Backing off of Goals – It’s For the Birds


It’s so easy though, isn’t it?  You put a goal out there, then things aren’t just exactly perfect (when are they?), and it’s so easy to make up excuses and explain why you didn’t get to the goal before you even do or don’t.  Just me?  What’s up with this hedging?

I put it out there that I wanted to run a 1:45 half several months ago.  I was excited to have a goal that would really challenge me, and excited to really go after a time goal that might not be possible on the first try, or even the fifth try.  I was excited.  In theory.  Then I had a few weeks that weren’t easy for a number of reasons, and I started making up all kinds of excuses for why it was OK that I wasn’t going to hit the goal.  Started re-evaluating how I’d attack my first half marathon of the year.  Generally started spending way more energy thinking about why it was OK that I wouldn’t hit the goal rather than just doing the work I needed to do to get there.  WHAT?!  That’s a silly waste of energy, and absolutely no fun.

I had a good run this weekend.  It wasn’t as far as the plan dictated, but it was at a good pace, a reasonable distance, and I was able to speed up into the finish.  I ran with people.  I talked.  I had fun.  I also realized that I had at least partially completed every workout I had planned for the week.  And it all was so much more FUN than worrying about why I wasn’t going to run a 1:45 half in March.  Good grief, take a chill pill Betsy.

SO!  I’m going to try to remember this during the harder weeks.  Pushing hard hurts but it’s fun.  Working toward the goal is fun.  Re-evaluation of specific races might be reasonable if training hasn’t gone according to plan, but don’t make up excuses two months before the race; instead, focus and re-evaluate when necessary, if necessary.  But freaking go for it, don’t be a wimp or a wet blanket for yourself.  GEEZ!

So, with that in mind, a little recap of week who knows of whatever number of weeks of training (I did just look it up and I have 7 weeks left till Tom King.  But then I have 5 weeks till Raleigh, and then two weeks after that till Country Music.  I’m re-embracing this philosophy and not counting the weeks so meticulously.  Planning but having fun.  Going with the flow a bit more.  Lots of cracks at this nut throughout the year).

I've decided to start the whole Daily Mile thing.  Be my friend?

I’ve decided to start the whole Daily Mile thing. Be my friend?

Training Recap, Week of 1/14/14:

Monday: 3 miles on the treadmill because it was rainy and gross out.  Kind of painful but got through.  Average 9:36

Tuesday: Homemade/iPhone pushup app – dictated mini strength routine.  Push ups, squats, sit ups.  I’m a weakling.

Wednesday: “Tempo” on the treadmill.  Supposed to be 3 miles of tempo at 8:00 pace, made it 1.5, non consecutive, probably around 8:20 average tempo miles.  Tempo workouts are probably my biggest trigger of doubt about my goal, but they’re also a good barometer of where I am physically and mentally – can only go up from here.  Also, 1.5 hours of tennis Wednesday PM.  The tennis court really is my happy place and this rounded out a great day.  Jawbone also tells me I took about 19,000 steps today, which is a big-time record!

Thursday: 2 quick miles at 8:35.  Felt super duper.

Friday: Another round of the homemade strength routine.

Saturday: 7.4 miles with a local running group, which meant great company.  Started out fast up some hills but locked into a smooth and talkative pace for most of the run and the last 2 miles were 8:30 and below.  Probably too fast for a long run, but it felt good to push at the end and still be able to carry on a semi-conversation.  Talking about these guys always keeps me going:

Crazy Kids

Crazy Kids

Sunday: Pure barre.  Further confirming I’m a weakling, but can also tell it’s oh so good for me!  Planning to make this a Sunday staple.

Feeling good about my consistency, now just to practice what I preach.  No more backing off.  I actually CAN do this, and I enjoy doing it, so why should I spend so much time thinking of reasons why I can’t?  Silliness!

4 thoughts on “Backing off of Goals – It’s For the Birds

  1. I think it’s great to set goals and it’s okay if you don’t nail them your first time, that’s part of the excitement and what makes it so sweet when you do accomplish your goal! As for your long run, I actually think it’s really good to try to run the last few miles at goal pace and not worry about those miles being too fast for a long run!

    • Exactly!! I just got scared for some reason. I mean, who cares if it doesn’t happen as long as I try – it may take years, but it’ll be fun to work on getting there :) For some reason I’ve been having trouble with the long term stuff, but hopefully I can get back mentally in a good place on big goals. Thanks for the encouragement as always Beth!

  2. This is a great post. There will always be good and bad weeks and doubts and frustration, but its cool that you recognized what was going on early enough to stop yourself! Also, last year before NYC half, I almost talked myself out of going for a PR, for sheer fear of failure if I didn’t get it. I am thankful that I went for it anyway, but sometimes those little doubts creep in and get the best of us.

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