As far as running concerns, my plans for 2015 were little ambitious. I wanted to keep running during my pregnancy as long as possible. I also hoped that I would manage to get back to running after having my baby. But I had no idea how it would be to do sports with my postpartum body and a little baby that would need me 24/7, let alone get back to the level I had reached in 2014, when I ran my first (and only) marathon.
Some people around me had different plans for me and added me to an energetic bunch of runners in the United Arab Emirates with a mission: to run 2015 km in 2015.
In previous years, this goal would have been peanuts for me. In 2012, I ran a total of 2,303 km; in 2013 2,646 km. In 2014, the year I got pregnant, I still managed to do a decent 2,373 km.
Obviously, 2015 would be a totally different story. First our move to New Zealand, then the last trimester of my pregnancy, then the baby – all factors that would take running to the back seat.
Halfway 2015, I took a look at my mileage and saw I was far behind the pace bunny. I had run almost 700 km, while I should have done 1008 to be on schedule. To be honest, it didn’t even cross my mind that I could, perhaps, reach this 2015 goal.
A few months later, a quick calculation showed me I was not too far off – less than 200 km. And in October I knew that if I continued training as much as I had done since I started running again post baby, I would easily reach 2015 km by the end of the year.
November saw a dip in my mileage. I was busy with my parents’ visit and thought about blowing it off, but as soon as they left I decided to go for it and geared up. As I am writing this, I am “only” 121.8 km away from my mission. That means I need to run an average of 7.16 km a day or 50.15 km a week – not too bad for me; I usually run about 50 to 60 km per week.
How I could run this much? Here are a few tips:
- Count every mile. Some days I jog only 3 km, almost too short to feel I have done anything. But remember that every little bit adds up. If I hadn’t done and recorded those runs I would have not been able to run 2015 km.
- Run with the stroller. No week goes by that I don’t run with Maria in the stroller. I often don’t have the opportunity to run alone and leave her at home. Besides, I like her to go out every day or combine my run with some errands. Stroller runs are perfect for that (apart from the occasional crushed tomato in the stroller basket).
- Ask your partner for support. In spite of the stroller runs, I couldn’t have run this much without my husband’s support. He often stays with Maria or takes her out for a walk when I am running alone or with the running club.
- Make it a priority. Needless to say, running is my passion; therefore, I make it happen no matter how busy I am, how bad the weather is or how much I dread going out for a run. If you set yourself a running mission – or really, any goal – you need to make it a priority. And before that, you need to ask yourself if you can make it a priority. How important is it for you to achieve this goal? Are you willing to sacrifice precious time in order to reach it? How are you going to schedule working toward this goal into your daily or weekly routine?
- Be realistic. Asking yourself whether you can make your goal a priority allows you to be realistic. After all, if you can’t you will know you shouldn’t put this goal. Be realistic on how important your goal is, how much time it will cost you, and how you are going to work towards reaching your goal.
So, am I signing up to run 2016 km in 2016?
Oh, the million dollar question… And I can’t answer it with a simple “yes” or “no”.
Realistically, it isn’t a difficult goal for me: I “just” need to run an average of 5.5 km a day, 38.6 km a week and 168 km a month. Unless I get injured or something else unexpected happens, I should be able to do this.
However, it is not going to be one of my 2016 priorities. If it happens it happens, but if it doesn’t because I am busy with other things I won’t feel too bad about it. You see, there are so many other things I would like to work on (sportswise, I mean. Let’s not start about the non sport-related resolutions I have in mind for the coming year.). Improving my core strength, a 90-day yoga challenge… Ever since I got back to working out post baby my goal has been to work on my all-round fitness. Unfortunately, I haven’t been very successful in this, and I hope to give it some more focus in the year to come.
Do you have any running or sports-related goals? Or any other resolutions for 2016? I would love to hear them!