Goals. I found a recipe for success! 

I had a rough idea in my head of my 2017 goals. Some random things like make time to read and more time to blog, walk the dogs, spend more weekends over at my Mom, visit my Dad more regularly, stress less at work, lose weight (yeah, who doesn’t list this!). But it was only when seeing KK’s running calendar and knowing the finishing times for the races he plans to run this year that I realized that as much as I’d like to think I’ve set goals, unless I follow up with a proper action plan, I’ll never succeed.

running goals, race dates

Firstly, he has a 2017 calendar with all the race dates written in which is lying in our study. Most of the races have already been entered and paid for too. After discussing race goals, his Coach sent him an entire training program via Google calendar up until Comrades. It lists his daily running schedule and distances. And boy does KK take it seriously! Every time I look, he’s analyzing Strava and comparing his runs. (LOL, like most of us runners! Obsession much!)

In the last few weeks, we’ve had quite a bit of rain which didn’t stop him from running. Pffft! Unlike me. I’ll confess that sometimes I secretly appreciate that I can sleep late on a weekend listening to the rain fall. 

Drenched! But smiling!

KK is dedicated to his running goals. He is consistent, motivated and disciplined. But more importantly, he has a vision. He knows the races and times he wants to run this year and knows exactly what he needs to do to achieve this. He has a plan and he works at it. That’s the perfect recipe for successful goals right there.

The races I’ve entered so far are as follows. Let me know if I’ll see you there?

  • Dischem 5km
  • Johnson Crane 10km
  • Vaal 10km
  • Pick ‘n Pay half marathon
  • Two Oceans half marathon
  • Drakensburg Run-The-Berg
deer snapchat filter

Deer in the headlights moment!

Now all I need to do is put my plan in place as to how I manage to make time to read and more time to blog, walk the dogs, spend more weekends over at my Mom, visit my Dad more regularly, stress less at work, lose weight, all in between training for these races.

Easy peazy, right? YIKES!

Losing focus in order to refocus

On the eve of the Sarens half marathon, I lay wide awake in bed knowing something was gnawing at me inside with regards to my running but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I was unsure if I was over-training, if I was mentally or physically drained but something wasn’t right. After an hour of over – analysis, it suddenly dawned on me what was wrong. Here’s what I realised:

  • I keep comparing myself to other runners I follow on social media instead of focussing on my own running journey. In my mind, everyone seems to be running faster times and improving a hell of a lot quicker than me. (Really?)
  • I’ve constantly been improving my PB, yet after 7 months with Coach Dave, I am still slower than some of the familiar faces I see at the races. I can’t keep up with runners that I used to. Why not? This bugs me.
  • I am trying to keep up with my Running Junkie Two friends and frustrated that I can’t.
  • Once again, I am caught up in that mad whirlwind they call “Two Oceans” and desperately wanting to run a good time down in Cape Town in a race I really hate.

You see, it isn’t just one thing. It is a few things that added up to one major issue: I have lost sight of my goals. I have started to look around at everything else except at my own running journey and the progress I have made since August last year.

But it’s even more than that. Lying in bed at 00h35, I knew that I wanted to run Sarens faster than 2:46 but I had no race plan. No strategy. I didn’t even know what my average pace should be. How crazy that after so many months of running, I had not worked this out in my head!

Surely no runner should go into any race so unprepared. Surely it’s the same with life? With no plan, no vision, do we really know how to reach our goals and how to measure success? set goals

I need to go back to the drawing board. I need to reset some of my goals because the goal posts have shifted. And they should shift as I improve, right?

Sarens was a great race, by the way. I ran it in 2:44.

Afraid to set a goal

At the beginning of the year, my 12 year old niece signed a contract with my sister that states that if she successfully receives good marks for her exams, she will be allowed to attend all the school disco’s. It came as no surprise recently that she was not allowed to attend the latest disco due to low marks because her goals were a tad unrealistic to begin with.Dom goals

But I do feel her pain. Setting my own running goals lately is a challenge. I’m committed to my training and at this stage, my coach has made me run each and every day to build up consistency and a good foundation. But in the back of my mind, I’ve been thinking about my goals and more specifically, the pace I would like to run.

I signed up with Coach Dave to run faster than my current 8 minutes per km. But what is my specific goal? What pace am I working towards? Can I run at 7 minutes per km? Or should I be brave and set a goal of 6 minutes per km?

You see, this frightens me because I don’t know. I have no idea what I am capable of? I’m worried that I set a goal that is unreachable and unrealistic. I set a 5km PB (personal best) time on Saturday, but then the next day ran a race at 7:49 mins/km. Huh?TTSo I went back to one of my favourite blog posts about setting goals posted by Mark Wolff. Bottom line: My goals need to be realistic. Also, to ensure that I don’t get injured and disappointed, I need to accept that reaching my goals will take time, patience and discipline.

So for now, I’m committing to 3 (attainable) goals:

  1. Don’t skip Monday, Wednesday & Saturday training sessions & give it 110% at every session. Push hard.
  2. Run every day (except Friday). As Coach Dave says: Consistency, consistency, consistency.
  3. Keep a log book & focus on learning how my body responds to training sessions. It’s like Mark points out, “Remember to aim that arrow well, don’t just look at the target but assess the wind direction and speed, stay steady in the pull and release with intended purpose.”The wall

This is all I’m committing to until I feel a bit more confident to set more specific goals.

I’ll also be chatting to my niece about her goals and suggesting she might want to re-submit a revised contract if she has any intentions of attending more disco’s. It’s the smaller goals which are achievable that matter more and build up your confidence to set higher goals than having to deal with failures which set you back.