Do you set goals? Are you always looking ahead at what is coming up or do you take time to reflect on where you have come from?
How often do we take the time to just enjoy the moment or take in the day of a particular event or race.
I always have another goal or race coming up. It’s how I get up the next day and keep going. There is not a finish in sight for me but just moments and events to check off one at a time.
Having hired a running coach I am no longer “in control” of my running schedule and have submitted myself entirely to his plans and schedule for me. Part of my fall race plans included the Army Run. My coach suggested I run it hard. Now this can be up for debate with people as I’m training for a fall marathon (just 4 weeks away from the Army Half). Some choose to run it as such, a training run, slow and steady and others will race it. The difference when it falls into your training and is not your goal race is that you do not taper for it, you just run it. Tapering allows your body to recover before the race, and of course you’d take time to recover after as well.
After being told to race it, I had a time goal in mind. To beat last years time. I was short 18 sec. to accomplishing this and a tad disappointed when I realized how close I came. When sending in my weekly report to my coach, I reflected on my week in review. I quickly remembered that it was only 4 short months ago that I was removing a cast that I had on for 3 months! I had come back from a serious stress fracture (including a secondary minor one). I built my running back up quickly and most importantly I remained injury free!
So in fact, my race really was a victory for me. I had been training differently, focusing on building strength and using different muscles for only 3 short weeks. I went into the race after a hard training week, including a long run the day before, and I experienced some special challenges the morning of the race, and yet I still came in ONLY 18sec. short of my time last year.
My disappointment very quickly turned around and I was proud of how I ran. Proud that I have worked hard at correcting my running technique to run more efficiently and injury free and the Army run wasn’t my goal race. 🙂
Next up is my second marathon in Toronto. I hope to beat last year’s time, but again I have to celebrate the fact that after an injury I am going to be back running a full marathon and therefore need to be proud of that accomplishment regardless of my time. Getting a “personal best” is the bonus I hope to experience, however the real win has been the journey of getting to the race. The countless hours and kilometres that I’ve invested to achieve this goal.
I’ve had an exceptional training season, new friends, new connections, being part of special groups including the opportunity to be a Digital Champion for my goal marathon and being given the incredible opportunity to test out new running gear and become an ambassador for some of the gear I’ve tested out and loved.
So my question to you: Have you taken a moment to celebrate where you are today? The personal development or steps that you’ve taken to achieve a goal you have. Again, it doesn’t have to be running related. Are you still moving in the direction of the goals you’ve set for yourself? Are you better today than you were say, even one month ago? Remember why you are doing what you are doing and celebrate what you have already accomplished.
Keep going. 🙂