I have a separate page on my blog where I track my goals. I have a few 2010 "carry-over" goals (ones I didn't achieve so I added them to either my 2011 or 2012 lists), my 2011 goals, and then a work-in-progress list of my 2012 goals.
For clarification, before I post the following - I am not the type of person who gets upset about missed running goals. I use my yearly goals more as a guideline than a must-achieve list. Although I am pleased when I meet my goal, I don't freak out or get overly negative when I don't. This is not how I approach running. I feel disappointment sometimes - for example, it took me awhile after my race in Stratford to wrap my head around the fact that my goal race, the Niagara Falls half marathon, was not do-able - but my disappointment didn't last for very long. I really try to keep it all in perspective and to keep moving forward. I am pretty sure the posts on my blog over the last 1+years reflects this about me, too.
Without further ado, here is my review of my 2011 goals before posting my 2012 list:
1. First and foremost, to run this year injury-free !!!
I accomplished this ... until September when I injured my left calf muscle during the Springbank Half Marathon and then tore it during the Festival City 10K. :(
As someone who always warms up and cools down with every run, stretches properly after her runs, started doing yoga 1-2/week, and who tends to err on the conservative side when training and pushing myself, this was very, very frustrating. It was something I discussed in detail with both my sports doctor and my physiotherapist - I thought I was doing everything 'right'. However, this second injury was the catalyst for learning about the bio-mechanical issue I have with my left leg, which was behind my left achilles tendon injury at the end of 2010 and again this year with my left calf muscle. The upside to this is that it's not a result of something that I was doing 'wrong' per se, but a pre-existing issue that I am now aware of and need to pay attention to in order to prevent another injury in my left leg in 2012. It has instigated my recent interest in exploring running beyond training plans & programs, and I'm finding it quite interesting. :)
2. To continue improving upon my running speed so that my average pace is consistently in the 6-minute zone whenever I run. I was on the cusp in December, but will no doubt be solidly in the 7-minute zone when I return to running regularly (I am making this resolution when I am off from running with an achilles tendon injury :( ...).
I am pretty sure that when I initially wrote this, I had my 'every day' runs in mind. It's hard to recall what I was thinking because my mindset has changed quite a bit since I wrote it! I achieved this goal in the sense that all my races in 2011 were in the 6-minute zone, but this pace zone was a hit & miss in my training runs. I used a 5K and a half marathon training program from the same book last year, and the coach/author emphasizes the importance of easy runs for the first 8 weeks being just that - easy. I took it to heart and spent 16-17 weeks just easy running, and building up my half marathon mileage. I like my lessened dependency on watching my Garmin and I plan to keep this up.
Truthfully, I think my pace will naturally gravitate into the 6-ish minute pace zone on a regular basis on its own as I become lighter on my feet (i.e. lose some weight). I'm not going to carry this goal over to 2012 because it's not my focus, but I'm speculating that it will happen anyway as a natural result of other things that I plan to focus on. We'll see. :)
3. To participate in all six (6) London Honda Running Series races and place in the top five (5) in my age group as a result of my perseverance and improved pace. :)
My potential prize for 5th place? A $10 gift certificate to the Runner's Choice in London - LOL! :) :)
I placed 7th and was on the injury list for the last race so I ran in 5 out of the 6 races. "If" I had been able to run in the last race, my probable age placement points and the extra bonus points I would have received for running in 6/6 would have bumped me up to 6th place - LOL! Close, but no cigar. :) There were age categories in which only one runner or three runners met the Series' criteria. My age group happened to be one which was heavily contested. :)
4. To participate in seven (7) out of eight (8) Runpiker Series races.
The Toronto Women's Half Marathon is on the same date as the first Runpiker Series race - the Dairy Capital Run. I ran the 5K in 2010 and would love to run in the 10K this year (it was a very fun, well-organized event). However, my heart is really into the half marathon with only women in Toronto, and I set it as my next half marathon goal after completing Niagara Falls.
UPDATE (March 2011): I was unable to start running again until February so training for this half marathon in time is no longer possible. Therefore, I will participate in all eight (8) Runpiker Series and seek out another third half marathon to run.
Achieved! I ran in all eight races and had a great time doing so! :) As for my 'heart' being into in all women's half marathon race, there is a new one this year :) but I will cover that in my 2012 goal list.
5. To be registered in a minimum of two (2) races at all times.
Once I have finished running one race, I will proceed to register myself for the next one as a method of keeping me motivated and looking forward.
For the most part I did this. What ended up determining this more for me was deadlines for race t-shirts. :) In one instance, I registered for one race that was 'two races' away because they sent a reminder email that only those registered by a certain date would receive a t-shirt - ha! At the time that I wrote this, I was wondering if I would lose enthusiasm for the race series as the year progressed if I didn't do this. This didn't happen at all - I am just as enthusiastic for it in 2012 as I was in the two years previous so this now looks like a moot point.
6. To run in a minimum of one (1) race per month.
I will need to fudge this a bit and start in February as there are no January races scheduled within my driving radius, but otherwise, when I look at my 2011 list, this is do-able!
January - 0 (Snowmaggedon & injured left achilles)
February - 1
March - 0
April - 3
May - 3
June - 3
July - 1
August - 2
September - 1
October -1 (2 planned races cancelled due to calf muscle tear)
November - injury list
December - injury list
I made 'hay' in the spring (April - June), but didn't find a local March race after all. I then had to abandon this goal by November. Another 'it is what is' - I ran in more than 12 races anyway so that's good enough in my books. :)
7. To participate in a minimum of three half marathons this year.
1. Toronto Women's Half Marathon - May 29th (change – achilles tendon injury prevented training)
2. Springbank Road Races Half Marathon - London, September 11th
3. Niagara Falls International Marathon (Half Marathon) - October 23rd - REMATCH !! :)
4. Road2Hope (Half Marathon) - November 6th
This is open to change and/or addition. If I am able to convince my sister to run a half marathon with me sometime this year, I am looking at The Chocolate Half Marathon in August or the Run for the Grapes in September with her.
My sister ended up having a horrible year at work and this had a negative impact on her running; therefore, I didn't push the idea of running in the Chocolate HM or the Run for the Grapes together. I still like the idea so I will likely let it simmer in the back of my head for the next few years as a fun thing to do with her. As for my list of half marathons, I accomplished the Springbank HM as planned, but was forced to drop out of my goal Niagara Falls HM. I was not in a financial position at the time to add a third, out-of-town HM so my focus on adding this race to my list was rapidly losing steam by the end of the summer anyway. I'm still adding three half marathons to my goal list for 2012. :)