The Annual Goal Post: 2023 Edition


Your terrible and delinquent blogger is back for what hopefully won't be (but based on historical performance, probably will be) his only post of 2023: the early January annual goals list

But first ... last year

Before we look ahead at 2023, let's take a look at last year's goals, and see how I've done ...

Major Goals

I went into 2023 with three primary goals: Complete the Boston Marathon; Complete the New York Marathon; Run sub-1:28 in the Valencia Half Marathon

We managed 2 out of 3 here ... I indeed picked up two more of my six stars in Boston and New York. Sadly, the Valencia target wasn't met. I have a good excuse, however, as I felt sick the morning of the race, and then tested positive for COVID after returning home.

Minor Goals

I also had a few smaller goals ...

  • Set a marathon PB: Accomplished! I ran a 3:12:56 in Edinburgh, breaking my previous PB of 3:17
  • Go below 3:05 in the marathon: Failed!
  • Run 2002 miles: Failed! I ran too much off road, and tried to ramp up my mileage too fast. Repeatedly. As a result, I spent far too long sidelined with ankle injuries and compensation injuries.

Overall - 2022

As my current top-line goal is to run all six major marathons, and I managed to check two of them off by running both Boston and New York, while lowering my Marathon and Half Marathon PBs. That's not bad at all for my first full calendar year of running after breaking my ankle.

The major disappointment I had was that I didn't let my ankle get all the way better in 2022. This was the big limiter for me. Between the missed training runs, the ice packs, the limping to the tube partway through a long run, the absolute pain I was in during the Boston Marathon, and the fact that running was about walking the line between pain/injury management and maximising volume (instead of fun) ... well, that sucked.

So ...

Goals for 2023

... we're taking that back in 2023.

I was tempted to not run any marathons in 2023, but my overall goal is still to get all six "stars" for the majors. So we need to take a concrete step towards that. But I won't be running any marathons in the spring - instead, we're going for improved speed and - more importantly - taking a slow (and hopefully injury free) ramp up to the sorts of mileage I was hitting back in 2020, before the broken ankle.

Goals for the year are:

  • Qualify by time for the Chicago Marathon in 2024 (means a 3:20 marathon, if the current standards remain)
  • Set PBs for the 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon
  • Run a track race

The most difficult one here is almost certainly the 10k personal best - this was set at the height of my best fitness in 2020, and is the only PB I haven't broken since coming back from my broken ankle. And I haven't come anywhere close to it. The other PBs have all been set after the ankle injury, and should fall.

The riskiest one is the Chicago Marathon qualification (and marathon PB). With only one marathon planned on the year, there's a lot going into one race. I'll have a lot of opportunities to set PBs across other distances, but only one shot at the marathon.

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