Revisiting some goals…and setting some more (i.e how I cracked the sub 21 5k)

I like having goals. Even if I pretend I don’t have one for an event, I always do, tucked away in the back of my mind – what do I need to get for me to be happy.

So let’s go back to what I said at the start of the year in our 2015 goals post – as I’ve now got something to say about each of them.

#1 3:29:xx at the London marathon.

Well, let’s just say this didn’t happen, however, it’s not something I’m upset about. Some fairly significant weeks off at a very bad time with a dodgy Achilles meant that for a while I wasn’t even sure if I could make it to the stand line. I rocked it round in 3.33.24 (read about it here if you are so inclined) and I’m super happy about a new PB, a VLM AND a Boston 2016 qualifier…so watch this space. I’m still not sure whether next year is a ‘go for broke in the marathon’ or ‘fancy trying to AG qualify for duathlon for the Europeans’ so we shall see what happens, but my marathon game is NOT over yet. 

Katie marathon

#2 sub 21 5k

THIS is why I’m writing this post. This happened in a very, very unexpected manner. My big breakthrough came with a 21:30 at Tilgate parkrun back at the start of June, which didn’t feel exceedingly difficult. Basically decided to go for Brockwell on Saturday with a couple of the Chasers girls, mainly because Katie persuaded me with brunch (I am easily pleased…) I was trying to cram it in before a touch tournament in the afternoon (same as Tilgate, when I went on to play 7s), and having been made fairly aware that Brockwell was ‘London hilly’ (i.e., not actually that bad compared to say, Tring), I was hoping to potter round in about a 22.

strava brockwell

However, as you can see, my first mile went through bang on what I knew to be 20.59 pace. Hmmmm. And about this point, the heavens opened and my mind went to ‘f@*! it, let’s see what I can do’. I kept with Katie for the first mile or so, and then as usual, her incredibly long legs just took her away and I was left contemplating the rain and if there was any way I could actually maintain this pace.

But I started to enjoy the hills – there are some longggg downhills which you know you can make up some time with. It was raining, I wanted to be finished and eating pancakes, I kept Katie in my sight and just started reeling people in. After mile 2 I realised that all I had to do was hang on in there and there wasn’t much that could go wrong! Not actually knowing the course at all meant I had no idea where the finish was and was vaguely relying on Garmy but trying not to look at the 6:xx it was showing through fear on panic. And then the end was in sight! Garmy tells me 20.34, officially 20.40. 

And I apologise to the 10 (ish) year old girl I overtook with 15m to go, mainly because my legs were about twice the length of hers. 


So, what now? Well, apparently I can now easily manage sub 20 on the flat but I feel this is debatable (other people clearly have more faith than I do). However, there are a couple of us that are in need of a pacer and we have several falling over themselves to assist! 

A few things I think may have contributed…

  • I’m actually running less than I normally would. Maybe it is all about quality not quantity. I’m also cycling to work a lot less – which I’m not happy about because it is costing A FORTUNE and I hate the tube – but with 2 laptops to lug around in my rucksack (I refuse point blank to put paniers on my lovely bike) and a 22 mile round trip (plus then trying to carry kit for a track or swim session), it’s just been unfeasible. But this means happier legs!
  • Track sessions. OK, like 4 track sessions. But 4 fairly tough track sessions on a regular basis. I dread to think what might happen to my XC times this winter if I keep this up…
  • Tempo sessions. I’ve been running harder without really thinking about it. And instead of panicking when clocking the pace, I’ve pushed myself to just keep going for another half a mile…and then another. This does mean however I am doing a fairly poor attempt at easy miles. 
  • Sleeping. And not forcing myself out of bed. Back to point 1 – I’m taking more time to myself and skipping workouts. I mean it’s not great, but it might actually be good for me. Who knew?!
  • Chilling out. A lot of things in my life have calmed down now and I’m happier than I’ve been in a while. Mentally I think I’m in a decent place and apparently that is transferring across.
  • Doing it without realising. I didn’t go out and think ‘I’m going sub 21’, I just went out and ran…and it happened. (I realise this probably is not going to work for much longer)
  • I’ve dropped a few pounds. I have NO idea how this has happened on a diet fairly heavy in wine and chocolate buttons, but I’m the lightest I’ve been in about 3 and a half years. #win

So I am going to take the BOLD MOVE of going sub 20 before the end of 2015. Eek!

#3 do a triathlon

Tick! And another one in less than 3 weeks (might drown)

#4 tackle a century on the bike

Tick! Chiltern 100 (110) smashed in the rain with my dad. It wasn’t pretty, we were both grumpy, the weather was horrendous and the hills were as horrible as expected. But hey ho, a tick in the box is a tick in the box. 

#5 do this all whilst HAVING FUN (and sleeping more, going to work, having a super touch rugby season, eating well,learning Portuguese properly, eating less more raw cookie dough, not forgetting to do my physio exercises, icing, rolling, yoga,stopping buying kilogram tubs of peanut butter and eating them in like two weeks, doing my squats, drinking more prosecco, getting promoted, buying a new bike, getting the hang of tri bars, getting back to polo, saving some money….)

Touch rugby = WIN. Corporate Games won, annual work Varsity tournament won, new weekend team joined. I’ve actually drastically cut down on my peanut butter intake which many people will be shocked to hear. New bike is purchased and she is GORGEOUS. Promotion happened. Some rolling and physio exercises have been done. I’m lifting some heavy weights and flipping some MASSIVE tyres alongside my squats. My new housemate has an equal prosecco love as me so also a big tick in that box. Tri bars….not quite yet. Maybe in time for Jekyll and Hyde? Polo…nope. Really don’t think I have the time to add another activity. Money saving…well I saved enough to buy a new bike right? That counts?

So, what is my conclusion?  That I need MORE GOALS. And that I’ve achieved way more than I ever thought possible this year. And there are still 4 months left…

What have you set yourself to achieve by the 31st December? Anyone else manage to accidentally achieve goals without meaning to and not be able to really explain it?

As always, love to hear your thoughts.

6 thoughts on “Revisiting some goals…and setting some more (i.e how I cracked the sub 21 5k)

  1. Huge congrats to you – Seriously speedy!
    I agree that less can be more when it comes to running, or at the very least that appears to be the case for me…
    My goals are: Set a new 5km PB – Deadlift 10-15kg more – Squat around 10kg more & keep up the happy vibes.
    Oh don’t worry about eating those kg tubs of PB in two week’s, I can demolish one of those bad boy’s in just over a week if the going is good! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah I have totally noticed a difference in doing fewer miles but harder ones (I am secretly enjoying track despite the pain because it makes me feel like a super high achiever hah!) I’ve actually never set any proper weights goals really….(apart from ‘lift the heavy log that no-one quite knows the official weight of at City Strongman) but maybe that is one I should try.

      Nice little set for you – hope they go well!! (Also, I ❤ the PB philosophy 😉 )


  2. Ah LOVE THIS POST! It’s actually so impressive you nailed sub 21 (with a massive margin!) on hardly any running at all. Clearly the huge variety of sports and activities you do makes you a very well-rounded athlete! So true about the ‘doing it without realising it’ point too. I think one of my problems is that I set myself up too much to ‘get zat PB’ when it just may not be the day!
    Can’t wait for our next sub 20 attempt! I haven’t managed to achieve it again so I need to give it another shot!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: 2015 – a wrap up | These Girls Do

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