14 Weeks and Running Goals

Wells is 14 weeks old (on Friday when I started this post)!

Some sibling love

Some sibling love

Happy New Year! I’ve seen lots of bloggers posting about resolutions and/or goals. About half of them want to improve their fitness and chase some PRs. The other half want to take things easy, enjoy their exercise and not stress about distances or times. I enjoy reading both angles because I’ve been in each situation myself. After running competitively from junior high through college, I needed a break badly. I took a nice long break. I came back years later, fired up to do something great (after having Currie). I had a few years of running faster than I ever had, until I got pregnant with Wells, and got a much deserved and appreciated down year. But now I’m back and ready to turn things around again.

This got me thinking of my own running goals. It’s no secret that I want to qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon in 2016. I also want to PR in every distance from mile through marathon in the next 2 years, if not by year-end 2014.

My brothers at the last Olympic Trials in Houston. I want to be there with them next time!

My brothers at the last Olympic Trials in Houston. I want to be there with them next time!

When I think about what I want out of my running, I consider all the things I’ll have to give up to get there. I hear runners of all levels talk of sacrifices they make to reach their running goals and I totally get it. Early bedtime means sometimes missing social gatherings. Spending hours of the weekend at races and/or getting in the long runs takes huge chunks out of our free time. Cutting back on indulgences here and there (foods that don’t sit well with running, alcohol, etc) can be challenging. This list goes on and on. But here’s what I think: everything I give up, is something I want to give up. It doesn’t feel so much like a sacrifice.

Even during my highest mileage weeks, I never feel horrible or like I don’t want to do a run. Even when I’m scared out of my mind the days leading up to the race, I have to admit I love that rush. Even when I have to give up my beloved dairy foods a few days before a long race, I know it’s something I should be doing anyway. (In fact, I’m not eating any dairy right now since it doesn’t sit well with baby Wells.)

I want to reach my goals. I believe I will reach my goals. But even if I don’t, I won’t regret the process. I won’t regret trying. I won’t regret living this lifestyle. This is something I’m doing for me. No one else. And it’s a lot of fun that way.

So with all that being said, I had another week in the right direction. A New Years Day 3 mile tempo run on the trails of Schenley Park. Some snowy runs. A meetup and run with Kristy and Mark. My longest run in over a year, 15.2 miles with Jeff. And 53 miles on the week. Another week in the right direction!

It hasn’t all been easy. Running long is really hard for me right now. I just spent the last year running mostly 2-4 miles a day with the occasional longer run thrown in there when I had company of run-friends. My pregnancy was spent staying healthy and exercising daily, but not logging many miles. Now I’m starting from scratch with the long runs and they are all really painful and much slower than I’d like. I am proud of myself for keeping level-headed about it and knowing the fitness is building and it’ll all be much easier in the coming months. Looking forward to easier-feeling, and faster long runs of the future is what encourages me to add the extra mile each week!

Here are the 14 week postpartum pics! Had to change location this week as my normal picture spot (Wells’ bedroom) was occupied.

14 weeks postpartum pics!

14 weeks postpartum pics!

 Questions for you!

How do you stay motivated when long runs feel REALLY hard?

Did you make some resolutions or goals this year? Are they more relaxed or are you chasing some big personal bests?

 

 

14 thoughts on “14 Weeks and Running Goals

  1. This is such a great post, Jen! Congratulations on your longest long run. That feeling never gets old. Running just a little bit farther than you have. That was my favorite part of training for my first marathon. I expect it’s still as exciting with each new training cycle. Or, at least, I hope it is.

    “I want to reach my goals. I believe I will reach my goals. But even if I don’t, I won’t regret the process. I won’t regret trying. I won’t regret living this lifestyle. This is something I’m doing for me. No one else. And it’s a lot of fun that way.”

    This was my favorite part of this post. It’s so true. I used to be the type of person who would shy away from things that scared me. Running taught me to go after my dreams and goals; even when they scare me. Especially when they scare me. I really loved this post, Jen! Happy New Year. I can’t wait to see what incredible things are in store for you this year.

    • Thanks so much Beth! Yes, it always feels good to run a bit farther, especially after being away from long runs for awhile. I don’t think it ever gets old! It always hurts when it happens and feels great after!

  2. First, congratulations again on your long run. You are only on the rise and I cannot wait to see you PR in everything this year. You are so smart.

    I agree about giving things up. Everything I have given up for running is something I’ve wanted too so it doesn’t feel like a challenge. I don’t really feel deprived because of it. I’m like you that I want to PR in everything.

  3. It was very nice meeting you, and running together. Feel free to give me a call, whenever you want to run easy, hee hee.
    I’m sure you have big things in store for you and your running, excited to follow along.

  4. Your progress since the birth of your son is so inspiring! I had my daughter 7 weeks ago and unfortunately couldn’t start back running again until a week ago. I don’t have any immediate goals but hope to chase some PRs in the summer and fall!1

    • Thanks Andrea! I’m glad you are able to exercise again. I’m sorry you had to go through such a difficult labor experience, but it’s great that you are healing up quickly considering all you went through! I think it takes awhile to feel really great working out again (for me at least!) but you will be ready to chase some PRs soon enough and summer/fall sounds like great timing! Good luck!

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