I'm not a huge fan of setting specific running goals for myself. I am motivated enough to run most of the time without needing a target mileage to get to, and since the whole heel debacle of 2010/2010, I am very aware that you can't predict what obstacles may get in your way. Basically, I'm scared I might get injured again.
But having said that, I have got a few goals for 2012. These are some of the things I'd like to achieve:
1. PB at Half-marathon
I really enjoyed the 13.1 mile distance in 2009 and 2010, and wanted to do a lot more before my plans were scuppered by the heel. I ran 2h10 in my first ever half in 2009, and I know I should easily be able to beat that time nowadays.
2. Go under 2 hours at Half-marathon
In August 2010 I was running well enough to do this, and ran exactly 120 mins in a training run. 2 weeks later I got injured, and hobbled round the Great North Run with no interest in my time, just wanting to finish. Since then I've only run a maximum distance of 8 miles, so I need to increase my long runs and endurance, but I'd love to get under 2 hours. It won't be easy though...
3. Run over 600 miles
In 2011 I ran 405 miles with a lot of time out for injury, so I reckon I can improve on that quite a bit. 600 miles works out as about 11.5 miles a week, so even accounting for lower weeks when I'm busy, ill or injured, it should be do-able.
4. Run more races
I love entering races, but only managed 3 last year! I'd love to do one a month, but I can't commit to that many when most of our family time is at weekends. It's just too much to ask from Pete and the kids at this age, so rather than specifiy a number, I just want to do as many as I realistically can.
5. Keep up the cross-training
This really just means cycling. I don't have any cycling goals, but I just find it an enjoyable way to burn calories and keep fit without overdoing the running. I'm aiming to cycle once or twice a week at the moment, depending on how much I'm running.
6. Do more Pilates and weight training
Having moved house, I'm yet to find a new Pilates class. Ths problem with this is making the time for it, when that time could more enjoyably be spent running. However, I do think the Pilates helped with my injuries, so I really must do more. I need to decide what weight training to do, but I know that could help increase my fitness and improve my running too.
7. Keep Plantar Fasciitis at bay!
This is my most important goal. I don't really know how to do it, but it involves not overdoing the running, and addressing the issue as soon as I get heel pain. I would love a whole year without it now, but I just don't know when it might come back.
So who knows what this year will bring - last January I had no idea that I would end 2011 having relocated from Scotland to the South of England, for example - but I hope I can attempt some of the above before the year is out. To quote ajh: '2012 here I come'!