Let’s talk about goal-setting, shall we? I’m good at creating goals, but my follow-through could use some work. For instance, I wanted to write a blog. What a great idea! I set it up, found a couple of nice pictures, and wrote my first post. And then…..four months went by before I wrote another post. Whoops! But seriously, goals are a great way to gauge where you are and set something admirable to work towards. I find that I know what I want to do, but somewhere during the middle of accomplishing the goal, I fall apart. In 2015, I ran my first marathon. Once I got the email that I was accepted to run via the lottery, I set about finding a training plan, buying a few new running shorts (because, of course!) and telling everyone what I was going to be doing that October!
Training started off great. I was doing all of my runs, cross-training, and making sure to stretch afterwards and rest when I needed it. Then I began traveling for work. I was working late hours and by time I got back to the hotel to change, I only had a small amount of time before it was dark out. I am generally a very smart and safe runner. But I was so focused on getting a run in that I went out in an area that I did not know very well and it got dark. Nothing happened and where I was running was in a safe area in Vermont (are there unsafe areas in Vermont?) but nevertheless I was a little nervous and probably ran faster than I ever had before to get back to the safety of my car. I was spooked. I used this experience as an excuse to skip a run here and there.
If you’ve ever run a marathon, you know that training begins MONTHS before. So I was training in the heat of summer. I got hot and tired on all of my training runs, but instead of making sure I got up to run before the sun came out, I used the heat as another excuse. It got to a point where I was barely making any of my mid-week runs, and only doing a long run each week.
Now, the day of my marathon was an awesome experience for me that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. When my husband (then fiancé) and I arrived in Chicago, I stated that I just wanted to finish the race in one piece. I wasn’t going to worry about time. I just wanted to cross that finish line. My mantra was of the day was courtesy of Mr. Phil Dunphy: “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast!” I felt great the entire race and the crowd was unbelievable. I did accomplish my goal of completing a marathon, but I wish that I had trained better for it. I wish that I had made my training a priority and didn’t let other obstacles, or more importantly my excuses, get in the way.
I am setting a goal for this blog. I am going to write a post once a week. I am not going to limit myself to a topic, I’m just going to blog about what I’m feeling/doing/living that week. I just need to write something. I think that’s pretty manageable. And I won’t let any excuses get in my way.