First, as I was running this morning I realize that I don't even remember the exact goals I set. I know them generally, but I forgot to make a copy for myself that I can post in a place where I can actually see them on a regular basis. This daily reminder would enable me to actually reflect on whether I am moving toward meeting those goals.
Secondly, while I set my goals, I did not do a good job of developing plans to ensure I actually meet those goals. One of my goals is to increase my running, biking, and swimming speeds, but what do I need to do to actually make those goals a reality? If I have a goal without an action plan, it is really just a dream that may not come true. I am not just a dreamer...I am a doer. I need to keep my eye on the prize.
My close friends and family know that I have a need for structure and organization. If I have a plan, I need to see it all written out before it becomes a reality for me. Once it is down on paper, I can then use that plan to keep myself accountable. When I first decided to attempt doing an Ironman, I felt overwhelmed thinking about the end and what I was expected to do on race day. Once I broke it down day by day and week by week it suddenly felt a lot more attainable. So today I looked back at my goals and begin to develop steps to help me achieve those goals (see photo to left). I know this seems extreme to take the time to type it out, but it is what works for me. Use what you know about yourself to plan in a manner that will help you succeed.
For my first goal I wanted to make sure that I focused on the incredible progress I have made instead of focusing on all the little flaws that I am hyper sensitive to. I am still doing a pretty good job on this one, but having this list posted on my bathroom mirror will remind me to be kind to myself on the days I want to beat myself up.
The third thing I wanted to focus on was making my core and arms stronger. All summer long I have been reading Running World magazines and collecting articles on strength training. I am working on developing a weekly plan that will fit right into what I am already doing. One Runner's World article that I found particularly helpful was "The Whole Body Fix" by Katie McDonald Neitz. She points out the top reasons why some of us get injured and stay injured, but she also offers specific exercise to strengthen problem areas. I am hoping to use some of her suggestions to add to my weekly routines.
The next goal was to continue to keep control of my eating. This one has been a little tricky for me lately, but I know once I get back to my regular school routine that I will be able to be more consistent with my planning and my tracking.
I love that my final goal is to remember to be happy. I have a lot going on to make me happy, so this one should not be that difficult. I have an extremely supportive family. I have friends that help keep me accountable and cheer me on from the sidelines. I also have my health and non-stop days of playing out in the sun and fresh air to keep me content. And my newest happiness comes from the fact that my husband has agreed to run Surf City Half with me again. Sean ran this one with me the first year I started running, and has not really run since. This new goal for him means that I can actually do some of my running training with him as well as have the thrill of having Sean cross the finish line at Surf City in a race that we get to run together...and that is the best prize of all!