Reflections and Goal Setting by Colleen O'Brien (Lily Trotters Ambassador)

Reflections and Goal Setting by Colleen O'Brien (Lily Trotters Ambassador)

Reflections and Goal Setting by @Colleen_Obrien

As one running season winds down for most of us in North America, and a new year is about to begin, I try to take some time to reflect on my past season and set some goals that get me excited to jump into training again in the new year. This time of the year is perfect for reflection and goal setting, as it tends to be an “off season” for many runners.

When I’m reflecting on the season that just passed, I think about what worked and what didn’t, so I can grow and improve. Are there things I can change about my nutrition? How about water intake? Did I feel good about my training? (For the most part, it’s never perfect.) Also, simple things, like what did I enjoy most in the season?? Where did I struggle the most?? What stood out? All of these will help me focus on what to work on in 2022, and what gets me excited to keep training.

For me, this past year was challenging. While I did some great events and awesome adventures , and am proud of how I performed at times, I felt like I was dragging much of the season. I also dealt with digestive issues and dizziness, which I never have before. So, this upcoming season, I want to experiment with my nutrition, as well as water and electrolyte intake. I also want to make sure I am nourishing myself well throughout my days with food and rest so I don’t wear myself out. 

When I think about races/events/goals for next year, I try to keep my big goals in mind. What distances am I most excited about? Do I want to run races more, or spend more time adventuring with friends? While these don’t have to be mutually exclusive, races do take time and energy to prepare for, taper and recover from and can definitely cut into summer mountain adventure time. I also make sure to choose races and events that get me excited, and a little scared. Maybe a new distance? Challenging terrain? Finally, making sure I know my “why” … Why do I want to participate in a certain event? Why is it important to me?

For me, this means finally participating in a 50km event that I have never been healthy enough to run. After that, I am planning 2 multi-day events. I did two virtual multi day events in 2021, and I absolutely loved the challenge of showing up multiple days in a row to race. Balancing running hard and racing, while not burning out after the first day is a fun, new challenge for me. I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in this new to me race format this year. I am sure I will be enticed to run some mountain adventures with friends as well :)

As well as thinking about my own race goals and ideas, I also make sure to plan fun family adventures. We already have one multi day canoe trip planned, and am sure we will get out for a few backpacking adventures as well. Taking this time of the year to reflect, as well as plan, sets me up well for jumping right into training in the new year, as well as gives me specific goals to work on in my training.

We asked her about her favorite sock. Here's her favorite:

Colleen loves the "Over the Moon" design - the simplicity and the mountain landscape really appeal to her, they are great for runs and recovery. She loves them all so it was hard to choose! 

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