Tag Archives: Goals

The Pluggers

“She is the patron saint of the pluggers, the people who show up, on time, every day, and keep putting in the work, and who don’t have any expectation that anything will be handed to them.”

This is a quote from one of the many, many articles that have been pouring (no pun intended) in from Monday’s Boston marathon.


We had the race on at work but I wasn’t able to soak (there I go again!) it all in. We were warm inside but the torrential rains pelted the windows all day long.  It was a mess here in New Hampshire, an hour away from the finish line.  I couldn’t even begin to fathom waiting in the Athlete’s Village for over an hour before beginning to run.  Anyway, those pesky patients of mine didn’t let me watch the duration of the race.  However, I was able to keep one eye on the TV when Des took the lead.  And  I made everyone stop so we could observe history being made as Desi Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years. Everyone burst out in cheers and applause!

The pluggers – It describes this years race so well.  Just look at the top 6 finishers.

The winner – Des Linden.  She’s never won a major race.  She came in second place at Boston by a mere 2 seconds in 2011.  The other big names are flashier and got way more press than her. Honestly, I didn’t think she would win.  For years, she’s been plugging away and I think everyone expected her to be in the top 5 but not to be the overall winner. She was way overdue for a win for sure!

(Boston, MA, 04/16/18) United State's Des Linden wins the women's division of the 122nd Boston Marathon in Boston on Monday, April 16, 2018. Staff photo by Christopher Evans

Photo by Christopher Evans from Boston Herald

The everyday runners (although very speedy everyday runners) who placed 2nd – 5th – Sarah Sellers, Krista DuChene (who last ran Boston 13 years ago!), Rachel Hyland, and Jessica Chichester.  I had a friend who was near the finish line spectating and everyone was in shock seeing these everyday runners flying through in the top 10.  Who are these women?!?!  With no sponsors, they are essentially hobby runners. Did they expect to place so well on Monday?  Hell no.

This years race was all about the pluggers.

The volunteers who donate their time to make this race work.  From helping runners tie their shoes or put on fresh, dry gloves because their hands won’t work from being soaked to the bone.  To making sure everyone stayed safe on the course.

The spectators who came out to support the runners.  They showed up because the runners showed up.

The runners who wouldn’t let ridiculous winds and torrential rains stop them.  The people who do the work day in and day out for nothing more than the love of running.  They show up, do the work, and don’t expect accolades.

This years race also showed that you can be fierce competitors but we are ultimately, stronger together. The B.A.A provided some serious foreshadowing by making this years tagline, Together Forward.  By offering to help out Shalane and Molly at different points in the race, Des took her mind off how horrible she felt to pulling her fellow American competitors along on the course. In the end, it made her surge ahead of the pack.  Just another case of how much mental work running is.

And I can’t forget to mention the men’s winner.  Another plugger who had to get back to work as a school administrator even if he did just win the Boston Marathon. Lol!

The Pluggers | happyfitmama.com

I was so inspired yesterday that I pulled out my shirt from Boston 2015.  This shirt has been in my dresser drawer for three years.  I’ve come close to giving it away numerous times.  It held too many bad memories for me.  Side note: I bought the jacket from that year too.  I’ve never worn that either. I’m not sure why I reached for that shirt to wear on my run.  Maybe it was seeing Des plug away through the years to reach her goal.  Maybe it was seeing the tenacity and grit of every person on the course. I may not have finished Boston three years ago and I may never get back to Boston, but I know I can’t let that day ruin my dreams of reaching for goals in running.

The Pluggers | happyfitmama.com

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling this fire burning in my belly.  It happened in November when Shalane won NYC and now it’s happening again with Des’ win.  It’s not necessarily another marathon to get a BQ.  It could be to beat my 5k PR, to tackle a new distance, or to put BHAG out there for me to keep plugging away at.  All I know is that I want to keep showing up and getting it done.

Because ultimately, my goal, will become a reality.

“My advice: keep showing up.” – Des Linden, 2018 Boston Marathon Champion. 

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

What was your favorite moment from the race?

Goals for 2017

Goals for 2017 include more time on the trails and running different races. | happyfitmama.com

Happy New Year!

I ushered out 2016 with a run and started 2017 the same way. During my run yesterday morning (or really it’s been on my mind a lot the past month), I started to really let myself put together a plan for the year. I’ve been afraid of letting myself “go there.” It sounds kind of silly that I can’t shake those negative doubts out of my head. The ‘what if’s’ will always be there. How can they not when you have such a huge DNF in a race of a lifetime?

Taking 2016 off from seriously training and racing was so good for me. I had fun. I tried something I never thought I wanted to do but actually loved it.

The problem is that I start to get a little freaked out when I think about following a training plan and actually racing a race. How do I do that again????

I know the answer to ALL of these questions – You won’t know unless you try. Don’t set yourself up for failure because of your doubts. Believe in yourself.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve got big plans for you 2017. You are going to be marvelous.

For the past few years, I’ve chosen a word to focus my year on. This year, I’ve chosen grit. I’ve always liked the word grit and what it describes. Ron is of Finnish heritage and one of the words that is mentioned a lot is sisu. I wrote about it a few years ago while in marathon training and seeing sisu as a sign. The loose interpretation of sisu is grit and determination. I could use sisu as my word of the year but I just like to say grit. Don’t you envision badassery by saying that word? I do!

To achieve my goals for 2017 I'll need grit to make it happen. | happyfitmama.com

2017 Goals

NO INJURIES! Every year I say this. Last year was the first year in many years that it actually mostly held true. I really, really love not having to deal with an injury.

Strength/Cross Training 2-3x/week. I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with strength training up until a couple of weeks ago before family arrived for the holidays and so did the stomach flu from hell. I jumped back on the weights already and don’t plan on letting it slide. It’s crucial for getting me to my goals!

Recovery. I’ve been seriously slacking on my post run recovery lately. With running in the cold, all I want to do the moment I step in the door is to get warm. That usually means skimping on stretching, foam rolling and sometimes immediately eating something when my runs are longer so I can hop in the shower. From there I’m pulled in different directions and recovery doesn’t happen. Although I do eat something. That is non-negotiable!

Yoga. Keep up with attending classes 2-3x/week. That’s not a problem now that I’ve got a new studio that I love.

Trail Running. As I say every year, I need to get on the trails more. And now that I have been running trails more, I don’t want to stop. It’s just too much fun. There are a ton of races that I’m interested in that will take me over new terrain, new distances and just a whole different avenue of running.

Marathon. Deep breath. I’m ready for another. I’m this close (I’m holding my fingers a millimeter apart if you want to know) to signing up for a spring marathon that everyone tells me it’s THE marathon for me to do if I want to run fast. Plus, I might have a friend willing to pace me.

Ultra marathon. Even bigger deep breath. I got some solid advice from my ultra running expert friend who suggested I’d be better off running a 50k in the fall. That way I’d have more time to run the trails and more technical terrain all spring and summer. Most of the fall ultra’s are sold out already (rookie mistake – I didn’t know there was a date that they all opened and then basically sold out on the same day!). BUT I can put my name in on the wait list. I want to run a race that’s going to have familiar faces to calm me the f@CK down so fingers crossed that I’ll get into one that will have that.

I want to try new races. I want to run new distances. I want to run new routes. I want to meet new running friends. Most importantly, I want to have fun. I love running and I never want it to become something I “have” to do. I choose to do it. I want to be running for life. Not just right now.

Do you have a one word for the year?

What are your goals for 2017?

2015 Goals

Believe I Am Journal | happyfitmama.com

Happy New Year!

Is it really 2015? It must be because I’ve been writing 2015 for the past 3 months. I guess I’m ready for it!

Does anyone else get really excited when January 1st rolls around and you’ve got a blank calendar/planner to fill in with all the important dates of the year?

By the end of the year, the calendar looks messy and tired. I like the freshness of a clean slate. A place to plan. A place to set goals to hit throughout the whole year.

Last year I shared my 14 goals in 2014. That was a little too much. I followed through with some, but most of them I completely forgot all about.

I’ve got big goals to go after this year.

2015 Goals

NO INJURIES! Every year I say this and every year (at least for the past 3) I’ve been sidelined with an injury. This year I mean it and I my body better be listening this time. For me to make my goals, I need to be injury free. In the past, I’ve kept up with my physical therapy exercises and then some. I thought I was doing everything right and yet I still get injured. In 2015, I’m taking it to another level.

Strength/Cross Training 2-3x/week. When I get deep into training, all I want to do is run. Or rather it seems like that’s all the energy I have to do. This year, I’m getting a sports conditioning trainer. I know what my imbalances are. I know what I need to do to strengthen my weaknesses. But it makes a HUGE difference when there is someone watching my form continuously, challenging and pushing me. More details to follow on this soon.

Run 1500 miles. For the past two years, I’ve had this goal and have come so close. But again, taking time off for injuries prevented it.

Marathon. I’m running Boston in April with Team Stonyfield. I’m training for it as a goal race. My number one goal is to PR. Hopefully a rather large PR since both of my marathons have not been at all what I trained for (thanks injuries). I’d really be happy with a sub 4 at least.

Half Marathon. In 2014, I set the goal of a 1:45 half marathon PR. It turned out that every 1/2 marathon I did was either for fun after an injury, fighting an injury or DNS because of an injury. I only have one 1/2 on my schedule so far, Zooma Cape Cod (join me and get 10% off with code ANGELA15) , in September. However, I’m still looking for a goal race TBD.

10 Mile/10k/5k. I’ve only run two other 10 mile races (HERE AND HERE) and I loved each one. It’s been a couple of years since the last so I’m quite confident I can PR at the Mid Winter Classic on February 1st. Current PR is 1:23. I think I can at least pull out a 1:21 if I’m having a good day. I’m planning on doing the Dover Road Race Series again this year. That means a ton of 5ks and a 10k with lots of opportunity to embrace the suck. I’d love to sub 22 in a 5k and sub 47 in 10k.

Trail Running. As I say every year, I need to get on the trails more. It’s just too much fun. I’m hoping to spend a little more time in the dirt and do at least a couple of trail races.

Yoga. Have you seen my yoga? I’ve seemed to misplaced it. My flexibility has gone down hill in the past 6 months. I haven’t taken the time for yoga and it’s shown. My goal is to get it in at least 1x/week. Hopefully more.

I want to try new races. I want to run new distances. I want to run new routes. I want to meet new running friends. Most importantly, I want to have fun. I love running and I never want it to become something I “have” to do. I choose to do it.

I do have a few professional goals as well. I’m still trying to figure out which path I’m going to take next in my career. I’m hoping to expand my running coach clientele (I’m for hire!), take on more freelance writing opportunities and begin studies toward becoming a health coach. I’m in desperate need of a change. This is definitely something I’m going to be focusing more on in 2015.

What are your goals for 2015?