How does running relate to New Years Resolutions? I didn’t think it did, but then I ran.
So I was training for my half marathon and on the docket was run 5 miles. In my mind 5 miles doesn’t seem very far, especially when you are training for a half marathon. I mean, it isn’t even half way. But this day was not race day, it was run 5 miles and I quickly realized at mile 3.5 that it was a good thing it wasn’t race day because I wasn’t even sure I would make it to finish 5 miles.
I was running and trying to push myself to keep going. I kept looking at the pier knowing when I got there I would only have one mile to go. I thought I was keeping my pace of around 9 minutes a mile, but as I crossed the pier my phone told me I had slowed down and not just a few seconds, but now was running at 9:40 pace.
Often times when I run I start at my house and run to the beach so the last few miles are uphill and when I slow down, it is kind of expected, but today I was running along the beach. The flat beach, with no incline to speak of. The only thing I could blame on not keeping my pace was myself. And I was determined to prove to myself that it wasn’t because I was out of shape, but because my mind was fighting a battle that I apparently was not winning.
So, I stopped focusing on the fact I had one mile to go and instead noticed light posts along the running path. I said to myself, sprint to the next light post and then you get a break. I expected that when I got to the light post it would be hard to keep running close to my “sprint” pace, but when I started focusing on sprinting and not how tired I was my form improved.
I stood upright and could breathe and somehow started moving faster. I would run slower than my “sprint,” but I was still moving faster than if I had just kept focused on finishing and not giving myself goals along the way. I ended up finishing my 5th and final mile for the day in less than 9 minutes and considering the last quarter of the mile was a slight incline I was pretty proud.
I have run a few half marathons and each time I get to about mile 8 or 9 I just die. And I do finish, but mile 10-13 are normally dismal compared to the first 8 or so miles. Before running this training run, I always just assumed it was because I was tired and the first time when I didn’t train like I should have I probably was, but last race I was trained and ready to go. I wonder how much my mind played into me getting so off pace. I finished the race focused on the end. I didn’t set little markers to “sprint” to.
New Year’s Resolutions
Isn’t running a race a lot like life? You can have a huge goal, but if you don’t have little markers along the way to help you realize that you are making progress towards finishing or at least moving forward. You can get discouraged and find it hard to keep going. You may even quit. I never quit my races, but I also had people watching me and waiting for a result. In life so many things we set to accomplish personally are internal.
As a new year approaches and you start to think about resolutions, don’t just think of them in vague terms. If you want to accomplish something in 2017. Write it down. Have sub goals as you inch forward. So when you reach them, you can celebrate. And it is always good to have accountability.
What are you working on right now? What goal have you set? Does anyone besides you know what you want to accomplish? Do you have sub-goals you can celebrate as you keep moving forward?
I am working toward creating my blog to be something I can profit from. I’m working on how I can get that done. I’m starting by figuring out my audience and learning how to be intentional with my writing, but that isn’t enough. I also need to be doing this for me. So I have sub goals of writing so many times a month, moving forward on a few projects. And hopefully at the end of next year all the work will be worth it.