When you set a long-term goal, how do you tell if you are making progress? Do you break it down into small steps and check those off as you go? I am talking about my running goalS for the year.
My first goal, which was set near the end of January, was to run a race every month this year. To date, I have run 11 races this year: 3 half marathons, a 20K, a 15K, two 10 milers, and four 5Ks. I am not a fan of the 5K as it literally takes me a mile or two to get going and hit my stride. Five kilometres is just not long enough, though I run them for any number of reasons anyway.
Then, back in July, I decided I was going to run a marathon this year. I started training for one just twelve weeks out and was pretty sure I could do the training. The only big problem with the training has been the 20 mile run. I have yet to finish one without a problem of some sort. Do I know why there is a problem? I have guessed at what has been the issue in both my failed attempts. I have narrowed things down and rethought the very long run obstacle. I do believe, in my mind, that I can run this distance and the distance of a marathon – 26.2 miles. I do not believe that I should do it this year.
You see, I had never run a race until December of 2009. I ran my first 5K then. While I can do the distance, I do not think I am mentally ready to run a marathon. I think part of my mental block is that I had my heart set on running a marathon that was local – Wineglass. Evidently a lot of people have decided Wineglass is a great marathon to run. The registrations closed this year in August. The number of runners has doubled. I did not get my registration done in time. I kept training and started looking for a new marathon to run.
I settled – a word I do not like to use at all – on Hartford the weekend following Wineglass. I have a lot of friends running Wineglass and wanted to be there to watch and cheer them on whether I could run it or not. But now, I am truly thinking I don’t want to run Hartford. I want to wait. I want to go back to my original thoughts of running Wineglass and my first marathon next October – 2011 – a month after I turn 50.
Do you adjust your goals as time goes on? When you adjust your goals, do you feel like you are failing or just resetting what you want to achieve?