2014: First Half Running Goals Review

Well we are officially half way through the 2014 calendar year and a recap is in order.  At the beginning of the year I set some goals for my year and so far I am happy to say that I have accomplished these goals, or am on track to accomplish them by the end of the year.

My first goal was to run 1,000 miles this calendar year and at the end of June (despite slowing down the last couple of weeks due to travel, illness and moving) I have ran 534 miles.  This obviously puts me over my 1,000 mile mark if I continue at the same pace but if everything goes to plan, my marathon training during the second half of the year will put me well beyond my current pace and well past my goal.

Another goal I had was to successfully train and run well at the St. Louis GO! Marathon in April.   This goal is obviously more subjective but after successfully completing my own training plan that I laid out weeks ahead of time and completing the race with a PR of 4:32:42 I believe that I can comfortably say that goal was reached.

Looking back on these first six months of 2014 there are other accomplishments that deserve to be highlighted as well.  I traveled for work throughout this period, taking multiple trips for multiple lengths but I was able to successfully continue to train for my April Marathon (even enjoying a long run on Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa, FL one Sunday morning) as well as continuing to keep up my running pattern despite the travel.

I also started doing multiple two a day runs during the work week to help build up my mileage in preparation for my fall marathon training to begin in earnest.  These workouts included many during my lunch break from work where I would do specific training runs including mile repeats, hills or fartleks.

As excited as I am to look back at what I have accomplished I cannot help but smile when I look at what I have coming up.  On Labor Day weekend I get to run in one of my favorite races, the VA Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  Not only is this fun because Bride runs a 5K at the same time, but also because together we get to enjoy a concert on the beach that night, courtesy of the Verizon American Music Festival (previous years the headliners have been Train and Third Eye Blind).

That race is just the warm up for my big month of October.  On October 12 I get to travel home to the Midwest to run in a World Marathon Major race, the Chicago Marathon.  I was lucky enough to be picked in the raffle to run this year and cannot wait to run through the city of big shoulders and strive for my big goal of a Sub 4-Hour Marathon!

Two weeks later I am going to run the Marine Corp Marathon here in Washington DC where, afterwards, I will be able to join the Marathon Maniacs for completing two marathons in three weeks. Two years ago I ran Marine Corp (last year I deferred my registration in order to run the NYC Marathon) and was pushed along by Hurricane Sandy which hit Washington DC and the northeast the next day.  Marine Corp is always around my birthday so it is always great to have that extra momentum to think about as I am out pounding the pavement, completing this race is just a birthday gift to myself.

The previous six months have been a full of accomplishments and I know that the next six months, with continued hard work and support, will include more accomplishments.  I could not have reached my goals for the first six months with the support of Bride, who is always allowing me to leave her for hours and choosing running over spending more time with her and my parents and brother, who came out to support me in St. Louis and to watch their first ever marathon.  Without their support and more I know I would not be where I am today, or have the motivation that I need to keep reaching for the goals that I have set.

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