Did you hit your goals in 2018?  Yesterday it dawned on me that I did not get any of my specific running goals for 2018.  Here were my goals an what the result was:

  1. Place top 3 in my age group in the USATF points championships – Came in 4th
  2. Run under 19:00 in the 5K – Ran 19:08
  3. Run my marathon PR at Boston – That didn’t go so well:   Click here
  4. Run my half marathon PR/get under 1:30 – missed by 6 seconds and 10 seconds

By those standards, I had a lost year.  All my running friends PR’d or completed 1 of their goals this year.  While I’m always happy for them, some small competitive piece in me is wondering what I did wrong.

Lifestyle Changes:

What many people don’t see is that as their lives change, their body is affected.  Even if the change is not physical, the body reacts negatively and needs time to adjust.  In my case all year I had been trying to get a full-time teaching job.  There was the stress of interviews and finally getting the job at which I am now.  Not knowing what to expect, I worked too hard over the summer to create plans that I ended up largely not using.  Finally, I now have a new schedule that I had to get used to.  Not including work, I started using a coach for the first time in over a decade.  The new workouts were demanding.  My daughter went off to college and that involved planning and moving and a different worry. Add in the 2 races I was race director, the volunteer work for summer cross country, Sunday School teaching – Perhaps all at once this has been too much to do in 1 year at one time.

Forgive Yourself:

I was running with a friend yesterday and I was telling her about this post.   It was originally called “Did You Hit Your Goals This Year?”  Then she asked me a bunch of questions and finally said to me, “Maybe you just need to forgive yourself.   (Paraphrasing now) You did a lot – there are new stresses in your life and your body could not respond to what you were asking it to do.”   Once she said that, I actually felt relieved.   I had put in a major effort this year in running and, while that did not pan out, perhaps I need to look over the successes that I did have.


  1. Got a new full-time high school teaching position
  2. PR in the 10-mile run 1:05:32 in March, cutting over a minute from my previous time
  3. Running business as a coach doubled from last year
  4. Isagenix business quadrupled from last year
  5. Made many new running friends
  6. Got a person who never ran before to finish a marathon
  7. Got my headstand in yoga

There are more personal ones as well, and I need to be thankful for having those.   I am also thankful for a family that supports my businesses and my running habit!

When you see things going badly, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Take stock on what is going on that you are taking for granted and things are probably better than what you think.

Trials of  Miles,

Coach Nick

Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

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