Finish 2020 Strong, Look ahead to 2021

Finishing the year strong

Well, hello there long time no see. I seriously believed I blinked and November was over! Then I’ve been trying to finish this post for about a week. The lack of writing was not from a lack of activity, but rather an absolute lack of time! But the running has continued as has the thinking about and reflecting on 2020. So there are two ways to look at 2020- a total dumpster fire and can’t wait for it to be over or a year with blessings that isn’t over yet so there’s still time to maximize the year!

I won’t lie- 2020 has been HARD. I mean really, the total uncertainty surrounding COVID has been mentally and physically exhausting. The transition to virtual school last spring that lasted through the beginning of this year was a major adjustment for everyone. Racing basically being canceled the year I decided to run a marathon. Not being able to travel or visit family. I mean, really the list could go on and on.

But you know what else 2020 was??? A BLESSING! 2020 served as an opportunity to slow life down a bit and be reminded of the those things that we are most fortunate to have in our lives. The extra time with the boys, while exhausting was truly a blessing. We got to watch them learn and grow in a way that we normally would not have the opportunity. We had extra time for family walks and playing outside. We had more time for snuggles and reading. We had less meetings. More time to just be. This is not to say our days were quiet and restful- but they were busy in a different, healthier way.

While it didn’t look the way I imagined the marathon did happen. I in fact became a marathoner in a pandemic. There should be a special medal for that accomplishment! You know what else, both of my kids were back in the same school for the first time in years. And for the first time ever they were both in school full time!! I waited a whole day before find a way to fill that extra time in my day. So the fall was not only full of marathon training but also transitioning into working outside the home again (for the first time in more than 7 years!!) as a substitute. What was originally in my mind going to be maybe one-two days a week, quickly became 3-4. I’m not going to lie while it made for long days, extra early mornings to exercise and tired evenings I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It was the perfect opportunity at the perfect time!

Which goes back to the idea of finishing the year strong. We have 24 days left in 2020. 24 days to make the most. 24 days to try something new. 24 days to finish one of those 2020 goals. There’s no need to wait until 2021 to get motivated. For example, part of the craziness that made November fly by was trying a sample week of Beachbody programs. After the marathon, I wasn’t really quite sure what to do with myself. I knew I had the opportunity to try something different without the fear of being sore or straining a muscle that would require me to cut back on my miles. So you know what that translated to starting #mbf a 21 day program on November 30th. Pushing hard to finish 2020 strong by adding a 5K a day for at least 12 days. The combination of the #mbf and the 5Ks was tough this first week. But by Sunday, I was in the groove and instead of a 5K, I ran a 10K to make the number of 5Ks match the day I was on for #mbf. Yup, I’m crazy like that.

While we are talking about finishing up 2020 strong, that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning for 2021. Now is the time of year that I always start thinking about my word of the year for the next year. The time when I start setting goals for year ahead. I’m kind of at a loss. This is the first time I’m trying to project without truly knowing what the landscape is going to look like in a month, six weeks or 6 months from now. Truth be told though, many goals can continue happening despite what is going on around us.

Let’s start with a running goal. This past year my goal was 1000 miles. This seemed like a reach goal at the time because I ran 578 miles in 2019. I’ve since blown past 1000 miles and crossed 1200 yesterday. Once I saw that 1000 was going to happen easily I upped my goal to 1250 miles. In the last six weeks I decided, what the heck let’s go for 1300. When I stop to think about adding 300 miles to my original goal, it’s crazy!! Which leads me to struggle with how far do I think I can run in 2021. Hmm. Let’s go with 1500 miles. But are you thinking what I’m thinking?? If I run 1578 then I can run 1000 miles more than what I ran in 2019. So let’s say 1500 miles with a reach goal of 1578.

What is the future or racing in 2021?? No idea. Absolutely, none! My gut tells me that I will not be running the NYC Marathon in 2021. But you know what, I’m already mentally prepared for that to be the case. But the question remains, do I still want to run a marathon in 2021? Am I now an annual marathon runner? Let’s go with yes! While I have no idea what marathon I will run, I will run another marathon in 2021!!

Let’s talk about books. Another blessing of 2020 was having way more time to read. Not only to read to the boys. I mean we did read the first four Harry Potter books this summer! But, I personally had more time to commit to reading. I always set a goal of reading 12 books a year and have yet to do it. This year I’ve already read thirteen (not counting the many books I’ve read to the boys!). With a little over three weeks left in the month I can easily read another 2-3 books! I’d love to hear what you are reading. Feel free to share in the comments below. As for a reading goal for next year, I’m going to big. Go big or go home, right?? So for 2021- I’m going to strive to read 21 books!

Now to the word of the year? I love quotes. I love words with meaning. I love having something to focus on for the year ahead. I started the tradition of a word of the year in 2019. My words so far have been: 2019 Inspire. Because I wanted to inspire those around me, but I also wanted to be inspired in everything that I did. 2020 Determined. I was determined to stick with my running and training plans. I was determined to run a marathon. And let’s be real, once 2020 got underway I was determined to keep life as normal as possible for my boys while we navigated through Covid 19. Normally my word just kind of comes to me. I’ve been toying with the word flourish- and then there was perspective. But then it hit me- my word is Passion! Why passion? Shouldn’t we have strong emotion and feeling towards the things that we are doing? Shouldn’t we dive deep into those things that are our passion? Parenting, running, exercising, reading- you name the passion! So in 2021, I will not only live with passion, but dive deep into those passions that I love!

Stay tuned as I unveil my planner for 2021. Keeping track of my running in a written space is important to me. A goal for 2021 is to be better at meal planning for the entire week ahead. Having everything together in one place will be super helpful. I’ve explored different planners throughout the year. I know, I know who needed a planner in 2020? Well, there are still things the keep track of- even if life isn’t quite back to “normal.”

Until next time, stay well, get moving and be inspired!