“Taking steps is easy, standing still is hard.” – Regina Spector, You’ve Got Time – OITNB Opening Song
Luckily (and completely by chance) I’m not incarcerated and can take steps toward my future. But, after running the NYC Marathon as my last race of the season, I feel like I’m in a holding pattern. Standing still is hard.
I know I need to rest, and I plan on doing that, for exactly two weeks. Then what?
I admit, these posts usually come out in December or January but, in the running and racing world, most goal races are over for the season, unless you’re running a spring marathon. Otherwise, this is the time to plan for next year, so you can let it settle into your brain as you run around like a maniac though the
ridiculous magical holiday season.
Step 1: Look Back
If you want to go somewhere, you need to know where you have been, right? I’ve been kind of afraid to tally up all my races from the past six months but here goes:
April 2015: New Jersey Marathon: 3:28:22 (PR) – 1st in age group 40-44, 2nd in Masters Division
July 8, 2015: Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon: 1:16:16 (swim 17:35/bike 34:38/run 21:35) 12th woman overall
August 30, 2015: Women’s Sprint Triathlon: 1:19:37 – 1st in age group, 7th overall and nationals qualifier
September 7, 2015: New Haven Road Race 20K: 1:32:23 – 3rd in age group
October 4, 2015: Maine Marathon 1:32:24 – 1st in age group 40-44 and 3rd in Masters
October 16, 2015: Runner’s World Trail Race/3.8 miles: 33:30 – 3rd woman
October 17, 2015: Runner’s World: 20:12 – 1st in age group and 1st in masters division
October 17, 2015: Runner’s World: 46:50 – 1st in division 40-44, 1st in masters division
October 18, 2015: Runner’s World Half 1:39:00 – 6th in age group/2nd in “grand slam” of 4 races in 3 days
November 1, 2015: New York City Marathon: 3:31:00
Wow. I have had a truly amazing six months.
By doing this, you also realize how much you have accomplished and definitely how many bottles of wine you are entitled to. Ten by my count.
Step 2: Prioritize
Training for and running all those races was no easy task. There are a few things I would have done differently with my training but, I also took it easy though vacations, and that I definitely would not change.
Take into account what your life looks like in 2016 and make your goals attainable! Why set yourself up for failure? Be honest with how much you can and truly want to do. If you have kids who are not in school, a demanding job that involves extensive travel or a serious napping hobby, you may want to train for the half marathon instead of the full.
Set yourself up to succeed and ask all the hard questions! Create a goal that has meaning for you. It’s great that your SIL wants to do the Warrior Dash in January in Vermont but is that what’s going to motivate you out of bed when it’s dark, cold and…did I mention dark…outside on a Tuesday at 5am? This is the time to think about it.
Step 3: Research
Sitting here right now I can think of about 20 different races I would love to do next year. The only way I could pull that off is with a serious overtraining injury, zero income and a divorce. Not exactly how I want to spend 2016.
If you’re anything like me, you have to set limits on all the things you think you can squeeze into your fitness calendar. Get online, talk to your friends and figure out what fun races you can do together and then plan it out in advance. Ragnar races don’t reserve vans and store days worth of food and toilet paper all by themselves. Don’t let this be the year you say “Oh man I totally wanted to do that!” Now is the time to plan it out.
Don’t forget to think outside the box and try something new! I sometimes fall into the trap of doing the same races year after year, just because. That makes zero sense! Think about a new challenge and plan accordingly. The year is your oyster.
Step 4: Organize
Once you set realistic goals, take it a step further and figure out how you’re going to make it happen. How many days a week will you train? How will you
lock up manage your kids during that time? What will you do in the winter or when there’s a blizzard, hurricane or heat wave?
One of the best things I did to help me attain big goals was hire a coach. Find out if it makes sense for you as there are many ways you can go about hiring one without spending a fortune. Speaking of…
Now is also the time to start scouting out a gym membership if you don’t have one. They will very soon be offering holiday/New Year deals plus, if you get one with childcare you have overcome two obstacles at once. You’re welcome.
Thinking of doing a destination race? If you’re planning on going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival weekend with me, we need to talk! Now that I know all the details of the race, I’m ready to rock it in 2016. Plus, I won’t have that pesky NYC marathon looming over my head this time around.
Step 5: Go For it!
Once you have a plan, take action! Get whatever gear you need, including those printed running tights you simply must have, drink some water (and for God sake don’t forget the electrolytes) and get your ass in gear!
After what happened in NYC, I couldn’t wait to talk to my coach about 2016. I’ve already started thinking about where my focus will be (Triathlon Nationals baby!), what I need to focus on before January (strengthening) and key races that will dot my calendar from February to August.
An amazing thing happens when you detail a success plan for your fitness future – you have a year of “I did” instead of “I wish I had.”
On your mark, get set…
[Tweet “Plan your 2016 #race calendar in 5 steps! #Race2016”]
What is the one trip or race you want in 2016?
Do you usually plan your race calendar?
What destination race is on your 2016 calendar and can I come with you?
brace yourself 🙂
IM DOING TWO HALFS IN 2016!!!
WHAT?????? OMG you cannot imagine my excitement! When and where are my only questions because I seriously may need to be there for this event(s)! GO YOU!
Dammit Allie! I’ve been trying so hard to not think too far ahead into 2016 but now….I’ve got so many ideas of what my goals are. But first I need to get back to 100% and then…
Oh crap. Sorry Angela but you too can plan for 2016…just in a very loose and noncommittal kind of way. Definitely your priorities are different and being healthy is number one but, come on, you know what you want to do already, don’t you?? 🙂
I haven’t thought to far ahead in 2016. You are making me debate on what I would like to do! I think it’s also important to take some time to relax and just be in limbo zone with training. If we are always training, than it’s definitely exhausting.
I couldn’t agree more which is why, while my body is in rest mode, my mind is planning two months ahead 🙂 And January is my starting point. No races for me until at least May.
Holy moly! I can’t even comprehend 2016 right now! But, it really is that time of year. You had such an amazing year. I’m excited to see where it takes you next year!
I’m sure you are business planning already, plus you have a one year old so you’re allowed to take an extra beat!
I love it!! You had such an amazing 2015 with no doubt even better things to come!! So proud of you! I kinda have my race calendar set, it is definitely not as intense as last year because I really was getting my feet wet in all of the NYRR races, so now that I’ve done a majority of them I can venture out to new places. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for you! 2016 is practically here!!
YES! I know you’re even already contemplating the marathon again (and glad you gave yourself the side eye!) but planning is must and, it’s just so much fun!!!
You have an AMAZING 2015!! It’s pretty incredible when you put it all together like this. And 2016 – what?? How is that just around the corner. Like Angela, I’m trying not to look too far ahead and just focus on getting back to 100%. I can’t wait to see what you have planned for next year and better question – can I come with you on your destination race? 🙂
The only question is WILL you come with me? I would absolutely love that! Heal up and let’s do it!
So I want you to put this one on your calendar in May as prep for nationals: The Columbia Triathlon. It’s right here in my backyard (literally 1.5 miles away) and is a killer course. Come do it, Stay here. Bring the family. My son can even babysit. What’s not to love?
I haven’t figured out my calendar yet this year–we’ve got an application in for HTC and hoping that will be part of it. Also, deferred my 50k for next Oct. There will be no marathon this year, that is for sure!
Have a great weekend!
I am Googling. There is zero downside to that and I absolutely love the plan!
Glad for us both that we are not marathoning and that you postponed your 50K. It’s going to be a good year!
Your poster reads 2106, lol. Next year will be very light, I am expecting and due in April and will focus on simply completing a double race mid September, including a 1/2 marathon. It will be a no pressure, get back into shape year.
OMG!!!! Do you know how many times I looked at that? And Pinned it? I am losing my mind. Thank you for pointing that out!!
And I love a no pressure/get back into shape year post-baby. I had my boys in April 2009 and we had a great summer. Good luck!
I totally need to sit down and plan my 2016… last year I didn’t try to do that until Jan 2015, and several of the races I was interested in (tinker bell half in may for example) were already sold out….
Another great reason to start planning ahead!
This is just a totally awesome post. I still am wanting to comment on your Wednesdays post…I was just thinking about how to put into words how awesome you did even though it was not what you hoped for. Your attitude at the end was so great and putting yourself out there and going after it is awesome!
I haven’t thought much about next year yet…I have my goal race next week so that is looming over me! I am doing 1/2’s in the spring and probably the Richmond full next year (do that one!). I think I will definitely be thinking about it more after next Saturday!
Thank you so much Jen. It was extremely hard (and still is) but, I did it and I’m proud of how I fought back!!
I’m wishing you all the things I didn’t achieve in my race but all the toughness and happiness I had. I really cannot wait to see how you run because you are more then ready and long overdue for a breakthrough race!
I would love to someday run Richmond with you but not next year!!!
so smart! i can’t wait to get back with a good coach, i found a great one online. but it’ll have to wait till next year, i’m rehabbing for quite a while. then my plan is to focus on shorter distances first and just stay with my happy place: half marathons! however, i’ve always wanted to run the marathon in Greece, Berlin, London, and Paris. I’d totally be down for any of those. maybe when my hubby’s done with grad school, in 2018 😀
I’m trying to talk my best friend into making the trip from Grand Rapids, MI to Bethlehem, PA for the Runner’s World Half and Festival!!
DO IT!!! You will not be disappointed. It’s the perfect running girls weekend!
I’ve got the spring planned out– Sarasota half and Big Sur marathon–but after that, my year is up for grabs!
I really love this post and it has me excited for 2016!! I’ll run Boston in April and that is the A goal race for the Spring (of course). I am sure I’ll run a half to prep for it and I’ll see what else my coach wants me to do.
After a marathon, I always have to take a big break for serious training – my body just craves that.
We haven’t planned our summer yet, but I’d love to do Beach to Beacon in August!! If I do it, would love to see you! Oh wait – when is Nationals?
I’ll have to see how our travel plans shake out. After that, I don’t now right now – will have to give it some thought.
You had such a fantastic year of racing!!! So awesome!!!
Great points! I usually have my 2016 calendar planned out by now, but I think I’m going to lighten up on the races a bit next year. I have a goal half in the spring but that’s really about it. I may try for a New England race when we are up there again next summer, maybe I can convince you to join me. And after your experience at RW, I think I may look into that one. I always run the same races here in DC and I’m getting bored. I need to change it up a bit. You had a pretty AMAZING October if you ask me, congrats lady! (BTW, your graphic at the top as the year as 2106)
I hear you and I definitely think you’re doing the right thing. I love the half marathon distance because it just fits into a busy life so much more easily!! And I would love to do a NE race and/or RW with YOU!!! This is our year 🙂
Thanks for the heads-up – I fixed it!! Doh!
Hmmm…how soon I wonder does the RW festival book up for ordinary folks? That might be worth a road trip – it really did look like a fantastic running weekend.
I don’t think it sells out but we would definitely book a few months prior to get the best hotel spot 🙂 Don’t worry – I will give you plenty of notice!!