Is it just me or is it harder and harder to set a goal once you accomplish some really big ones?! Um hello Ironman. I’ve researched and read, and considered and contemplated. I’ve spent a lot of time looking up races and locations, wondering if the venue would make for a nice race-cation. I check flights and hotels, and nearby attractions. I want to choose races that fit my schedule and my life. After devoting so much time to Ironman training these last 3 years I am definitely looking forward to having more free time with my friends and family. I also realize though that I’m such a type A person that I need goals in order to be motivated to follow an exercise plan.
So, drum roll please, here are my races and goals for 2018 (aka the post-Ironman year!):
- Race a sub 2 hour half marathon
I’m not the fastest runner but I know that I have it in me to be faster. I have raced in many half marathons and still not hit this time goal. I have been under-trained or injured in a few of them, had a best time of 2:07, and a comfortable time of 2:15.
I also never followed an actual sub 2 training plan. That’s all about to change. I’m going to find a 12 (March 4th start) or 16 week plan (Feb. 4th start) and get at it! I’m going to race the Ottawa Half Marathon on May 27th since I’m familiar with the course (I’ve crossed that finish line 3 times already!) and it’s an easy drive from Toronto.
Want to join me? Be sure to register early. This is one of the more popular half marathons in Canada!
2. Run my first solo trail race
A few years ago, I ran the Great Canadian North Face Challenge in Alberta as part of a relay team. I ran through mud and up hills, from midnight to 3am on a narrow trail in the Rocky Mountains. Oh, and in the pouring rain.
It was an epic experience and one that I definitely look forward to repeating – this time though I want to run during the day, and solo. I’m going to race in a Five Peaks event and I’m sure will have a fun time! Since trail running is often far slower than road running, and a hell of a (fun) workout, I’m going to pick an Enduro race of a little over 10km. This one at the start of September seems like a good fit and it’s conveniently located in my back yard (well, close enough): Heart Lake.
3. Run a road relay race with friends
Part of the joy in running is sharing the experience with friends. Whether supporters or fellow runners, there’s something very special about being able to share the highs and lows with friends who also love running and mean the world to you.
Almost a decade ago (gulp) I did a Ragnar running race with fellow type 1 athletes (hi guys!) and loved every minute of it. From having our faces plastered on our race van (I was a brunette then) to running at night and only seeing the flickering of lights ahead (what is it with me and night running?!), to trying to sleep in a van in between shifts (it’s as uncomfortable as you’d imagine), my relay road race experience was incredible. There are a number of options to choose from, but first I have to form a group – I can think of a few friends who might be interested… Heather? Will? Jennifer?
4. Complete a short triathlon for fun
After 3 years of preparing and training for my Ironman race, I need a break from the high training volume and sacrifices involved with long distance triathlons.
Part of me of course loves the idea of jumping right back in and doing a half Ironman this summer but I also have come to realize that I would love to spend my time becoming leaner and faster, and focusing on my half marathon race.
And so, I’ll do a sprint or an Olympic triathlon this summer for fun, and probably hold off on another half Ironman for now.
Looking at this list I wonder if I’ll be motivated enough by these ‘small’ challenges – again, having the Ironman goal hang over you for years shifts the way you approach challenges – but I know that I simply need to be consistent. Workout. Sweat. And return to the basics.
How do you set your goals after achieving a BIG one? Do you take a break from goal setting and return to the basics? What motivates you when you don’t have a structured workout plan? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Here’s to returning to basics, and simply enjoying the sweat life,