On setting reasonable goals

August 4, 2006

Hello, fellow Mothertalkers. Sorry to revisit a topic that I’m known to blather on about – running – but recent events have caused me to rethink my goals and plans, and I think it’s a bit metaphoric.

As some of you know, I’d been talking up my plans to run a half marathon in September followed by the Melbourne Marathon in October. That was the ideal, but I’m going to have to cop to having changed my mind, and while I blush a bit, overall I feel great about my decision.
While I’m still gong to do the half marathon in September, I’m going to do the half marathon on Oct. 8, instead of the full marathon. I had a sit down and think session last night – I haven’t really been following the training plan I found on Runner’s World to get me through, and haven’t been able to dedicate myself to the training as I should be, for a variety of reasons. They’re mostly good reasons – I’ve been getting a tremendous amount of freelance work and have been getting up early and staying up late to get it done. That cuts into the available training time significantly. On the not so good front, Jess has gone through a couple of sicknesses – gastroenteritis, followed by a cold. I haven’t been able to run with her as much during the days, and we’ve all been getting broken sleep (not good for recovery and concentration!).

Given that the race is now about eight weeks away and I haven’t satisfied my goals in the training plan, plus everything else, I had serious doubts about my ability to complete the marathon, which is no joke! Most of all, I wasn’t enjoying the running much at all; fretting about not making the plan goals was spoiling my enjoyment of the running, which I’m supposed to be doing for physical and mental health! I’d finish a run with a feeling of disappointment, thinking that I had’t accomplished what the training plan had set out, rather than feeling good about having run in the first place. Not very Zen, to say the least.

The moment I made the decision, I felt great, like a weight had been lifted, and now I’m really looking forward to going for today’s run after I’m done here, and running these two half marathons later on.

So, as I’m sure you’re all wondering, how does this go all metaphoric, particularly for non-runners? Well, to me this was all about setting reasonable goals. We talk all the time about achieving the work/life balance, and to me, this is part of it – realizing what I can do now and what I should postpone for the future.

This, of course, leaves our gal Hillary as the sole marathoner this October – but you can be sure that I’ll be metaphorically standing on the sidelines as she does her miles and congratulating her when she crosses the finish!

How about you, MTs? What have you had to re-evaluate on lately?