Goals are scary, but they’re one of the things I like most about running. Perhaps it’s the scientist part of me, but setting concrete goals that are easily measurable are the best. Time goals. Distance goals. Qualifying goals. Place goals. Split goals. You either hit them or you don’t. Meeting or surpassing them is the greatest feeling. Not quite making it sucks. Is it the end of the world? No. Does it mean you’re a complete and utter failure who should just give up? No. I usually go into every race with 2 or 3 goals. The races that I don’t have any goals are the ones where I tend to slack…a lot. I like multiple goals in order to avoid the “I’m a failure and suck at everything” disappointment.
A. Goal is usually a time goal or a place goal (usually place in my Age Group because overall is way too unrealistic for me unless it’s a super small race)
B. Goal is usually a second time goal or qualification goal
C. Goal is usually just finish without dying/injuring myself or getting terrible stomach cramps.
In the end, I only *really* failed if I had to be hauled away in an ambulance and didn’t get my sparkly medal…in which case I have much bigger things to worry about.
Now, my main goal this year is getting #FastAF for SeaWheeze in August. This is the only race this year where I am setting an AGGRESSIVE time goal. My time WILL have a 1:35 in front of it. Or less. My current PR is a 1:37:32 (missed it over a year later by 2 sec because I suck at math while I run, but I didn’t care because I was going for an AG award and nailed it). Yes, it’s only 2 1/2 minutes faster than a time I’ve obtained at two different races. But I feel slower. Heavier. Generally not fast. Like I’m the only one not getting PR after PR. It is going to take a lot of work. I need to find people to push me through my training. I’m already scared that I won’t be able to pull it together in time – but I just need to visualize crossing the finish line with my goal time on the clock. Or remember the feeling beating my goal time and qualifying for Boston at my first marathon. Scary and hard goal? Yes. Worth it? TOTALLY. Besides, it’s SeaWheeze and lululemon magic. You can’t help but being stoked the entire freakin weekend!