Welcome to 2017!  Sorry, I can’t make fireworks go off when you read that like on Facebook and your iPhone…  But, either way, Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a great holiday and enjoyed some time off with your family!  I know we had a great little break, spending some time in Branson and just relaxing as much as possible.  It was a MUCH needed break after a very hectic first half of the school year.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to summer break already…

But, I will say that I love getting a fresh start in a new year.  I love setting goals, changing things up, and just trying to make myself a little better this year.  I have a few small, personal goals that I plan on working toward this year, as well as a few bigger ones that have already been in motion the past couple of months.  But, reflecting on my 2016 goals, I actually did pretty well – and I’m motivated to make 2017 even better!

Let’s talk RUNNING GOALS!  These are always the ones that are the most exciting for me and usually the ones I know I can achieve – or I will strive to achieve more than any other.  (Well, except some of those bigger goals – those are usually my go-to, work my rear off goals for the year.)  I finished 2016 on a MAJOR high – if you follow me on Instagram, you already heard about my big accomplishment this weekend.  But, if you haven’t heard, you can check it out on IG, or wait until Friday when I will have my race recap up on the blog.

A photo posted by Kristen (@concrete_runner) on

I want to use that momentum to really push hard toward my 2017 goals.  I don’t have many, but they are ones that I know are possible and I know are going to push me out of my comfort zone a little bit this year.

1. Run 17 races in 2017.  Last year, my goal was to run 1 race per month and I was able to do that and more in 2016.  So, I thought I’d up my game a little bit, focusing on some shorter races + year-round training and trying to race a little bit more.  I really fell in love with training + racing this past year, and feel like I finally found a training + fueling system that works for me and has helped me have one of my best years of running ever.

So, 17 races… which ones am I planning on doing?  I really don’t have many yet – I sort of like to get a few on my race calendar and then fill in as I go.  The good news this year is that I am doing mostly shorter races – I might throw in a half marathon if one comes up and I really get the urge, but I’m going to stick with 5-10K races for the most part.  Right now, I am just about halfway through the Frostbite Race Series – I have 2 more January races and 1 in February.  I also registered for the GO! St. Louis 17K Challenge, running the 7K in April and the 10K in October.  5 races on the schedule so far, and plenty of room (and time) to fill in to get my 17 races in this year.

2. Run a 19:45 5K.  This is really my major goal this year.  My PR is sitting at a 19:50 from 2013.  That was by far my best year of racing ever, setting PRs in just about every distance and winning multiple races.  I decided that I needed that extra shove this year, to not just focus on getting under 20, but to actually set a new PR.  I’m |thisclose| to breaking 20 again, so I know that with some hard work and getting out of my comfort zone, a 19:45 is definitely achievable this year!

3. Do yoga 1x/week.  OK, so this really isn’t running related, but at the same time it is.  I had this goal last year and got into an awesome habit of a weekly yoga date with my BFF.  But, track season came along and I got SWAMPED with work.  However, I HATE stretching, but know I really need some of that flexibility in order to stay healthy.  So, we have both decided to start our weekly yoga date again this year!  I am SO excited to have yoga back in my life – and a weekly date with my BFF!

I am SO excited to get my 2017 training underway and make these goals a reality!  What are your running goals this year?