Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon, Goals for 2020, Goals for 2021, Running

My Running Goals for 2021

I think we can all agree that 2020 was not our year. And I am not hearing anyone saying, “2021 is going to be the best year ever!” I think we are all afraid to jinx ourselves. I know that I am. And part of me is a little superstitious about setting goals because of how 2020 turned out.

At the same time, I feel like 2020 has prepared me for how to handle things when they don’t go as expected. That it’s okay if the goals we set at the beginning of the year (or the month, or the week, or the day) don’t get accomplished. Priorities are bound to change and that means that goals will probably change, too. So I am heading into 2021 with goals in mind but also knowing that if I don’t accomplish them, it’s okay. If I never set them, though, I’ll never start the work for them.

Normally by this time of year I would have a list of races planned out for the entire year. That is one thing I have no intention of doing this year, with how disappointing it was to see each and every planned race just dwindle away. This year my focus is going to just be on the distances that I want to run – if I get to do them in a real live race format, awesome! If not, well it will be disappointing I can’t lie, but I’ve already been through it for almost a whole year. So here goes nothing, here are the distances that I want to run in 2021:

I want to run at least one marathon distance. I am actually currently following a marathon training plan. I decided to do a beginner plan since it has been such a strange year with so much going on, and I haven’t run the marathon distance in over a year. My plan for a few years now has been to run the Little Rock Marathon in 2021 to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday. I haven’t completely lost hope that I will do that, but unless things change drastically, I may be switching gears to a different goal.

I want to do an at home version of the Dopey Challenge. I have several friends who have done the Dopey Challenge at Disney. Personally I am not a big enough Disney fan to do it, even though all of my friends swear I don’t have to be, it just hasn’t been something I’ve wanted to make room for in my budget. I do, however, for some stupid (dopey?) reason love the idea of the back to back races – a 5k Thursday, a 10k Friday, a half marathon Saturday and a marathon Sunday. If Little Rock doesn’t happen, my plan is to do this at home challenge in late April. If Little Rock does happen, I’ll re-evaluate this goal and when I will aim for doing it.

I want to do an at home 50k. I have been talking about doing a 50k for years now. There are a few big reasons why I haven’t done one – 1) most of them are trail races and ya girl is not a big fan of trail running, 2) the non-trail ones are in places where I’d have to travel and ya girl is not huge on traveling or the budget required to do so, and 3) it takes a long damn time and a lot of commitment to run a 50k. 2020 has taught me that I don’t need races or other people to validate my accomplishments. The current plan is to do my at home 50k Memorial Day weekend 2021.

I want to do Detroit. My preference would be to do the full marathon, because it has my heart, if it is offered in person and I feel comfortable with it. If not, I want to do a virtual version. I am leaning very strongly towards signing up on New Year’s for the marathon since they are offering deferrals to virtual or 2022 for a smaller fee this year. It really bums me out that I did not do Detroit in any capacity in 2020. Another fun option would be to do a relay.

I plan to elaborate more on these goals in upcoming posts – talking about my training plans, and the smaller goals that will get me to these super big goals. For now I thought it would be fun to share what has been cooking up in this brain of mine for the last couple of months! I would love to hear what running goals you might have for 2021, or how you’re feeling about goal setting in general after the year we’ve had in 2020.

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