A Check-In with our 2016 Running Goals

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“The trouble with not having a goal is that you could spend the rest of your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

We’re back in “running” business! It’s always a struggle to get runners to rest up, mainly because we’re too afraid of losing momentum. We often think that we will have to fight our way back in as the body can become quite use to being on vacation. There may be some merit to that but only to the extent that a break amounts to weeks or months off. Surely it can’t mean one will suffer a setback if he or she takes a well-deserved couple of weeks off? In fact, struggle or not, coming back from my two weeks off feels great and based on my running this week, its all good. You can breathe and rest easy now; two weeks will make you not break you.

Also, we can get ready for better running weather, for it’s May and we’re on the brink of summer – how did that happen? In any event, this is a good time to stop and reassess or check-in regarding our running goals for this year. Yep, the very same ones we were all excited and up in arms about around January 1st of this year. You’re totally entitled to a bit of guilt if you’re nowhere where you want to be, but know that it’s ok. You’re here, healthy (hopefully) and so happily you can give it another shot.

A big goal of mine was running the Boston Marathon so.. check – not the desired result – but it’s done. Even so, there are other races on my agenda, others I still have to do. What is interesting to note is that as I cross one item of my list, it actually has bearing on my other goals in a real way. Take for example Boston, I have now decided to run it again next year, to earn my medal this time, if my registration is accepted. As a result of this decision, I’ll try for a better qualifying time in Chicago this year. It’s a little crazy how it never stops with me; it’s as though there will always be another goal, another race. Maybe there always will be, but goals do many things, chief among them is to inspire us to give of our very best and even if we fail, we get up, stomp the dust off and try again.                                                          

In the upcoming months, (half the year is almost up, unbelievable), I have two, maybe three, big races and a few smaller ones while I have my heart set on a 5k and Half-Marathon PR. Additionally, I have a charity goal to fulfill which I will do at the Chicago Marathon. Because summer is usually an all-round hot time, I will be limiting my runs to fun, short ones with one destination marathon in July.                                             

I jokingly say that my life is a scatter plot, with my running all over the graph. But despite how it seems, it keeps me focused and happy – the world could go to pieces around me, as long as I’m running, it’s fine. LOL! I’m kidding! It’s really not that bad, just a tad bit crazy (my friends would say). Regardless, I’m no fine running example as I have fallen off the goal wagon a time or two. For yet another year, I’ve been terrible with keeping count of my miles while I can’t seem to start the tri program just yet. I try to convince myself that maybe I will in the summer but in the meantime between getting a handle on my health ( making sure I’m fit as a fiddle) and getting coached to improve my time, and working and keeping up with my volunteer activities, I’m a little stretched for time. While I’m not complaining, since that’s the way I like it, I would love time to slow down just a tad and maybe someone up there can add a few more hours to my days? Just saying.

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2016 Running Goals

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This year I’ve determined that less is indeed more. Far too often, I’ve found myself striving to keep up with me – if that makes any sense. Admittedly, I’m sure I’ve said this before – I can be a bit much at times and do tend to want to do it all but just as goals need to be realistic so must I, which means scaling back on some things in order to maximize the opportunity for success in others.

As a result, thanks in large part to my year of growth and experience last year, I’ve found myself setting just a few running goals this year, which I’ll share with you – the privileged few who I keep up-to-date with all things running as it pertains to me. Here they are:

  • Complete the Boston Marathon in a time of 3:35:00.
  • Train hard and consistently, which means running at least 5/7 days of the week and doing a weekly long run (It is not by chance that this goal follows completing Boston)
  • Run two destination marathons
  • Add meaning to my miles: run at least one of my big races for charity
  • Begin training for a triathlon in the Spring, which means practicing swimming and biking (A triathlon was one of the things on my list last year that did not happen)
  • Run at least 2 races for fun in summer
  • Keep a daily log of my miles ( For shame I have attempted this in the past with no success)

To my way of thinking, I should be ok having set the foundation, insofar as my goals are “SMART,” but more importantly, realistic & time-bound, as we discussed last week. There is no inordinate amount of pressure to perform other than what is inherent in the activities outlined in order to present some challenge and momentum to do at my best. In the past, as recent as last year, I would always set way too many goals and end up not making at least two on my list much to my dismay and disappointment. This year I’ve realized that I don’t have to do it all “today” and even if I did fall short that would be ok too. What matters is that I’ve set about my year with realistic direction and purpose with the means and resources, as far as humanly possible, to get the job done and have some fun while doing it. No more self-recrimination for me.

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