Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Realistic Goals

Since my post about embracing the hurt that comes from attacking the run, I've gone out and done just that, attack all of my runs. But I have to admit, I kind of mentally broke down this morning waking up knowing that I had to yet again, attack another run. I just didn't want to hurt again. I've been sticking to the run plan I've had this entire year, run every third day, with a couple of every second day runs thrown in. This plan has a lot of built-in recovery, and is low mileage, thus, I need to attack every run. On days that I'm not running, I either bike or swim, or do both. Attacking every run puts you at risk for mornings like I had today, where I dreaded getting out the door because I knew I had to suffer. In order to actually get out the door, I told myself to just run, and if I feel like crap, just get the miles in. Most of the run was mediocre, but during the last three miles, the mind and body were slowly willing. I pulled off some 6:20s and a 5:44 mile at the end, due to a nice negative grade.

As the half-marathon draws near, I find myself more anxious about my goal. I'm trying to nail down exactly what it is that is making me anxious, and I think the culprit is that I feel like I'm going to fall short of my goal. I think this mostly stems from the fact that my goals almost always have to do with me trying to chase my PRs. And that rather than setting goals based on my current training/fitness, I set goals based on my lifetime PRs, which is okay if I took up sport 1-3 years ago. But I started racing more than 25 years ago, and in my prime, I set PR's that really are unrealistic for me to continue to try and chase down as I get older and older. Reality is I'm 41 years old. I got some nice perspective tonight when I came across this quote by Ken Glah, a former pro who has finished 28 consecutive Kona races:

You have to set your goals based on what your training is, not what you did 10 years ago. And I think the higher you were at some point in your life,, the harder it is to be more realistic with those goals.

I need to be realistic.

8 comments:

jmitch said...

Gotta love that Ken Glah. Wise man, it seems. That article in Inside Triathlon is one of the most reassuring tri articles I've ever read.

Teresa said...

Perspective is key!!!! And I know you will race very well.Sometimes we surprise ourself, sometimes we fall short, but at the end of the day we gave it our best, on that day, at that moment, and no one can every take that away.
Keep believing and listening to YOUR body. Pushing hard requires recovery, both physically and mentally. Rest up my friend, you need to absorb those speedy runs!

tn

Steve said...

Sounds like a good idea. Now that you are 40+, and been doing this for 25 years maybe it is time to build 40+ P.R.'s, and start training, and going after those.

Keep things fresh.

mtanner said...

Are you by chance doing Morgan Hill half Sunday? Yes totally get that comment by Glah- awesome article too!

JC said...

Listen to your body! You will be great!

Jennifer Harrison said...

AMEN on that quote! :)

Charisa said...

I think a mix of relaxed and no-pressure runs combined with attacking runs is good. Chasing goals is so fun and failing is so terrifying. But I think somehow our culture has made failing more scary than it needs to be. When you step back and look at it, if I toe the line in a race and don't reach "My goal" at the end of the day other than a bruised ego there was nothing lost at all.

Libby said...

I think you overestimate the effect of age. with your experience, you know what you are capable of and I think that your goal is realistic. I think you are jaded by past experiences of failure with ironman goals. So do this, its ok to have that ultimate time goal, but make other ones too. That you are going to use a certain mantra, stay positive, stay in the moment when it hurts. Use this opportunity to hone your mental game and reconnect with the joy of that suffering. If you can find this place young jedi, the PR time will come :) PS I miss san fran and hanging with you. LA sucks.