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New Year, New Goals: 2012

One thing that is equally wonderful and awful about having a blog where you openly chronicle your running is that it keeps you accountable for your actions…both your accomplishments AND your failures. Even though I logically understand that no one really cares if I don’t run a certain number of races or get a specific PR but me, it still can be tough to publicly set the bar high and then fail.

But I also think that being open about your goals can be a great way to keep yourself accountable for them, even when motivation might be lacking a little bit. Plus it helps you track where you were and how far you’ve come. My big goal for this year was to run a sub 3:20 marathon, and I’m happy to say that I did it – twice.


So now, 6 days into the new year, it’s time to finally put my goals for 2012 down on paper the internet. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a pretty fantastic year on all fronts.

The Main Goal

First and foremost, my most important goal for 2012 is to marry EC. This may not seem like it would be a very hard goal to achieve at this point, but let me tell you – figuring out a date is proving harder than I originally thought! No matter what else happens, if I get to the end of 2012 married to my best friend, I will be one happy girl.


Now enough with the sap. Let’s talk running goals, shall we?

Running Goals

Run a 3:10 marathon. Deep down inside I know I’d be happy with anything under a 3:15. But I might as well aim high, right? A 3:10 would be a pretty big PR for me (for comparison, I PR’d by a mere 9 seconds in my last marathon – this would be over 8 minutes!) but I think with some quality training and lots of dedication, I can do it.

Plus, Susan has a custom-made frame all ready for her post-Boston PR photo, and I really want to be in it with her.

nurseontherun310.jpgPhoto stolen from Susan

PR in the Half Marathon. My current PR was run in the middle of marathon training, through the snow, while I was sick. I’d like to think that in better conditions I have a sub-1:33 in me. And if I really train, I’d love to see a 1:30:xx (or below!) on the clock.

Run faster/PR in shorter distance races. I know I’ve mentioned before that I want to focus on other races besides the marathon, yet when it comes down to it, the allure of the marathon keeps drawing me in. Since I haven’t been able to give up on this torturous distance yet, I would like to train in a way that helps me get faster all around. I know I can’t expect to PR in every distance I run, but I would like to start really racing the shorter races, just to see how fast I can actually go.

Increase my mileage (slowly and safely) I’ve talked about how I used to run much higher mileage than I do now, but then had to back off because of how prone to injury my body can be. And although I still maintain that you can run a fast marathon without running 50+ miles and 6 days a week (my current marathon PR came off my lowest training mileage to date), I think every runner reaches a point where they realize they need to do more if they want to continue to get faster. I could tell during MCM that my endurance was not even close to where it needed to be for a 3:15/3:10 marathon. I think increasing mileage this training cycle can only help me run a faster this spring. And when I say increase, I still don’t mean anything crazy. You won’t see this girl running 70 or 80 mile weeks any time soon. But I would like to shoot for a couple of weeks that are close to/at 60 mpw. If I’m smart about it, I hope my body can handle it.


Run a competitive relay. My sweaty friend listed this as one of her goals for this year, and I need to jump on the bandwagon as well. I love the 200 mile relay more than any other race, and I have fun running them no matter how fast we go. But I’m a competitive person, and there’s a huge part of me that would thrive on being a part of helping a team place in a relay.

CCrelay_hand off 1

Hold myself accountable for each training run. I’ve never been great about tracking my runs. I know most runners are a bit obsessive when it comes to recording their data for each and every run, so I probably sound weird when I say I just don’t care all that much. I usually just make a training plan and then keep track of what I did each day by looking at what the plan said. Last winter I got myself into the habit of logging everything into Daily Mile, but then I just sort of fell off the wagon. This became a problem when I tried to look back at my last training cycle to analyze what I did (and didn’t do) and a lot of the data was missing. I am making myself stick to regular tracking this time around.

Keep strength training/core work a regular part of my routine. Though I’ll admit this has slightly less to do with helping me become a faster runner than it does with a certain exciting day that’s coming up. And there you have it – my vanity out in the open.

Professional/Life Goals

Become a certified running coach. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. The year after I graduated college, I worked as an assistant cross country coach and have been thinking about ways to get back into coaching ever since. I finally decided to take the plunge and sign up for an RRCA coaching class this spring. If all goes as planned, I’ll have my certification by the end of March!


Find a new job Yes, that whole job hunt thing is still ongoing. Luckily, recent events have made it look like I might get a few additional months at my current position (which makes things a little less stressful), but it’s still only temporary. By the end of the year, I would like to not only have a new job, but one that I actually love (yes, I know, this may be idealistic, but a girl can dream, right?). Bonus points if it helps me move out of Rhode Island.

Start actually saving money. I love running. And racing. And buying new running clothes. The problem with all that is that it’s sort of expensive. Since chances are I won’t be winning the lottery any time soon, it’s time to start redirecting some of those race funds into a savings account. Unfortunately, when you have some persuasive running friends, this is easier said than done.

So there you have it – my main goals for 2012. While there are a few other things that I’m hoping to get/do within the year, those are a little more out of my control. More than any recent year, I’m really excited to see what 2012 has in store.

And as for something that’s more short term – this weekend I’m running my first ever 10K. It seems weird to say that I’ve been running for over half my life and have yet to actually race a 10K. (Can you tell I avoid them like the plague?) My goal for the weekend: to not die. As long as I survive the race, it’ll be an automatic PR. Win.

What is the one goal you are working toward above all others this year?

40 Responses to New Year, New Goals: 2012

  1. One? I have to pick one? I think my main thing is that my theme is to love and take care of myself. That means that if trying to reach any other goal is going to hurt me, then I need to give it up. THAT is a hard pill to swallow.
    Laura´s last post ..It happened AGAIN

  2. Have you ever thought of becoming a full time cross country coach? You seem like you would be an amazing, inspiring coach!

    • Yes, actually. I would love to do that someday! Full time coaching jobs are a bit hard to come by, though, unless you’ve got a lot of experience. My goal would be to start part time and then (hopefully) work my way up. Thank you for the vote of confidence :)

  3. Great goals! I can’t wait for you to run that 3:10 marathon! Have fun wedding planning this year too!
    Shannon @ Mon Amour´s last post ..Do Something

  4. I love the idea of the coaching program and am going to look for one in the midwest. Also, I hate the 10k too, 8k is ok, and half marathon is fine, it’s just that 10k, ugh. Good Luck!! I have to do one to have an accurate pace time for Hood to Coast, but Ugh, I’m already dreading it.
    Leah´s last post ..Big News: New York City 2012

    • Thank you! When I ran HTC last year, I just guessed what my 10K pace would be based on workouts/other races. Not completely legit, but it ended up working out. Chances are you probably won’t be running your 10K pace for the entire relay anyway.

  5. I ran a 10k last weekend, it just about killed me…running fast for that distance prove to be a difficult challenge, happy with the results 49:24

  6. A bit short-term – 1/15/2012 Houston Marathon hitting 3:35 (a big stretch goal). Like you said, I’ll be happy with 3:40, but I want to dream big!

  7. Great goals!! I too, have thought about (and really want to) get RRCA certified. Just unsure what to do with it once I have it. What do you plan on doing with it/do you know others that are certified?

    • I know of some other bloggers who are certified. Let me know if you want names/emails to talk to some of them about what they’re doing about it. My goal is to be a running coach someday – even if it’s just part-time. I feel like having some sort of official certification can help me do that. And it’s just an added bonus that the information can’t hurt my own training as well!

  8. I don’t know if it’s what I’m working toward above all else, but running my first marathon is going to be my main focus until May 6. After that, though, it’s going to be about moving back to my homestate of NY

  9. AWESOME goals! I’m 100% behind the slow mileage build up. My marathon, though slow and steady, was injury free training-end of marathon.

  10. Wow, great goals! Ambitious, but totally doable! As for being accountable, I’ll be reading, so keep me posted! :)
    Janine @ ThePurpleGiraffe´s last post ..Today is the day!

  11. Great goals and I agree with Janine… we are reading, so keep us posted so we can cheer you on!!!
    Victoria Runs´s last post ..24 Hours of Pure Awesome-Sauce

  12. Wait…are you going to do the 10k in Central park tomorrow? I will be there!! Maybe we can meet???
    Celia´s last post ..fantastic fridays

  13. Nice goals! I really want to become RRCA certified too, but so far none of the courses posted have worked for me in terms of location or schedule. Good luck with your 3:10!
    Kristin´s last post ..PHUNT 50K: Goals and Prep

  14. I got my RRCA-certification in April 2010. I loved the course – it was great! And I took the class in Boston the same weekend as the marathon. Little did I know that 2 years later I’d be running it!!!!
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad´s last post ..Friday Thoughts

  15. You are going to have an exciting 2012 and have great goals to work towards! I’ve never run a 10K either and thinking I need to since I’ve done pretty much every other distance!
    abbi´s last post ..Old Dog, New Tricks

  16. Wow. I can only dream of running a 3:10! My top goal is to run 12 half marathons in 2012! Followed closely by running an endurance relay.
    jill conyers´s last post ..New Blog!

  17. oh saving money is for sure on my list!! And a marathon PR! I haven’t decided which one I want to run though. Good luck finding a wedding date!
    Sarah´s last post ..Chicago and Back

  18. I am horrible at remembering the goals I set…I like your idea of picking a few main ones that are really important to you and sticking to it! I hope wedding planning becomes much more fun when you guys find a date!! I’m so happy for you. And I would love to see you run a 3:10 marathon – you can totally do it!! You’ve made huge improvements and know yourself really well as a runner.
    Also, this shows how behind I am with blog reading…I love your new header! It’s super cute and fits you well!
    Hope we can catch up soon, Lauren!!
    Corey´s last post ..Running means having patience

  19. Love the goals! I’d love to see the 3:10 marathon :)

    Being an xc coach is another dream of mine too. Don’t think I can make it happen tho!

    I have a billion running goals, but the big one I resolved was to stop being grouchy. Especially at work. It’s hard to be productive when you’re constantly staring down your coworkers haha. :)
    Margot @ FasterBunny´s last post ..2011, you done me good.

  20. my goal is to run a relay WITH you! :) check. (errr…just need 2 more peeps and we are good to go!)

  21. I am working on becoming a certified running coach this year as well : )

    I love your 2012 goals and beleive YOU got them! Happy Running!
    Jenn´s last post ..Upcoming Races

  22. Figure out where I want to do residency
    Get published
    3:35 marathon (roll-over goal from 2011)
    Meggie´s last post ..It’s Wednesday, Again?!?

  23. You’ll be the best running coach! If you need anyone to test out your services, let me know. :)

    But seriously, great goals! And I love that your main one is to marry EC!
    Jen´s last post ..The (kind of) comeback plan

  24. I love your #1 goal for the year. Puts everything into perspective, you know?? I’m also getting my RRCA certification in March (in NJ!) – I’m guessing you are going to get yours closer to you! But my fingers are crossed that it’s NJ =)
    I have 2 goals this year (I know you said one). Run sub-3:10 in my spring marathon. It would be a PR of 11 min for me – but I ran that time 3 years ago. Haven’t trained hard for the marathon since then and my speed has already increased by 15 sec on the mile, so I think it’s possible!! My main goal is to be pregnant with baby #2 by the end of 2012 =)

    PS -> Good luck this weekend on the 10k!
    Michele @ nycrunningmama´s last post ..What’s better than two PRs in one day?

  25. Glad I got to see you for 2.5 seconds yesterday!! You guys were hilarious and I hope you had a fun weekend full of mimosas :) My #1 goal this year is to be primed and ready to get a job as an RD at the very beginning of 2013. Woohoo! Also, I’d love a shiny new marathon PR.

    I love your goals, both running and non. I can’t wait to hear more details about your wedding planning!

  26. My running goal for 2012: run a sub-21 minute 5k. =)

  27. Found you on Susan’s blog and I am so excited to follow you two to your sub 3:10 marathons :)
    Katherine @ Neon Blonde Runner´s last post ..Recap of 2011 Running Races (plus GIVEAWAY winner)

  28. (and by follow, I don’t mean do it myself, I mean read along with haha)

  29. Found your blog through Ali on the Run and just thought I’d pop in since I’m also getting married in 2012 and have a brindle boxer puppy (and love to run, currently training for my second marathon!)

    Good luck picking a wedding date. That was the biggest stress for me. My wedding is now in 6 months and so far it’s been easy going and super fun to plan!

  30. Sounds like some pretty reachable goals for you! Looks like you girls had fun this past weekend at the 10k…loved the outfits :)

    I would love to run a sub 3:40 marathon and eventually qualify for Boston. :-) 3.5 weeks til my next marathon! Hopefully I can beat my last time of 3:54.
    Chels R.´s last post ..Runday Monday.

  31. I fully support all of these excellent goals. I also support the goal of having as much cheese as humanly possible at your wedding. And then I support my own goal of eating it all. Maybe your wedding them should be #sweatpantsandcheese

    2012 is going to be a great year for you, LB/LC. So exciting!
    Ali´s last post ..Learning To Manage My Stress

  32. These goals rock!!! I’m excited to follow along : ) I really wish I could join you in the certification… I want to do that at some point too. Oh and then we need to be coaches together. You coach distance, I coach middle distance. Ready, set, lets make that happen. Also, I hope the new job lands you in MA, preferably near me, please.
    LIZZY´s last post ..New Years Eve Dinner: Beef Wellington

  33. great goals lauren! can’t wait to see you and susan get 3:10! :)

  34. I’m so excited and so nervous for Boston! Training needs to be kicked up a notch, and it’s definitely not going to be easy, but I’m looking forward to it! Might need to expand my running wardrobe to incorporate more pink and green…
    Susan´s last post ..2012, ready or not

  35. Awesome goals!! Congrats again to you and EC! What an exciting year you have ahead of you. Best of luck in all of your running goals and with your first 10K this weekend! I was just thinking about it and despite doing several 10Ks at the end of a triathlon, I have never raced an open 10k either!!! I think this just might need to be added to the 2012 goal to do list!

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