Closing the Books on 2013

We’re about ready to close out 2013 and I’m a bit sad to see it go.  Physically, I had a great year!  I really enjoyed pushing myself and seeing what I was capable of completing.  That said, I have a lot of awesome plans for 2014 and I can’t wait to start working towards those goals.

Just to bookend the year, here’s an update on on my 2013 goals:

1. Improve my mental image/self-talk. Yeah, this is still a struggle. It will be following me over to next year’s goals, also.  A few weeks ago my husband took a very flattering picture of me on the beach and sent it to me. I literally asked if that was what I look like or if was just a super good angle.  I know he thought I was off my rocker but, in my head, I’m still extremely large.  Some days the mental image and physical reality align somewhat but it’s not often enough.

2. Stop qualifying myself – “I run but I’m slow” is not allowed! Huh, well, I just told someone that I was too slow for them to want to run with me yesterday so… I guess this will be following me over to next year, too!

3. Do 5 new exercise “things”

TRX (for core work) – still loving it, even though I’ve had to take a break for a few weeks.  I plan to get back to it in January.
Trail run(s), maybe a mud run? Done! I did several trail runs and races, including a half marathon and really loved it.  I will be doing more next year!  I also did two obstacle races and enjoyed them.  I’m doing a Spartan Super next year (hold me!)
Improve my swimming skills so I can try a triathlon next year. Didn’t happen. Swim classes start on Jan.  4th
Try Pilates or a regular yoga class (for flexibility) Didn’t happen.  I took a Metro Barre class and liked it but my foot did not.
There was no fifth thing. 😦

4. A sub-30 5K (July?) DONE!  Just a bit late.  My November Turkey Trot had a 29 minute 5K as part of my 1 hour 10K.  Next year? A 10K in comfortably under an hour.

5. Finish a half and full marathon without sweating the time. DONE!  Next year I will be focusing on improving my time for both distances.

So, that’s it.  Overall, I am very happy with this past year.  There are some things that could have been better but I learned from each and every training run and race.

My Top 5 Lessons:

1. Never skip a water stop if you are running more than 3 miles.

2. Taking a minute to stretch mid race takes a lot less time than having your form fall apart in the last two miles and being forced to limp to the finish.

3. Even if you think of yourself as a “loner”, running with a group can be immensely beneficial.

4. Don’t neglect your speed work and hill work.

5. Find your “cheerleaders” early and don’t be afraid to lean on them when you are feeling doubtful.  The night before my marathon I was a total wreck and the only thing that got me out the door that morning was knowing that people I trust believed that I could do it.

What goals did you achieve this year?  Any “lessons learned”?

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