Humans are afraid to set goals because we are afraid of not reaching them. Sounds familiar. We don’t want to over-promise to others, or to ourselves, because the outcome could, honestly, be really embarrassing.
So, really, we’re just scared and self-conscious. We don’t want to be judged or to be disappointed. That’s human nature.
I’ve set goals — here on this blog! — that I have not reached. And while I could tell you that setting a goal and failing is part of the game (it is) — that isn’t the reason I didn’t reach mine. I didn’t reach mine because I just lost sight of what I was pushing for.
Back in the summer I decided I was going to shave 20 minutes off my marathon time. Lofty goal, though by no means impossible. The way I was going to get there was going to be the “Run less, run faster” technique of the Hansons Marathon Method. This method is sworn on by groups in the running community, and hey — I believe it works! I believe it works because this plan is hard as hell. It became so time consuming, taxing and tiring that by week 7 I consciously decided to half-ass it till the end of my training cycle.
Spoiler Alert: I didn’t reach my goal. In fact, my marathon time was longer than my first marathon. I’m not disappointed in that. The New York City Marathon was the best race of my life and I’m GLAD I got to spend more time on that course (lol). I’m just disappointed that I cut myself short of my goal just because a plan failed me.
Two months, and a whole lot older, I’m putting my foot down on selling myself short.
This means making real concrete goals, that make sense, and finding the right plans to get me there. This means getting rid of language that irks me. This means not being scared of the weather, or of mileage or of the competition. This means putting really delicious foods in my body. This means being cool with change, whether that means my pace or my attitude or my environment or my body.
Each one of us runner — or humans! — are sitting on a goal mine. We can make goals and we can crush them. Isn’t that one of the best parts of being a runner-human after all?
My goal this year is a very specific time in the half marathon. I’ll let you know when I get there.
My goal is to stop saying “easy runs”
My goal is to run in weather that sucks, because sometimes race day weather sucks.
My goal is to not cut corners on long runs.
My goal is to only look at my own treadmill console at the gym.
My goal is to not check my watch during long runs.
My goal is to understand the privilege of running. And the choice to stop whenever I need.
My goal is to eat a lot of slowly cooked meals and also not quit my dumpling addiction.
My goal is to explore this home turf I’m running on.
My goal is to embrace new sore muscles, or tight pants. Depending on what day it is, I’ll have one or the other (read: dumplings).
That was easy, right?
We all have those moments where we can’t recognize ourselves, our accomplishments (and sometimes our failures) from years, or months past.
Go out and be that person you don’t recognize. Or maybe really, really recognize, because it’s who you’ve been all along.
That’s what I’ll be doing.
Because today is guaranteed entry day for the NYC Marathon, here’s a celebration of that.