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It’s OK for Your Goals to Change

Aug 2, 2016 | Lifestyle, Running, Running Advice | 12 comments

New Balance New York Marathon

When I first made my plans and goals for the New York Marathon 2016 a few months ago, I wanted to run a BQ.

Then I changed that to just run a PB.

Well if you’ve been following my training or lack of, you’ll know that things haven’t been going exactly to plan. I’ve had some niggles, running has been HARD, both from a timing perspective, perceived effort and trying to stay injury free.

New Balance New York Marathon

New Balance New York Marathon

So, I’ve changed my goal for the New York City Marathon…

  1. Enjoy every minute of it.
  2. Try to run strong.
  3. Pace Zoe to a new PB

Those of you that read Zoe’s blog know that she’s been wanting a sub 4.30 for a while, and over dinner on Sunday (I got to see her very briefly when she was back in Europe for work) we chatted about me running with her and pacing her.

Zoe is one of my bridesmaids, and although I speak to her all the time on Whatsapp, chat regularly and see her every 6 or so months, I miss having her in London. Running with her will give us the perfect opportunity to catch up for 26.2 miles straight, plus we can recreate this incredible image from 2013 in the starting area.

New Balance New York Marathon

My new goal race is in February, so NYCM will provide a solid endurance base to build my speed on, plus I will have been working on my strength with Brad for a decent amount of time by then to see the real gains of our training.

Originally I was really annoyed and disappointed that my training wasn’t going to plan, I was embarrassed to admit that I wouldn’t be in PB shape, but the reality is that priorities and plans change. I’m now moving house, planning a wedding, climbing Kilimanjaro, and trying to come back from some minor injuries – the reality is that marathon training isn’t my top priority at the moment.

New Balance New York Marathon

I am excited for it to take more of a front seat when I get back from Tanzania, to explore Henley on foot, join a local run club and start adding some speed work onto the agenda, but the reality is that I will only have 12 weeks when I get back to the UK to train for the 26+ mile race and that just isn’t enough for me to get into peak condition.

So I’m adapting my plans and changing my goals. Ultimately, running should be fun, and I know I’ll have the most fun running through the Boroughs of New York alongside my oldest running buddy!

So my take away from this post is that it doesn’t matter if you adjust your goal, if you need to re-think your plans. There’s no point continuing down a path that isn’t quite right for you at that time – don’t be too proud to make a change!


  1. Laura

    Well done for making that decision, it’s a really tough one to make and one I’ve had to make too. But running happy is the most important things and NYC marathon is amazing 🙂

  2. Mary

    Sounds like you’re making the right decision by targeting a different marathon. The satisfaction and achievement you’ll get from pacing a friend will still give you a fabulous experience and sense of purpose at New York marathon and hopefully you’ll have lots of fun along the way too!
    My goals for next year are all up in the air at the moment as I don’t know how I’ll return post baby. I’ve left them fairly open, and although there are distances I would like to return to, I won’t worry if I need to adapt these as I find my running feet again.

  3. Pinky,RunLaughEatPie (@pinkypie)

    I think I change my goals regularly. sometimes things in life get in the way. most important in any case (in my opinion) is to do the best you can on the day and ENJOY it. One day we may not be able to run all these marathons, travel where we want, work towards career goals, etc. This is the one life we get – it’s helpful to make the very best of it 🙂

  4. w. Purves.

    Very sensible decision – you cannot achieve everything at once – too much pressure not good. Love, G.

  5. Pam

    I think it is smart to change goals when life throws you curve balls. Your engagement, trip to climb Kilimanjaro and difficulty with running makes your decision seem very practical. How fun too, that you can pace your friend at the NYC Marathon, especially since you know the course I recently came to a similar conclusion about my goals for the Chicago Marathon this fall. And honestly, it has taken a lot of pressure off the race and my training. We have endured a very hot and humid summer so training outside has been especially rough.

  6. Corey @ Learning Patience

    I love that you wrote about this subject because I feel like a lot of people only post about this PR or this PB and more posts about living your life and enjoying it all is needed! Great post! x

  7. Scarlet

    Great one! It’s the right decision. One can’t attain everything at once!

  8. Mandi | No Apathy Allowed

    Sounds like a solid decision! Although I’ve never run it myself, I’ve heard from many friends that the NYC marathon is not the most suitable for PBs or BQs because of the crowds and all the hills and bridges — but it *is* perfect for having a memorable race through a fantastic city! Hope you enjoy all your upcoming adventures near and far. 🙂

  9. twinsintrainers

    In exactly the same boat, Charlie! but sometimes you have to work out what your priorities and sometimes running just isn’t up there! My most enjoyable marathons have always been the ones with a more relaxed approach; you may not get a PB but will you have the memory of running with one of your best friends forever! I have no idea how my marathon is going to go next month but I’m aiming to enjoy it!

  10. Chris Fleming

    Enjoy your running first and foremost, everything else will follow.


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