Today I want to talk about goals. Personal goals, specifically. It’s easy to throw out race dates and distances as goals, but deep down most of us have expectations of our performance that we are unwilling to admit to others. Maybe it’s the fear of embarrassment of not reaching these goals. If we keep them to ourselves, no one can ask, “did you finish in such-and-such time?”
As I’ve said before, I’m not a fast runner. I blame genetics. The Fiancee is 3 inches shorter than me, yet my knees fall below hers. Seriously, when I see pictures of myself in jeans, I’m often reminded of Yoda. All kidding aside, I’m guilty of the subject of today’s post. My goal last December was to finish my first marathon in under 4:30:00. All of my training up until that point indicated that it was possible, yet I never stated my goals to anyone other than The Fiancee. When people would ask, I’d say, “I’m just hoping to finish”. While this was true, in the back of my mind, I was hoping to break the 4:30:00 barrier. This didn’t happen though. I crossed the finish line in 4:47:22, elated, but ever so slightly disappointed in my performance.
There are two things I propose we all start doing. Number one: write down your goals. Hold yourself accountable. It’s easy to go into a race with a goal in the back of your mind, only to miss it, and then think, “well, I wasn’t really going for that anyway”. Embrace the challenge. That’s what I’ll be doing through this blog. In the near future, I’m going to post goals for each race listed in the Race Schedule.
Secondly: be specific with your goals. Instead of saying, “I want to finish in under 4 hours”, give yourself a finite goal and post it where you’ll see it daily. For runners, a goal might look like this: Finish the Oklahoma City Half-Marathon in under 1:30:00 and place in the top ten in my age group. For triathletes, set goals for each leg. An example at the Iron Distance might be: Finish the swim in 1:15:00, the bike in 6:00:00, and the run in 4:30:00 and finish in the top ten in my age group. Holding yourself accountable begins with holding yourself to certain standards. Don’t let the fear of embarrassment cause you to miss out on potential group of supporters just because you don’t want to be specific.
Lastly, I want to share a very important aspect of training with you all. Whether you’re a runner, a cyclist, or combine all three in triathlon, safety should always be first an all of our minds. This week I purchased a Road ID that includes all of my personal information just in case an accident occurs while out training. I used to carry my Driver’s License with me on long workouts, but I kept forgetting to take it out of my Camelbak or running jacket. Of course, I’d always remember the next day while out driving around (not good). This should alleviate that issue. All this is to say, they sent me a code for $1 off any Road ID, good until the end of the month. I realize it’s only a dollar, but hey, there’s most of the shipping ($1.49)! The coupon is good for 20 uses and I receive no incentives for any subsequent purchases. I just wanted to share the opportunity.
Just enter: ThanksZach24548268
I hope everyone had a productive and safe week! On the long training days I’m sure everyone will be doing this weekend (wink wink) take some time to consider what the goals are that you have for your performance. Whether they’re short or long term, don’t be afraid to write them down and don’t be afraid to share.