Sunday, November 27, 2011

Write Down A Goal

I hereby dare myself to run three miles continuously.
There: I wrote it. You read it. It's done.

One week ago, I ran in my first 5k race and felt so proud to accomplish my goal.  However, I confess that after a mile and a half or two, when the slight inclines got to me or my breath felt too short, I allowed myself to slow to a brisk walk for five to ten seconds, so I could recharge and then pick up running again.  Maybe this wouldn't have happened if I knew how to pace myself better (I kind of took off at full speed in the beginning), but that's all part of the learning process.

(Do any seasoned runners out there have tips for learning to pace yourself?)

My NEXT goal is to run 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) continuously, without those little walking breaks.  If it takes 30 minutes, fine. 35? Also fine.  I'd like to learn to control my speed so that I can stay at a jog or run for the full distance and improve from there.  So, here, I announce it to the world: My next challenge is to run 3 miles continuously.

I should be able to do it.  I've endured intense cardio workouts in group exercise classes and elliptical sessions, and I know I could walk forever, but something is different about running.  Today, I ran outside (60 degrees in late November? What?) and went about a mile and a half before switching over to intervals. Hm. In the end, I did the three miles in about 30 minutes (including those walking breaks), which tells me that my initial running must have been way too fast.  Oh well; I'll learn. I'll get better. I'll run 3 miles without stopping someday.

That's my challenge for me.  For you?  Keep setting goals.  I can run a mile and a half before stopping.  If I REALLY pushed myself, I could probably do 2.  My real goal for the future--perhaps my second 5k?--is to run it without walking breaks.  Whether you're a long-time runner or a beginner walker, keep setting these goals to track your progress.  If you settle for your established (now, comfortable) routine, how will you get better?

Set a goal that seems far away, but isn't quite out of reach. Check out S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting 101. Make it realistic but challenging. You can get there.  Just write it down, commit to it, work towards it.  When you reach one, select another.  Keep setting goals.  If you do, you'll keep getting better!  

What goals have YOU accomplished?  What goals are you setting for the future?  Set one right now, I dare you!!  Whether it's a fitness goal, a nutrition goal, a work-related goal, write it down. 
An idea is just a dream until you write it down.  Then it's a goal.


  1. Yes! Absolutely! Another tip is to tell as many people as you can about your goal. When I first started running, I told everyone I knew that I was training for a half marathon. Even on the days I felt laziest, knowing that other people knew about my goals made me be way more honest about training to accomplish them!

  2. I'm running my first marathon Saturday!

  3. Lauren (and Tom?) That's great about the marathon! I can only dream at this point -- huge goal; it'll be an amazing accomplishment. Best of luck to you!

  4. I say slow down a bit so you can run longer without stopping. I'm a big fan of GPS watches so you can know your pace versus going by feel. I run a fall marathon most years and then my running gets really lame in winter. Just committed to a minimum of 3 runs a week for Dec. Fingers crossed. Weather was amazing this weekend.

  5. I agree that slowing down is a big step. When I started running for "fun", I would revert to my high school/college soccer/rugby training mindset and just run too fast because I thought that 10min pace was unacceptable or something. I learned to slow down, listen to my body, and actually ENJOY running (took some time). And with that mentality, have been able to complete 5k-50K and a handful of marathons in the last 3 years! my pace for those have been anywhere between 8:30 (1/2 M road) and 12:50 (50K trail). You got this!

  6. Jenn - great point about telling the world! Makes you want to follow through. Guess that's what I did here; I'm telling YOU!

    Thanks Lauren and Kabri for the support!!! I'm definitely going to invest in a GPS watch so I can get a feel for my speed and learn to manage it better.


I would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences below: