#109 – After hitting pause for a few weeks through the holidays, I’m back in full stride, eager to share with you the latest from the running world and my own personal journey. You will hear about my running goals for 2024 and how I am thinking about preparing for them (mentally and physically). We also have incredible guest interviews that are on the way!
Get the latest on Inspire to Run Podcast
Hear about my running goals for 2024
Learn about the slight format change to the show (I think you’ll like it!)
Richard is a strategic marketing professional with experience in B2B marketing. Richard is the founder of Inspire to Run and is passionate about helping others reach their goals. He is a Connecticut native and is a husband, dad, writer, Star Wars fan, and of course – runner! Richard recently discovered obstacle course racing and has fully embraced this new obsession.
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Hey, my friend, I know it’s been a while, but Inspire to Run podcast is back. I’m so excited. We have some new episodes, great guests and conversations to bring to you. But today I wanted to jump on quick, just let you know kind of where I’ve been for the last few weeks, where I am today and where the podcast is headed. Hope you enjoy.
Welcome to Inspire to Run podcast. Here you will find inspiration, whether you are looking to take control of your health and fitness or you are a seasoned runner looking for community and some extra motivation. You will hear inspiring stories from amazing runners, along with helpful tips from fitness experts. Now here’s your host, richard Connor.
Hi, my friend, welcome to Inspire to Run podcast here after a few weeks of having published an episode. So I wanna come on here quickly and share with you a little bit about what’s been going on with me Personally and professionally. There’s been a lot of things that’s been going on and talk about the new year, so I know it’s probably a little late to say this, but happy new year, hope everything is going well with you. I hope for your resolutions, goals and objectives for the year. You’re on track with that and if you’re not, that’s okay. We’re beginning in January and I know, while January one or New Year’s is a fresh start, but you still have an opportunity to get on the path that you’re looking to get on and start working towards those goals. So, as far as what’s been going on with me for the last few weeks actually during the holidays, so had a lot going on professionally and personally so some big changes in my life, specifically on the professional side, and that’s really kind of prevented me from getting these interviews edited and published to share with all of you. But I have some really great guests that I’ve brought on the show over the last few weeks, some really great interviews, and it is my apologies for not getting those out on a weekly basis as I’ve been before, but I know once I do and publish those, you’ll really enjoy them. So same type of guests that we’ve had before. So we’ve had some folks on for brands, familiar brands that you know and love. So great stories there, as well as some from everyday runners right, sharing their inspiring stories, which I hope will inspire and motivate you as you’re thinking about 2024. So that’s a little bit about what’s been going on and I hope to get back to getting those episodes and those interviews out to you really shortly. But kind of thinking about and looking forward to 2024, I’ve got some really big news to share with you that I’m excited about for me personally, and there’s some really big news for the show, some of which I’ll share today and some I’ll keep you in suspense for a little while, and some other are coming soon.
But let’s start with my personal updates. I’ve got some really big goals for 2024. And I wanna share those with you and give you a little bit of history and context behind them. So the first one is I’m running my first marathon this year, or at least that’s my goal. So if you recall, I was really just I’m not just right I was a 5K runner in cross country and track at high school and didn’t run for a bunch of years and then kind of got back into 5Ks just a few years ago and then really only started to run that longer distance as I started to run Spartan obstacle course races. So if you recall, they have different levels of the Spartan obstacle course races and I started with the sprint, which was a 5K plus obstacles, and then I moved up to the super with the encouragement of my coach and that’s a 10K with more obstacles, and then all the way to the beast, which scared me, and that is a half marathon distance with even more obstacles. So if you remember, I did that for the first time virtually about three years ago. I ran that half marathon distance which I was super proud of. And then I came back the following year and I ran it in person and I did it again last year. I did a couple of half marathons last year. I did the Brooklyn half, kind of in the springtime frame, and then the Gulf Beach half marathon in the fall.
And you know, for this year I’m like you know what I think I’m ready. I think I’m ready to do my first full marathon, and it’s not confirmed yet, it’s not secured yet. I’ve got a couple of ways that I’m gonna go about it, but I wanted this first one to be a big one, I wanted it to be one of the majors, and the one that I selected is the New York City Marathon. So, as I mentioned, there’s a couple of ways I can get in and I’m just pursuing those ways. But I will certainly let you know if any one of those pan out and if not, I’ll come up with a plan C for my first marathon this year.
But that’s a big deal for me. You know, I’ve been on this journey of doing things I never thought I could do before and overcoming fears and obstacles, and running a marathon is one of those things. I never really had a desire to do it and part of it’s been. I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I can run a marathon, but out of everything that I’ve done over the last few years, I’m pretty confident that I can do it. If I train properly and I get my mindset right, this is something that I can definitely do and I know that mindset is gonna play a big part of this. So, first, pillar right and the Inspire to Run pillars mindset, and I know that’s gonna play a big role in my training and just preparing for that first marathon. And that’s gonna be true for the other goals and I’m gonna share with you this year, but in particular for this one, especially since I haven’t done it before. So that’s one of the things that that I’m excited about this year and you know I keep you up to date on how that’s going.
So the second big goal is I want to run an hour 45 for a half marathon and this is really something I’ve been trying to do for a couple of years now and In last year I did okay for my half marathons and I’m definitely seeing improvement in my runs and improvement in my races and times. But one thing that I have not been doing what I expect to do, or what I’ve hoped to do, is be able to train and run consistently and this is something that you know I talk about on the show a lot in terms of how do you prioritize and how do you can be consistent and stick with it and, to be honest, is something that I’ve struggled with personally. There are seasons or moments where I’m into my training and I’m consistent, especially leading up to races, but not throughout the entire year, and that’s something that I need to be far more diligent about. This year I have a great running coach shout out to Kevin Gregory, underdog fitness and he’s got a great plan for me and I see, like I said, I’ve seen tremendous improvement over the last couple of years. But I need to be more consistent. I need to follow the plan and I definitely want to get to that hour 45 for the half marathon. So that’s gonna be goal that I’m. That’s a goal that I want to hit by the fall time frame. There’s a race that I’ve done for a couple of years now that I love the course, I love the organizers of this race and it’s in the home ton I grew up in and it’d be really great to get that PR, which will be about like a nine minute PR, if I could hit that, not if when I hit that hour and 45, so super excited about that. But, like I said, I really need to be more diligent and my training and the need to prioritize everything that’s important in my life and this is one of those things. So if I do this, I can’t drop other things that are important as well, unless something I have to find in terms of balance for the year. So that’s my second big goal for the year.
So the third one is Interesting one and it’s quite different than the first two and it’s quite different than goals that I’ve had in the past. So this one is qualify for Deca World Championships and so, if you recall or I may have talked about a little bit not too much On the show and sometimes on Instagram live, you come on and talk about it, but Deca hosts these. You know what they call hybrid races. So there’s different levels for Deca. There’s some levels that have no running, there’s some levels with running, but they have stations 10 stations that you go through and that you do lunges and row and ski and burpees, all the fun stuff right, and you go through these stations.
And it’s been really interesting for me because I started to do DECA sort of when we’re coming out of the pandemic and I wasn’t really ready to go back to road races with a lot of people and I hadn’t really been training at that time for those races. But I felt like DECA was a nice way to ease back into this type of training and it allowed me to go to the gym, to Kevin’s gym, and do it with a smaller group of people, do these DECA races. And just last year I just really enjoyed doing all the races that I did. I did all three levels of the race, so I did the trifecta. I had tremendous improvement in all three levels of the races. So that’s always a good motivator, right To keep going that third pillar, right Motivation.
And I’m like I had this crazy idea Wow, what would it look like for me to get to the world championships or qualify for the world championships? And if I’m being honest, this is not something that I’ve really thought about too too much, even running in high school. Of course I’m gonna do my best and train and win for the team, gain as many points to support the team, but I can’t see that I’ve been overly competitive or not overly competitive I don’t know if that’s the right way to say it just competitive to the extent that I wanna get on the podium. Sure, it’d be nice if I got on the podium, right that first, second, third place, overall age group, whatever the case may be, but it hasn’t really been a main driver for me. For me, my main driver has been overcoming fears, doing things I’ve never done before and just improving myself every day. And those are still my goals.
But this year I’m taking slightly a different approach and just thinking well, what if I took that step change? What if I could qualify for the DECA championships, which is something I never thought about before and it’s gonna require a whole different level of training and dedication to get there. Because, let me tell you something, these athletes that qualify are all incredible athletes. They’re amazing human beings and just incredible athletes, and I wanna be part of that group. So that is just a really big, airy goal for me this year is to qualify for DECA World Championships and, like I said, working with my running coach, kevin Gregory, who’s done amazing in the sport, just did incredible last year and started off this year really strong, and I admire him and I know a lot of people do, and I am just grateful to have him as my coach to help me on this journey. So those are the three big goals that I have this year and I’m super excited about and I will keep you in the loop in terms of how my training is going, how my races are going and how my progress is going. And, yeah, and I wanted to come on and just really quickly share all of this with you.
If you’re watching this on YouTube, you’ll see that I’m not in my normal quote unquote recording studio with my mic and headphones, because this week I’m actually at a podcasting conference. So this is PodFest. I came here last year and just decided that between the networking and the sessions that I learned so much and gained so much and grown so much from that, that helped me be a better podcaster, which in turn, hopefully helped better serve you. So I just made the decision last year that not only was I going to come back this year, but I wanted to speak. So I had the opportunity just this morning to give a five minute talk for what they call a Pechakucha, which I know I’m not pronouncing it the proper way, but it’s kind of the common way folks pronounce it. But it’s a five minute talk. They give you 20 slides, 15 seconds a slide, and they advance the slides automatically.
So if there’s a little anxiety and stress, just kind of listen to how I describe that. Yeah, that’s how much anxiety and stress I had about doing it, but it was super, super fun, and I talked about a topic that I’m super passionate about, which was not just podcasting, of course, but also marketing and branding. So I talked about how we rebranded the show from Inspire Virtual Runs to Inspire to Run Podcast and why I did that and how the process I went about doing that and how many of you are along the journey with me. So I was excited to share my experience with others to hopefully help them in their journey. So, again, if I sound different, or if you’re watching YouTube and my background looks a little different, that is why I want to jump on here quickly and share all of this with you.
So one of the things that I’m excited about that I’m going to do a little bit differently this year is Share a little bit more about my journey, and this is kind of how the podcast started. It was me sharing my journey with others Friends, family, co-workers and this is a way for me to share my story more broadly through this platform, as well as share the stories of others. So that part’s not going to change. I’m still going to bring on amazing guests so they could share their stories and and help inspire you and motivate you in your journey. But I’m gonna have some more solo episodes, just like this one, to keep you up to date on what’s happening with me, what I’m learning, how I’m doing and, again, hopefully you learn from this and hopefully this helps you and what you want to accomplish in 2024.
So that’s another big exciting news and I have more to share, but I’m gonna keep you in suspense, so you’re gonna have to stay tuned to see all of what’s coming. But it’s really gonna be an incredible year. I’m really excited about it for not only for me and my personal running journey, but also what I intend to do with the podcast and how I can better serve you, our listeners, and Help you and your journey and help you achieve what you’re looking to achieve. So thanks again for sticking with us, for listening to the podcast, for supporting so you can come to Instagram inspired around podcast. You can let me know how you enjoyed this episode, what you’re excited about this year and you know with that. Thanks for listening and have a great day.
That’s it for this episode of inspire to run podcast. We hope you are inspired to take control of your health and fitness and take it to the next level. Be sure to click the subscribe button to join our community and also please rate in review. Thanks for listening.