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Fitness Goals & Upcoming Races

Now that I’ve finished my annual Shamrock Shuffle, I am starting to think about what I will do next, fitness-wise. Last night, I opened a brand new Google doc and wrote down exactly what I want for myself. I’ve had a vague idea of my fitness goals/objectives, but (surprisingly, considering that my job is centered on setting goals/objectives with clients) I haven’t written down an actual plan for myself in a long time. I do talk about some fitness goals in my New Year’s post, but what I’m posting about today is a bit more specific about how I will achieve those goals. In my 2016 goals post, I wrote that I would like to PR my marathon and half marathon times. The exciting news is that I’ve registered for a half marathon and put my name in the lottery for the Chicago MarathonI will be running the Rock n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon this year, which I have run three times before and really enjoyed (except not the last time I did it because it was crazy hot out. This was pre-blog, so it’s been quite a long time since my last RNR). 10miles2011

The first time I ran 10 miles – training for RNR Chicago 2011, which was my first half marathon!

I will definitely be running the Rock n’ Roll Half, provided that I don’t get injured, but the Chicago Marathon is a big “what if?” at the moment. If I do not get accepted into the lottery, then I will probably sign up for a fall half marathon and continue working towards that PR (if I don’t PR at RNR). It will be pretty sad if I end up not making it into the Chicago Marathon, but marathons happen on a regular basis. I can always register for Chicago again next year or even try for a different marathon. I have a few marathons on my bucket list, but they would be more expensive due to needing to travel. Chicago is just easier for me at the moment. So, to end my rambling about the marathon lottery, not making it into Chicago will not be the end of my world. I will just have to readjust my goals 🙂

Another goal I’ve alluded to in several posts is that I want to lose a few pounds. I’ve gained weight since starting a more sedentary job last year and would really like to get back to where I was prior to that. I have been addressing this issue by counting my calories almost daily (trying to do this every day from now on) on MyFitnessPal and making some small changes to my diet. So far, I’ve already lost 2 of the 7 pounds I want to lose, so it’s going well! I think my metabolism has slowed down as I’ve aged, so I’m trying to make this more of a “lifestyle change” than a diet.

In addition to a healthier diet, I’m going to try and exercise more often. At this time last year, I was lucky to make it to the gym 3 times each week. Since starting Shamrock Shuffle training this year, I’ve been at the gym (or running outside) around 4 times per week. I would now like to up my gym attendance to 5x/week. To me, this does not sound excessive at all. I have more time on my hands than I did last year at this time because my only obligation is 1 full-time job. For a little while this year, I was working 2 jobs, but that’s over now! I will definitely be able to squeeze in 1 extra gym session. Even a restorative yoga class will count towards my goal of 5x/week. As long as I get moving, I’m good.

I also want to lift weights or do some sort of strength training/ab work at least 3x per week. This is always a challenge for me, but Oksana has been helping me out a lot with my fitness lately. She knows a lot about weight training and I’m going to make sure to work out with her often because she knows about strength exercises for runners. I will continue to run my usual 3x/week also. Obviously, I will strength train on the same day I run at times, so that will likely take place on days I run shorter distances.

In summary, my goals are to lose weight (7 lbs total), get stronger, and get faster. I plan to do this by eating healthier/non-processed foods, watching how much and what I’m consuming, adding an extra day of exercise to my regimen, focusing more on strength training, and continuing to run 3x/week even though I’m not training for a particular race. I do not plan to run a ton of miles, but I want to stay in good running shape for when half marathon and marathon training begin. This week, I will probably not run 3 times since I just completed the Shamrock Shuffle, but I will definitely do something else instead, such as the elliptical. I don’t want to push myself right away – gotta recover! Similarly, I will not restrict food too much. I don’t think I’m even capable of doing that. I mean, what if it’s a holiday or someone’s birthday? I don’t want to miss out and I shouldn’t have to. This is all about just being more mindful on a daily basis about how I am taking care of myself. It’s not about doing something I can’t keep up with.

chicago-marathon-2015

I’ve never been bad at meeting my goals 😉

This is where I’m at right now and I wanted to make sure to put my goals/objectives out on my blog in order to stay accountable. My next race is actually going to be a 10k in June, but my goal race is definitely the Rock n’ Roll Chicago Half (and hopefully the Chicago Marathon). For now, I’m going to build a healthy foundation for training, which is set to begin in June. I’ll keep you updated on my progress! Thank you for reading this long-winded post if you’ve made it this far <3

How do you stay motivated to reach your fitness goals?