USVI. You can search this site using their list or by clicking on your state. I think that if you use all three resources you should be able to find a local club.
Like most things in life, running is more fun when you do it with other people. Fun is a major reason that many people run. I encourage you to up the fun factor in your running, add some serious motivation and join a local club.
I was poking around on the Garmin connect website a few days ago and found some cool stuff on the “Analyze” tab.
On the drop down menu there is a “reports” tab. You can look at your numbers for the past 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, this week etc. They also let you look at your numbers over the last 365 days, Last Year and This Year. I checked these options out and it was pretty amusing.
Fun Facts from Garmin over the past year
Logged 136 Activities
Run 1,716.37 miles
Run for 145 hours, 5 minutes and 6 seconds
I have burned 99,427 calories
That last one blew my mind – 99,427 calories! And I’m pretty sure I missed a few runs when I forgot my watch or it wasn’t working.
With 136 activities over the past 365 days I have only been running about 2.5 days each week. It seems like I have been running more often than that, but there were weeks when I was hurt, sick, traveling, or lazy!
As a goal for 2013 I will run 156 times or three times each week. This is my pre-New Year’s resolution. But, resolutions are for cupcakes. This is my COMMITMENT. I WILL do this.