In 2016 I set a few running goals for myself. By the time I got to November I realized I hadn't accomplished any of the running goals I'd set for myself and left me feeling crushingly disappointed in myself. There's nothing like letting yourself down to get you motivated to make a change. I like to do what I say I'm going to do especially if it's important to me, and running is high on my list of important things.
That's why Marcothon sounded so appealing. It was a running goal challenging enough that it would mean something to accomplish it, but was also realistic and manageable.
31 days of running a minimum of 25 minutes or 3 miles I ended up with a little over 100 miles for the month. In fact I ended up with over 700 miles completed for 2016 which makes 2016 my highest millage year on record by at least 100 miles. December tried my patience in ways that I hadn't expected and I almost didn't make my goal. A total kitchen remodel with construction that caused me to be sick and displaced me from my house layer christmas travel on top of that. I didn't give up (even though I wanted to) because I wanted to prove to myself I could follow through on something. Despite the challenges I kept running and I learned a few things in the process.
1) Running when you don't feel well does more good than harm.
Normally I'm a baby when I don't feel well and will chuck a run in favor of rest or sleep if I feel like I have a cold or am run down. When I didn't feel well this month I ran anyway and I almost always felt better for harunning. I'll use this in the new year by pushing myself a little harder than I used to.
2) Running Every day is probably not for me.
I can see that my body won't get stronger or faster without rest days and while I'll probably do a Marcothon in the future I don't think I'll ever be one of those runners who has an every day running streak. I think rest days are important for getting stronger and faster. There is no way I could have done speed work or tempo runs during this month. I have my sights on running a few half marathons and working on a PR, but I wouldn't be able to do that if I was running every day.
3) Completing a goal feels Great.
I wanted to throw in the towel this last week of the challenge. I was feeling worn out, run down and frustrated with not really being able to be in my own house. I was ready to quit, but knowing that I could complete what I started was what was most important to me and looking forward to that mental boost, showing myself I had the will power to do it was what kept me moving forward.
4) Peer Pressure Rocks.
Everyone doing a marcothon in Greensboro was checking in on a Facebook page. It was a small group of us, but it was motivating to have friends that were checking on you and encouraging you through the whole process. Having them made the biggest difference made it fun and helped keep me in the game even when sometimes I wanted to give up.
Looking forward into this new year I want to keep running (after taking today off!) and I've got big running goals I'd like to accomplish. I want them to be realistic and fun! Having a great group of friends that was also doing the Marcothon helped tremendously. What goals are you setting for this year? Are they manageable, do they have deep meaning for you? Do you have a support system to help keep you on track? Let us know what you're dreaming of working towards this year and let us know how we can help you achieve your goals.