Last year when I was pregnant, one of the first things I did after I made it through the "safety" of the first trimester was head to runningintheusa.com. I could not wait to really race again, so I got out my calendar, made my 2012 tentative race list, and noted my goals for each race.
The list was ambitious: PR in a half marathon, PR in a full marathon, complete a half Ironman etc. I wanted to do all of this by Wyatt's first birthday, November 23 (according to my doctor, my endometriosis may start growing back one year after childbirth. She encouraged us not to wait too much longer after Wyatt turns one before we start trying for baby #2. Since trying to get pregnant and running hard seem to be mutually exclusive for me, I'll stop racing when we're ready for the next baby).
Now that I'm 3 months into motherhood, I realize how ridiculous this list was. I could still train for these goals and maybe I'd meet them. I mean, running is slowly but surely coming back.
Yesterday, I ran my first double digit run in over a year. Not bad.
But I see attempting to accomplish these goals by an arbitrary date bringing me nothing but disappointment and possibly injury. Trying to do all of that within one year post-pregnancy isn't exactly SMART. Besides, training for a full marathon and half Ironman at the same time would take too much time away from a certain someone.
Instead, I've made a list of all the race goals I want to accomplish eventually. I have a general idea of when I'd like to meet these goals, but there is no pressure of an unrealistic, self-inflicted deadline.
5k goal: Actually race a 5k. The only 5ks I've "raced" were during pregnancy or part of a triathlon.
When: This year! Why not?
Half marathon goals: PR (current PR is 1:43:12) and break 1:40.
When: I may be able to PR by this Fall. Breaking 1:40 probably won't happen for awhile though.
Marathon goals: PR (current PR is 4:17:12), break 4 hours, and BQ.
When: I'm in the lottery for the NYC marathon this year (for the third year in a row). I may be able to PR in that race, but breaking 4 hours is another story. I plan to BQ in the year 2052, when I'm 70. Hopefully, I can knock out a 5 hour marathon by then. I seriously don't see myself BQing much earlier than that, if ever!
Triathlon goals: Complete a half Ironman and full Ironman.
When: If I'm going to do a half Ironman, I want to do it well. I doubt I'll have time for that kind of training until my kid(s) are in school. As for the full Ironman, I'd just like to complete that distance without dying. I'll probably only be crazy enough to sign up for a full Ironman when I'm having a mid-life crisis.
Other race goals: Complete the Disney Goofy race (1/2 marathon on Saturday, followed by a full marathon on Sunday) and beat Jeff in a race.
When: A good friend and I are running Goofy in January 2013. This race will purely be for fun though. A last hurrah before I give up racing to prep for the next baby. Beating Jeff may happen in as few as 5 weeks from now in a half marathon. I've only beat him in one race before (a 10k in '04), but I am determined to do it again!