Back in December, I posted my overall goals for 2012, and I've actually been doing pretty good. I've already got two down (a sub-two hour Half, and a PR in the 5K), and I'm sort of doing an OK job at meeting some of the others (I'm putting on miles toward my "1000 miles in 2012 goal" and I'm cross training a bit more than I had been toward the end of 2012). In order to keep a bit more focused throughout the year, I want to start doing some monthly goals too. Some of these will probably look similar to the 2012 Goals I wrote in December.
1. Run at PR 7K - On March 17, I'm running the Get Lucky 7K race in Minneapolis. I ran this race previously in 2010, but I was pretty out of shape then (my time was 44:19, or 10:11/mile). This time around, I'd like to me more in the 37 min. range (about 8:30/mi)), or even as fast as 35 minutes (8 min. miles).
2. Run Over 100 Miles - My training program has over 100 miles scheduled, so this should happen unless I get injured or sick. I'm hoping to top out at around 110-115.
3. Cross Train At Least 7 Times - I'm supposed to cross train 9 times for my training program. I've been missing a few workouts here and there (mostly because I've been sick and trying to shake a cold), but this has been unacceptable.
4. Run at Least One Long Run at faster than 9:20/mi. - based on my time at Disney, and under my training program, I'm supposed to be running my long runs at about 9:07/mi or 9:17/mi (depending on the length of the run). So far, I've been WAAAY off (my last three long runs have been, in order, 10:03/mi (9 miles), 9:55/mi (11 miles), and 9:37/mile (10 miles). Part of the reason for my slow down is I took a few weeks off after Disney with little or no running, then I injured my calf in late January and took almost two weeks off from running (I still did some cross training). This may be a really tough goal to hit (Note: my long run on April 1 is a 10 miler (which is one of the "shorter" long runs of the program ever other week, alternating with escalating long runs up to 15 miles). If I hit this goal during the April 1 long run, I'll count it toward the March Goal)
5. Increase my Goal Paces At Least Once During the Month - As I described when I reviewed the Run Less, Run Faster book, the program I am using has set paces based on recent race performance. And, as I mentioned above, I have been struggling in hitting the paces that would be prescribed based on my Disney time (at least with the long runs, and a bit with the Tempo Runs too... so, starting this week, I actually decreased my target paces for all my runs in the hope that I will (a) be able to better hit the goal paces, and (b) be fresher for my long runs (I think since my tempo runs were a bit too fast, I was burning my legs out for my long runs two days later). BUT, I'm hoping that after two or three weeks at the reduced paces, I will start improving and actually be able to increase my target paces (maybe not all the way up to the targets that Disney dictated, but at least faster than the current targets). Ideally, I'd like to raise my pace twice during the month... but while training for Disney, I almost never increased my target paces more than every other week (so that I could be sure past performance had been more than just one good day).
I think that's a realistic set of goals. Two of them should be relatively easy to achieve (the 7K PR and the 100 miles); one SHOULD be easy to hit, but has been an Achilles heal for me (the cross training); and the last two are goals that, although achievable, will require some good work and may not happen (a good kind of goal to have).