5 Big Running Goals I Want to Accomplish This Year

When I think about my running goals I get overly excited. Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than finishing a great run. I love that feeling when I’m just totally worn out, already sore BUT ridiculously happy.

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^ I swear I am really happy here!

Running makes me feel alive. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something that I’ll look back on and be proud of when I’m 100 years old (fingers crossed).

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I won’t remember this marketing campaign that I managed or that blog post that I wrote, but I will remember every single race. Or at least I really hope that I do.

As many of you know it’s so hot here in South Florida during the summer that we don’t have any races, but as the fall inches closer I’m starting to think about my goals. Couple this with having just celebrated a birthday and I’ve got myself a nice little list of dreams to make into reality over the next year!

Here are five running related things I want to do during my 29th year on this earth:

  1. Run a personal best at the Chicago Marathon!
  2. Break 2:50 in the half marathon!
  3. Break 35 minutes in the 5K.
  4. Run in at least two new-to-me countries.
  5. Run a race on a hilly course just to see what it’s like (not for time).

^ That last one snuck in there because I was looking at pictures from the San Fran. half and decided that I would like to see what it’s like to race on a course with hills.

Training for that kind of a race here in Fort Lauderdale will be a challenge, and likely require significant time on the treadmill, but it’s something I’d like to experience. I think it would also give me the confidence to go back and run the Portland Marathon again someday…. 2016… 2017? #SoonerRatherThanLater

None of the other things on the list are likely very surprising to anyone who frequently reads this blog – or at least I hope not! 🙂

One thing that is missing is “run an ultramarathon.” Since I started running it’s been on my radar to run a 50-miler before I turn 30. That’s been my ultimate goal and it’s why I rushed my way from the 5K to the full marathon so quickly.

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I still want to run a 50-miler… in fact I want to run A LOT of them in my lifetime. It’s the ultimate distance for me and it’s one that I will cross off my bucket list. However, as I’ve been training for Chicago it’s dawned on me that to make my first ultra the race I want it to be, I need to put more work into the shorter distances first. Essentially, I need to earn my way into a great ultramarathon debut!

Right now I’m having all kinds of exciting thoughts about PRing in the half marathon distance… during my first conversation with my current coach she said “you still have so much potential to explore at the half distance.” 

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That line has crossed my mind so many times during the last couple of months. I think I wanted to rush up to the ultra distance because I didn’t believe I had potential at any of the shorter distances. Now that it has occurred to me that I do have potential at the half marathon I WANT to reach for the stars. 

What appealed to me early on about ultras is that runners are encouraged to go at a slower, leisurely pace and that’s all I ever thought I’d be capable of. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to go run a 1:30 half marathon tomorrow, but I do think with a lot of dedication and focus I could break 1:59 someday. Training to do that would be just as challenging, if not more challenging, than running a 50-mile race…

The thing is, I want to do both equally as bad, but both require pretty significant focus. I think training for a 50-miler would lend itself to a faster half marathon time naturally, but because I run so slowly my training runs would take up the entire weekend! I already find the work-run-life balance to be challenging during regular marathon training (but totally worth it).

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I DON’T KNOW! Deciding what I want to do after Chicago is really tough! For now, I’m just going to take it day-by-day and chip away at my five goals for the next year.

No matter what I end up doing I’m sure it will lead to an exciting journey because running always does!

Do you have a BIG goal you want to achieve this fall/winter?

PS: If you haven’t seen my latest vlog check it out – I talk about my Chicago training and answer some fun running (and non-running) questions! Adam says when I get to 1,000 subscribers he’ll start appearing in the videos. Only 992 more subscribers to go! LOL 😀

24 comments

  1. Kerry

    I was surprised to read your goals and not see the 50 miler on there. I think your coach is right, though. You do have a lot of potential in the half distance. You’ll get to run that ultra, but paying dues on the shorter distances will only make your first ultra more enjoyable.

    After Chicago, I am going to train for A1A again, with pretty big goals. I’m hoping to break 1:45… or at least get as close to it as possible. I’m considering running a marathon in the spring, but I haven’t decided yet. I kinda want to see how Chicago goes first.
    Kerry recently posted…Three Years Ago TodayMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      GREAT! I’m so happy that you’re going to do A1A again – I am too! We will have to make official plans to meet up this time as long as you’re willing to stick around until I finish 🙂
      Kristina recently posted…5 Big Running Goals I Want to Accomplish This YearMy Profile

  2. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    It is my dream to run the San Fran Marathon! Ever since we visited there several years ago, I fell in love with the city! There are A LOT of hills in Central PA! All my long run routes have lotsa of hills. It’s almost impossible not to have them unless you run back and forths in a flat neighborhood or if you go over and run in Harrisburg along the river- which I have done before!

    You are right- training for a fast half and an ultra are soooo different. But obviously rewarding in their own ways. When I was running ultras, I was not fast at all. I could only focus on one thing at a time and all we cared about was time on our feet, never pace. Training for ultras is fun because all the long runs are basically just like one big long run/hike in the woods with your friends. (I always trained with other people.)

    I am excited for your 20 goals! Any idea what countries you will run in? I have only ever ran in USA!
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…8 Miles turned into 10 Miles!My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Let’s sign up for San Fran! You can do the marathon, I’ll do the half and we’ll probably cross the finish line at the same time LOL!

      I’m excited to check one country off the list next week – the DR! I’m not 100% positive about the other one yet. It’s on my list to try my best to see the northern lights next year so I’m thinking Iceland! I’ve heard you give yourself the best chance of seeing them there!

  3. Heather

    My only fall goal is to make it to the finish line of my first marathon. Hopefully in a reasonable time, but really so long as I finish I should be happy 🙂

    I think you have a lot of potential at shorter races too! I’d love to see what you can do if you focus on the half marathon! I feel like I struggle with a similar debate all the time. I’d like to keep improving at shorter races (come on sub 20 5k!), but I’d also like to improve at longer distances too (BQ…someday!). It is hard to decide which goal to focus on, because I know that I can’t train for them all at the same time. But, realistically, most of my goals are multiple training seasons away, so I try to pick one distance to focus on for each season and just stick with that. As long as I am making progress at one goal, all of my goals are getting a bit closer (or at least I hope that is true!).
    Heather recently posted…Grand Rapids Marathon – 10 weeks!My Profile

    1. Kristina

      You will be happy no matter what your finishing time is! Initially I was disappointed with my finishing time from Portland because I expected to finish at least 30 minutes faster; however, once the initial disappointment wore off and the reality sank in I was ecstatic. There is nothing like thinking “holy crap, I finished my first marathon!!!!” It’s like a party goes off inside of your brain and you can’t help but be elated!
      Kristina recently posted…5 Big Running Goals I Want to Accomplish This YearMy Profile

  4. Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola

    If you are looking for a hilly course then you should look into the Blue Ridge Half/Full Marathon in Virginia. It’s in my hometown and is supposed to be challenging. I’d totally come and cheer you on, though.
    Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola recently posted…10 Tips For Growing Your Blog Using Google AnalyticsMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      I’ve actually looked at the Blue Ridge course before! Last year they invited me to come up and run it as an ambassador but I took one look at the elevation profile and politely declined haha.

      I do want to take on a hilly course over the next year though! I’ll have to take a peek at the course again!
      Kristina recently posted…5 Big Running Goals I Want to Accomplish This YearMy Profile

  5. Emily

    Ooh, I can’t wait to see which countries you get to run in! I love running in different countries!
    Emily recently posted…Why I Dislike the Diet Term, ‘Cheat Days’My Profile

  6. Running Schlub

    We have friends that ran San Fran…they said it’s epic but also very challenging.

    I like the way your coach puts it, very good plan to attack the ultra some day.

    P.s. I’m going to make up 8 fake subscribers so Adam can appear in the vlogs, hope you don’t mind lol
    Running Schlub recently posted…Day 13 – 17…Im Still HereMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      Hahaha I appreciate it, I want him to be in the videos!

      SF looks SO CHALLENGING but seriously incredible. I think the pain would be worth it!

  7. Jenn @ Running on Lentils

    I think your 5 goals and the reason you chose them is great. With your goal for your ultra still in mind, I bet you will adjust and fine tune your goals as time goes on in a way that makes the most sense to you. I feel the same way about wanting different goals that are at odds with each other. I feel like I really have unfinished business at every distance, and it’s hard to choose just one to focus on! I am sure you’re going to do great things at Chicago and in all the other distances you work at!
    Jenn @ Running on Lentils recently posted…BCHM Training: Week 5My Profile

    1. Kristina

      “Unfinished business at every distance” << exactly! I don't really care too much about my unfinished business with the 5K. I've just been holding on to that sub-35 minute 5K goal from when I started running, so it's one I need to tick off. After I get that I will not have any more 5K goals. In fact, I think once I get that I will retire from the 5K because it's such an awful, painful distance to race! 🙂

  8. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor

    Now more than ever, I understand what it feels like to get to a point where you realize your biggest goals are just not going to happen in the timeframe you thought they would. It’s beyond disappointing to have to push back something you had your heart set on when you realize you just aren’t ready yet. But I’m so glad you’ve found other things to be excited about and that you are starting to realize your great potential to be good at things you never thought you could be good at (like running fast at shorter distances). As we learn more about ourselves, it’s natural for goals and priorities to change as we tap into things we didn’t realize we were good at/loved. I’m kind of the same way – lately I’ve pigeonholed myself into thinking that I’m all about marathons, but I’ve started to miss shorter distances and wonder if I’m selling myself short, and so I decided to race a 5K this fall just to try something different and see what I can do when I stop telling myself “oh I could never be good at a 5K because I can’t run fast at short distances.”

    Sorry I missed your bday last week! I remember it because it’s the same as President Obama’s (is that weird? Haha).
    Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor recently posted…Love Hurts: Running Blues and Letting GoMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      Hahah yes, it’s the same as Obama’s! I got an email from his campaign headquarters with the subject line “Birthday Card for Obama” and I read it as “Birthday Card From Obama” and I got excited for a second. Turns out they just wanted me to sign his digital card, womp womp.

      I think you’re so right, it is natural to adjust our goals as time goes on. Over the years my career goals have changed, so why shouldn’t my running goals? Life is fluid right?

      I can’t wait to see how you do in the 5K. I think you have so much speed in your legs and I bet you’re going to kill the race!

  9. Heather @ GirlGoesRunning

    I’m with you on the goal of an Ultra! I want to do one so bad but I guess not bad enough to give up on my 3:30 marathon goal. Maybe once I do that I’ll finally do one! I have only run in the U.S.A. and Canada. I’d love to be more adventurous! lol
    Heather @ GirlGoesRunning recently posted…What I’ve Been Up To Weekend Recap!My Profile

  10. Karen

    I hope to see all those things happen for you 🙂 I know you can do it! Placing that half marathon and crushing it will be about timing. I have seen a few friends who completed their first marathon crush their half marathon time. It felt so much easier ( is what they told me) after all that distance training. The trick is timing so you have enough recovery time after Chicago. Start looking 🙂
    Karen recently posted…Wrapping Up, Moving On!My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Agreed! Last year training for Portland lended itself to a huge half marathon PR for me, so I’m hoping that trend continues!

      I will have quite a few chances as I am signed up for four half marathons between November and February with the potential to do another one in March 🙂

  11. Amanda @ Slimplify Life

    wheerreeee have I been!?!?! 1) I love your new layout, 2) I love your vlog, tell Adam to add +1 to your subscriber count ;), and 3) my favorite one of your goals is to run in other countries – I think that is so cool and I totally want to join you!!!
    Amanda @ Slimplify Life recently posted…Any other bloggers…? + weekend update + Marathon Training Week 1My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Thank you, thank you, and just let me know which race you want to do outside of the US!

      Isn’t there a popular saying that goes something like this: “Paris is always a good idea.”

      How about Paris? 🙂

  12. Annette @ Sweating Through Life

    My big goal for the fall is a full marathon. My original goal has gotten pushed back a bit, but I’m hoping to still make it happen by the end of fall. Your goals sound great! And I know that you can do them!!!
    Annette @ Sweating Through Life recently posted…Weddings and WaterfallsMy Profile

  13. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    This really hit home…the line about wanting to run an ultra because you lacked confidence in shorter races. I love that now you’re starting to really own your potential. I love your new goals for the half and 5k.

    While ultras may allow for “leisurely” paces, the marathon has taught me that even slow running can really hurt! I know you’ll conquer an ultra someday, but I love seeing your confidence in shorter races!
    Ali @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…Life After VacationMy Profile

  14. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust

    These are some fantastic goals, Kristina. I have no doubt that you will accomplish what you set out to do. I like the idea of running in at least two different countries that you have never run in, particularly because that = traveling!!! 🙂

    My primary goal this fall/winter is to get back out there and reunite with my running shoes after the baby is here. I am hoping to train for Boston and race there this April, but we will see how my body recovers. I just can’t wait to start running again.!!!
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Our Travel and Adventure Themed NurseryMy Profile

  15. Jennifer

    I hope all these goals become a reality in your 29th year! I think they are all attainable for you. Maybe I’ll get to witness the 2:50 in Miami? 🙂
    Jennifer recently posted…Out of the OfficeMy Profile

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