10500387_10204599598176445_4306696716305114301_nLast December I set intentions for gratefulness and simplicity in 2014, as if I were one mental battle of will away from a life space of Zen.

The year answered with a big fat oh yeah? and test after trial after complication after unfairness and heartbreak. Humbling lesson after unanswered question.

Some years are bumpy, and it’s to be expected, and then some years you thought you stood in line for the tilt-a-whirl but in the middle of the ride you’re horrified to find yourself on the Texas Giant.

I am grateful to be riding.

But, Dear Universe: could we cut back on the drama for this next one, pretty please? I really hate heights.

Now let’s wade to waters less deep and discuss running goals. How I fared in 2014:

  • More variety, less prescribed “training.” I wouldn’t say I included more variety – although, I was on a hot yoga kick for a while – but I did practice what I would call “going by heart” which means instead of letting a training program dictate I just ran as long/hard as I felt like doing that day. I think there is merit to this, I feel it helped reduce fatigue and burnout and subsequently improved fitness.
  • Race once a month, for fun. I raced every month except for July, in which fitting a race into my schedule was an impossibility. I did two in March. I give myself a pass. This was a great goal to keep because it helped me run consistently and look forward to something each month. I also ended up setting PRs in the 5K, 10K and half marathon distances which I don’t believe would have happened without it.
  • Hit 700 miles for the year. I don’t think I wrote this down but I had this mile goal in mind for the end of 2014. I missed it by a lot…today I’m at 445 and plan to run 5 tomorrow to make an even 450.
  • Complete the Holiday Running Streak. I sneaked this goal in at the end of the year and did well from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, but after getting sick I got completely derailed.

Notable: Running on three U.S. coasts (San Francisco, CA; Westerly, RI; Port Bolivar, TX), running a sub 2-hour half marathon time in a hilly race, completing 40 days of vegan Lent (re: the “eat simply” goal).

My new goals for 2015 are as follows…and, by the way, I believe it’s okay to shoot for the moon and miss, intend for something but find yourself diverted to a different path, and be made a mockery of by the Universe because that’s pretty much what life likes to do, eh? Setting goals means we have at least tried for something.

  • More focus on strength and speed. A recycled goal with a different spin: variety in workouts but for a specific result…more Insanity or weight lifting to build strength and track workouts to focus on improving speed. The husband and I are starting Insanity again together beginning of January.
  • Be social, would you? I’ve always preferred to run alone, but running with others (especially if they’re faster than you) is a great way to improve. I follow a few running groups on facebook and it’s just a matter of taking the initiative to join in on a run once in a while.
  • Run a sub 1:50 half marathon. A little stretchy, but possible.
  • Take on the full mary. It would be great to run a full marathon this year. This will be, as they say, a game-time decision. I probably won’t make the call until mid-year for a fall or winter marathon. I don’t feel ready for a spring marathon and there’s no way I’m doing a full in the summer. In fact, I’m considering trying my luck again this year and sticking my name in the lottery for the Chicago Marathon that’s in early October…
  •  Hit 500 miles for the year.

I have a few personal, non-running goals. Without delving too deeply, these mostly revolve around spending less, drinking less, eating cleaner and working on certain relationships. Probably what every other person on the planet will pledge, too.

Most importantly: I will stay fluid with plans and intentions, because life is a messy, vicious, untamable and beautiful beast that will knock you on your ass and make you get back up repeatedly, and the best way to navigate its treacherousness is going by heart.