Finding Balance: The Importance of Fun Runs and Setting Goals

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Today’s Workout:
3ish miles @ I really have no clue what time I finished in

First things first: yesterday, I posted 5 “facts” about myself, and dared you to guess which one was incorrect. If you guessed fact number 2, you were correct.

I did receive a “Golden Shoe Award” in high school, but it wasn’t for the 1,000-meter relay. I honestly can’t even remember the length of the race, because it was such a blur, but I think it was the 800-meter relay. And I did come 1/10th of a second away from the school record; I remember that part!

So I managed to get in a 3-something mile run on the treadmill today. I really wanted to run outside because it was really nice out, but between exhaustion and spending some good, quality time with my husband and my dad, I didn’t get a chance to run until 6:00 tonight.

I was probably halfway into my first mile on the treadmill, and got hot, so went to pull my shirt off, when I accidentally pulled the security button out of the treadmill, and it halted to a stop. I hadn’t gotten a chance to take a look at my time or exact mileage, but it was probably a blessing in disguise. My plan for today was to just to do a slow 3 mile run…and to have fun!

I tend to go overboard sometimes, and want to push myself to go faster and work harder as my run progresses. I know this is partially because I usually need to push buttons on the treadmill to help distract me, but sometimes I need to step back and slow down because I don’t want to get injured. Tomorrow will be my “long run” at a whopping six miles, so I really didn’t want to overdo it the day beforehand.

While I was running today, I was thinking about how important it is to keep running fun, whether it’s by doing themed races, such as a hot cocoa 5k, a St. Patty’s Day Race, or the color run.

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I haven’t spent much time planning out my race schedule this year. I know I should really start thinking about it, especially since I plan on running my first 26.2, but I’m having a difficult time figuring out when I’ll be doing this. My sister is getting married July 12, so between her wedding, bridal showers (I know she’ll be having two), and work related travel for conferences and horse shows, I am having a hard time figuring out exactly when I would be able to run my first marathon, as well as the journey I’ll be taking to get there.

In 2012, I had a lot of fun! I ran the inaugural Color Me Rad as well as the first Color Run in Massachusetts. I also ran two races in Worcester, MA to help raise scholarship money in honor of Worcester’s six fallen firefighters after the deadly warehouse fire that occurred in 1998. I also ran the Newport Half Marathon (my second half marathon ever).

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All of these races were a lot of fun; I didn’t have a set goal. But towards the end of the season, I didn’t feel satisfied, because I hadn’t accomplished any goals. I am very goal-oriented, so this was very disturbing to me!

This past year, I was very goal oriented: I signed up for the United Healthcare Triple Crown, which featured three half marathons in Rhode Island: the Providence Half Marathon, the Jamestown Half Marathon, and the Newport Half Marathon. I had two goals: to finish all three races, and to set a new pr time in one of them. I reached both goals, and set a new pr time of 2:28 at the Jamestown half (two minutes better than my previous time, which was a huge feat, considering the course was so hilly!).

During the last leg of the Triple Crown (Newport), I decided not to take myself too seriously, and had a blast! Steph and I ran together, I ate Swedish Fish instead of GU chomps, and we stopped at every mile to take a picture of something significant or beautiful around us.

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I also ran the Guinness Celtic 5k in Worcester, MA with one of my good friends and her husband. We didn’t really dress up (just wore our Celtic 5k shirts that we received for entering), but lots of other people did.

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I don’t have all of my races planned out this year, but I do know that I’ll be running the Celtic 5k again, and will probably be wearing a green tutu or something! I also know that I will be running my first marathon this year…I’m just not sure which one, or when, quite yet.

My two big goals for 2014 are to finish my first marathon, and to make sure I also run at least a couple of “fun runs.”

If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be this: It’s always good to find a good balance between taking yourself seriously and setting aside time to have fun and good off with some of your other friends that might not enjoy running as much as you, have different goals, or are just getting started in the sport.

What was your most fun run in 2013?

What is the craziest outfit you ever wore to run in a race?

What are your goals for 2014?

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5 thoughts on “Finding Balance: The Importance of Fun Runs and Setting Goals

  1. emmelineruns

    I’ve never worn a crazy outfit running! Unless you count the turquoise leopard print leggings I wear all the time training 😉 drivers tend to honk and insinuate I look ridiculous haha.

    Reply
  2. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    I hate when I accidentally pull off the safety button from the treadmill! I don’t think I ever dressed up for a race, but for a few years, a friend of mine was doing an annual “Prom Dress Run” where everyone wears formal wear (and sneakers of course) and we run around downtown Harrisburg. Then we’d go back to her place for brunch and vote for a Prom King and Queen. It was fun!

    Reply
    1. 262x2 Post author

      Oh my goodness, did it do that because you hit 10 miles? And it does that every time you reach 10 miles on the treadmill? Thanks for letting me know…I haven’t gone that far on mine yet…just in case that happens, at least I’ll try to be prepared!

      Reply

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