Last year, I made a goal to run 800-ish miles, and failed miserably. I thought I got close but when I looked at my Garmin activity, my actual miles logged was less than 200. Weak. I was ready to try again this year but then did some calculations and had a serious talk with myself about what I can actually accomplish given this new weather, two kids, a dog, and various activities. 20+ miles a week was not something that I could commit to for 52 weeks. So I regrouped and thought about what I could commit to that would be a reachable goal but still something that I would have to work at and decided to try for 500 miles, less than 10 miles a week. Which, I admit, doesn’t sound like a lot but please consider that I have to plan this around nap time, school drop off and pick up, weather, swim lessons, gymnastics, ballet, meal times, and whatever illness might pop up in a given week. Les than 10 is something I can do.
I sat down and broke down the mileage so that I would know exactly where I needed to be and when and then made a list of other things I would need to support me in this goal. This is totally out of the norm for me. Usually when I make a goal, I don’t put a lot of thought into them. I say them to myself (rarely letting anyone else know what I’m planning) and then go about my day-to-day life. I don’t make a plan; I just sort of assume I’ll reach my goal.
Most of the time, as you might expect, I don’t accomplish my goal. And yes, it feels pretty shitty to fail but I’ve never thought about changing how I work. One year I made a goal to read 100 books and, if not for a friend who pointed out that is basically two books a week, I would probably have failed because I wasn’t thinking in terms of what I need to do. I just sort of thought that I would easily read 100 books without a plan.
So I have my plan written down and I have my gps watch and my running journal and I set out to run my 500 miles. The first few weeks I had to really work at those 9.61 miles. I had to make myself run on Sunday to reach that goal. But then I was getting more than 10 and I was setting higher weekly mileage goals and I was reaching them. When I got sick and had to take a week off, that helped keep me on track.
I was supposed to have 83.33 miles by February 28. I reached that number a week early.
I’m supposed to have 166.66 miles by April 30. I’m only 20 miles away from that number and it’s not even April.
I’m so unbelievably excited about the progress I’m making. I can feel a difference in my running and in my attitude. I’m stronger, I’m happier, and I’m really proud of myself for making a plan.