How Consistency in 2018 Changed my Approach for 2019

At the start of 2018, I made it a priority to share my monthly goals with you all, here on the blog. From December to January of 2018, I shared three to five goals that I wanted to accomplish that month. And, on the last day of the month, I shared with you how I stacked up to my goals. No, I did not meet every single goal but, that is not the point. What I learned from sharing my goals, was much greater than actually meeting all of my goals.

Consistency in sharing what I aspired to accomplish on a monthly basis, kept me honest about what I actually wanted out of the year. Often times, someone asks us what our goals are and we freeze up because we think our goals need to be really big and shiny. That’s not the point of setting a goal. The point of setting a goal is to see it through. Running a marathon PR is just as great of a goal, as doing 5 pull-ups, or meeting up with a running friend, or, taking your vitamins. When we get the idea that our goals need to be glamorous, out of our head, we are more likely to set realistic goals that we can meet.

Consistently sharing my goals with all of you showed me that talking about the things I want to accomplish actually pushed me to accomplish them. I am excited to share, that in 2019, I will be sharing a quarterly list of my high-level goals on Instagram. Feel free to follow along!

Happy Running,

❤ A

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Consistency > Motivation

The greatest piece of advice that I have received to date, in my lifetime of being an athlete is this:

Consistency is greater than motivation.

The first time I heard this, it struck me as important…but, I did not find its significance until I knew what it felt like to be 99% motivated and 99% consistent, at different times. I believe that you need both, to be successful in sports. You need to be motivated but, motivation doesn’t win races, earn medals, or break barriers. Consistency does that.  Think about the time you spend training and, the time you spend in competition. One is significantly greater than the other. The time you spend in training makes up about 90 percent of your time. The time spent in competition is only 10%. This alone shows you the importance of being consistent. You will never meet your goals if you do not spend time consistently training. Competition alone does not yield results.

I, like many other athletes, like feeling motivated. But, motivation alone is not enough. You could be the most motivated person in the world but you will not completely be satisfied unless you are consistent. If I have not convinced you yet, take a look at these key reasons why consistency is more important for your success than motivation is:

–       Consistency is a habit that, if developed, will help you do the things you need to do to be successful, even when you don’t want to do them. In other words, consistency has the potential of becoming an unbreakable habit, if you practice it long enough.

–       Consistency is thought put into practice, where motivation is simply a thought. Putting thoughts into action yields permanent results.

–       Consistency results in a change of behavior – proving to yourself that you can successfully change your behavior is in itself, the greatest motivation. This results in consistency becoming a part of your identity, not just a habit.

–       Consistency creates momentum, which will propel you towards success and, further consistency.

Stay consistent, everyone.

Happy running,

❤ A

 

2019 New Training Approach

Hi guys! By this point, I hope you have been putting some thought into what you want to accomplish this year. For me, a lot of my running goals and racing plans are already finalized. You can read about them here but, today, I wanted to talk to you about how my approach is going to be different in 2019.

This year, I am taking training back into my own hands – sort of! I worked with a great coach, full time leading up to the Chicago Marathon. I learned so much and had a great experience but, I missed writing my own training and being in control – at least, a little bit! This year, My plan is to work with a new coach, once a week. Here is my coach:

His name is Tim and, he is super cool. Tim and I have already shared a handful of running and training memories. We used to be trainers together at the local YMCA! I am excited to see what he will bring to the table in regards to my training! I will be working with Tim once a week so he can lead me through an in-person marathon specific training workout. I told him that I am open to anything but, I am excited to see where his creativity will take us!

I really do believe that working with a coach or training group can help you improve in ways you didn’t think possible. Stay tuned to hear how my experience with Tim is going, through the course of this year!

Happy Running,

❤ A

My 2019 Racing Goals

Happy New Year, everyone! I am so excited to share with you my racing goals for 2019. I spent all of December planning out how I wanted my 2019 season to look and, the specific goals that I have. Below, I have highlighted an overview of races that I am planning to compete in this year, as well as the overall goals I have for running.

January through March – Training for the Western Maryland Trail Marathon

April – Race the Western Maryland Trail Marathon and transition into Half-Marathon training

May through June – Training for the

June – Race the

June through September – Training for the Berlin Marathon

September – Race the Berlin Marathon

September through  November – Training for the EQT 10 Miler

November – Race the EQT 10 Miler

November – December – Chill until the New Year

My overall goals for running this year, are not as specific as last year but, still very straightforward and direct. I have broken down my goals based on training goals and racing goals:

  • Race two marathons on one year, injury free – this is a big one for me because I have never raced two full marathons in a 12-month timeframe. As some of you may know, I am very cautious about my training and, taking care of my body. I knew I didn’t want to be training for two marathons on one year until I have my body some time to adjust to the distance and the training. This year, I am ready and excited about it!
  • Race a marathon as close to my PR as possible – I have learned a lot about myself as a marathon runner in the 2018 season. I am looking forward to using that knowledge to my training and see what can happen. My marathon PR is 3:09, from 2016 and I am ready to be back at that level or, even faster.
  • Race a half marathon at 1:25 or under. I ran a half PR in 2018 in 1:26 after an amazing spring training cycle. It was at a small race, which I have learned I usually compete better at. I am excited to competitively tackle this distance again!
  • Train consistently – In 2018, I had very good training cycles but, they did not flow into one another as easily as I would have liked them to. This year, I am planning to train consistently through the year, even when I am in sections of being on a break. That does not mean I am planning to run all year around but, I am planning to have specifically designed segments of rest, where running is not the priority.

I am so stoked for the 2019 season! It’s going to be an exciting one, for sure! What are your racing plans for 2019?

Happy Running,

❤ A

 

Identifying Your Vision

One of my favorite parts about December (beside the holiday season), is the fact that I get to start my 2019 planning. Yes, the time to start thinking about your 2019 goals is now, not on New Year’s Eve or, January first. I write a lot of different goals for myself…career goals, financial goals, personal relationship goals, and of course, running goals. I will be sharing my running goals on this blog come the new year but, I do want to emphasize the importance of having complex goals that mesh with all aspects of your beautifully dynamic life. Before you can write out your goals, you need to know your vision. While the vision I have had for my life has been consistent for the majority of my teenage and young adult life, it does change based on my growth and the expectations that I have for myself. My 2019 vision is in line with my 2018 vision, which is my overall theme of excellence. After joining the New Balance running team, in 2017, I came across the meaning of beta. As you guys have seen all over this blog and on my Instagram, “Always in Beta: a commitment to not rest on past success, but to be dedicated in our focus to continually push forward, to improve, and to continually deliver our best”. Beta is a promise of excellence and, it is the mindset that I strive to have. All of my goals are in line with this vision. What does beta entail? For me, beta means the following:

–       No is not an acceptable answer.

–       Failure is necessary for growth.

–       Always be prepared to have a backup plan.

–       Prepare for setbacks.

–       Consistency is more important than motivation.

These are some of the founding truths that  I aim to incorporate into my life. It is not always easy but, they are truths that I believe in, which makes it easier to follow my vision.

The second aspect of vision that is important to understand, is that it requires imagination. Your vision will be bland if you do not strive to think outside the box and set big goals for yourself. Take time each day, to get aligned with who you are and who you want to become.

I am very proud to be able to say that the person I imagined myself becoming when I was thirteen and fourteen, is the person that I am now. With that in mind, I also know how hard young Annette worked to make sure that the 26-year-old version of herself would make the 13-year-old me proud. It takes a lot of work and, you have to be willing to do it, even when challenges arise. Knowing this, I know what I need to do to get where I need to be at the end of 2019, and 2020, and when I am in my 30’s. Lot’s of hard work and, sticking to the vision.

What vision do you have for yourself? I hope your mind is full of visions of happiness, growth, and success as you start planning for the new year.

Happy running and, Happy New Years Eve, everyone!

❤ A

How to Write Smart Goals

A client of mine recently reached out, asking for advice on how to determine what her goals for 2019 should be. First, it got me really excited to think that I am not the only one planning out my 2019 goals. Secondly, it got me thinking about how many people are out there, confused about how to map out their goals. Here are my top six tips for writing out SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and trackable) goals.

  1. Start with what you accomplished in 2018.
  2. It is easier to write goals with the building block of what you accomplished in the past.
  3. Write out your dreams for the new year.
  4.  Use your 2018 accomplishments to determine what you want to expand upon in the new year and, what you want to shut down.
  5. Choose a new goal.
  6. Not all of your goals need to be based on a past accomplishment. Choose one to two new goals that are slightly out of your comfort zone but, still related to the overall vision you have for yourself.
  7. Speaking of vision….#4 is to know your vision!
  8. You can’t make a plan for success if you do not have a clear picture of what you want your life to be about. And, don’t get me wrong. Your life does not have to be about one thing – and, it shouldn’t. You are a complex individual and your goals should also be complex. A vision does not mean that all of your goals are similar – it just means that all of your goals line up with the picture you have of your future self, in your mind.
  9. Write it out.
  10. After determining what you accomplished last year and, what you want to accomplish in the new year, take each goal and map out the steps you need to take to make it a reality. Be as detailed and chronological as possible. You may not know all the steps right away, but writing it out can really help!
  11. Review your goals with someone you trust.
  12. A coach, trainer, best friend, sister…. anyone who you know will not judge you and will keep you accountable is a good person to share your goals with. Too often, we keep our dreams locked away in a journal. I am not saying that you need to share your goals with the world but, it is healthy to share them with those you trust.

Here is a table that I recommend using for the first few steps of determining what your goals should be:

  2018 Accomplishment 2019 Dreams
Goal 1  
Goal 2  
Goal 3  

Happy running!

❤ A

Basic Pilates Overview

For the past ten weeks, I have attended a basic mat Pilates class at an awesome local Studio in the Strip, in Pittsburgh. Directly across the street from my apartment complex, Meraki Studio truly makes railroad street feel like a mini-neighborhood main street. About 16 women gather at the studio for Pilates every Monday. The class is 45 minutes long and, is led by Pilates certified instructor and, owner of the studio, Laura Escott. Laura is a great instructor! With this being my first experience doing Pilates (with the exception of learning what neutral spine was, in Physical Therapy), Laura did a great job instructing a class of different skill level. Some weeks, we worked just with our bodies and the mat (provided at the studio). Other times, we would use tools like resistance bands, dumbbells, ankle weights, rings, and small balls. Each class, out of the ten that I attended felt like a different experience, which I loved because I tend to get bored in group classes.

While the main focus was on basic Pilates skills, I do feel like the class provided a whole body experience and, worked some areas of the body more than others. After the first three classes, my core was sore for two days after! I consider myself to have a pretty strong core so, I am glad that this class was a challenge! On some days, we focused more on hips, or arms, or legs, or glutes. I really loved the variety and enjoyed being in a class with diverse skillsets!

My experience ay Meraki was wonderful! I would recommend the studio to anyone (a variety of classes are held there, every day of the week!).

Now that my basic Pilates classes are over, I will be working to complete five private sessions with an instructor, before joining a more advanced class. Pilates has been so beneficial to the goal of strengthening my hips and glutes. Pilates is much more engaging for me, that yoga is – it is also more centered on pelvic stability and core engagement, which is so crucial for runners! I am really glad that I gave Pilates a chance and, I am excited to incorporate it into my 2019 training year as well!

Happy Running,

❤ A