And, speaking of the San Diego marathon, sometimes even the best laid plans get thrown out the window.
When I hopped off the Ironman train back in January, I knew that committing to specific goals was what I needed. I decided to make the San Diego Marathon my ‘A’ race and shoot for a sub-3:10 goal and a top-15 finish among women. Seemed like a great idea. You know, so I can report back and share what I learned and experienced along the way.
Well guess what? The San Diego marathon is now less than a week away and – let’s face it – my running is no where near where should it be at this point in my training to go sub-3:10. I knew it was time to give myself a reality check. I’ve decided to kibosh my goals.
Uh oh. A failure detector should start going off now, shouldn’t it? Goals are meant to be achieved, are they not? To-Do lists are meant to be crossed off, yes?
Well, as I spend more time talking with my husband, listening to my own thoughts and instincts, and learning from like-minded people, I’m discovering that’s not necessarily the case.
Goals are meant to be exploratory and motivating. They’re meant to encourage us to ask for more for ourselves and our lives…for no other reason than we deserve it. But goals also represent a point in time. They were established and embraced on a certain day, with certain thoughts and feelings and assumptions as context around them. So when those thoughts, feelings and assumptions change – and they often do – our goals might end up feeling a little less worthy of our effort.
That’s exactly what happened to me. My goals worked well for the shape I was in January, months ago, but they don’t fit so nicely with the shape I am now. I'm not saying I'm not in shape to run a solid marathon - I am. I'm just not in shape to run a PR, let alone a sub-3:10 marathon. Too many weekends away, random aches and pains, diet/nutrition fail and general lack of adhering to a specific training are to blame (actually I'm to blame). Life got in the way. And, that's okay with me right now.
So, instead of wasting time chasing after this accomplishment that I wouldn’t even enjoy or feel inspired to complete, I’m bailing on it. I want to enjoy this vacation without stressing out about the race or letting a number on the clock ruin my trip or experience.
I’ve run a 3:10 marathon before. And I’m confident that I will again some day….in fact, I already have plans for running one in next January in Phoenix. I enjoy the challenge, the stretching of well-used leg muscles, the discipline of training, and the adrenaline rush and exhilaration of running among a crowd. But right now, I don’t need another challenge.
What I need is to swing my pendulum from the “over achiever” side into the “easy come, easy go” side.
Then, and only then, will I learn how to settle somewhere in the middle, playing the ambitious role sometimes and the chilled out role other times.
Right now, something inside me says that listening to yourself is better than telling yourself.
So, on Sunday, I’m going to cut myself some slack and just go with the flow. I'm going to line up with the 3:15 pace group (oddly enough there is not even a 3:10 pace group) and run a solid race.
Whether the clock says 3:15 or 4:00 doesn’t make a difference. I will not let the clock dictate my measure of success or ruin my vacation.
I feel so much better now. San Diego, here I come.