Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Lip Service - Setting Goals

Image: Pinterest
I'm usually rubbish for setting goals. I want to be the very best, and I want it NOW, damnit!! It normally results in my kneeling at the bottom of a bridge wearing hideous shorts, a hoodie designed for Winter - in the month of July, let me tell you - and dry heaving, ruefully proclaiming my own death (I'm dying!! I'm DYING!! as I come to terms with my imminent failure.

So when I decided to do a marathon the other day, at the suggestion (or mention, ahem) of it by Chris's mam, I thought, "Why not?! I could totally run a half marathon!". The reality of that set in when I realized that 13.2km is the distance of a half marathon. Eh, no. Not even if I doped myself up to the clouds would I be capable of that.

Time to find a reachable goal. I can run and walk a grand total of 5km at the moment, but I need to alternate and stop for a short break after 3km. So. What could I do to motivate myself? First, I roped Chris into two early morning runs this weekend past, and then I signed myself up for a 4km Fun Run in the next village.

Now, a month ago, Lazy Amy would have been in peals of laughter at the idea of a Fun Run. There's nothing fun about it. Even now, Running Amy would be hard pushed to agree with that statement. Running is torture but I continue on, because Archery was torture too and I excelled at that, so why can't I be a good runner and build up my endurance and stamina for archery at the same time?!

Image: Pinterest
That's the idea anyways. So for the last week effectively, and for the next two, I will be training hard to get ready for this 4k Fun Run. Once I can achieve that goal, I can look further afield for bigger and brighter challenges. Maybe next year I'll be capable of the Womens Mini Marathon, who knows?!

At the moment, to achieve my goal of a 4km run, I am running/walking a 5km route 5 days per week, eating clean, lean meats, veg, fruits, nuts, pasta, oily fish, the lot. I'm also supplementing my fiber and protein by way of adding a milled mix of flax-seed and goji berries to smoothies and yogurts.

For things like archery, running, rugby or swimming, there is no hope for a miracle, without putting in 100% dedication and hard work. My back ached but I shot FITA shoots; I had to stop to put my put down halfway through a length of the pool but I learned to swim.

Image: Pinterest
All these little goals helped my mental strength immeasurably and that's what I'm bringing to my running every day I go out. I believe in myself, my body, I think about the goal, framing the first bib number, and crossing that finish line and how bad-ass I'm going to feel when I do.

I think about the words in the songs on my playlists, I think about the muscles I used to have from cycling, how much easier it will be to stand in the kitchens without my legs hurting, and I think about the glory.

In life, we have to set goals to keep us focused and heading in the right direction, at the right pace. If the goal is too high, the pace too fast or the time not right, then be prepared to fail, but worry not, every failure is a lesson.

I hope you have the courage to take the first step, set your goals, meet them, beat them and keep pushing forward. Remember, Goethe said, "Everything is hard before it is easy..."