ATB Goals! What Am I Shooting For?
Goals are funny things. It’s kind of a crap shoot as to where you choose to set the bar; I’m sure people have reasonable rationale as to why they’ve chosen a specific goal but who’s to say whether it’s a “valid” choice or not? Hell, what even counts as a “valid” goal? Do you shoot for the moon and hope for the best? Do you play it safe and choose something that’s knowingly within your limits?
My guess is that “criteria for success” are more based on what kind of relationship you have with your ego. I don’t mean to insult anyone, I’m not saying that were all ego driven saps, but I’m sure we all know someone that sets goals that they know they can achieve simply to protect themselves from the crushing pressure of (the possibility) of failure. Conversely, do you follow Disney’s example; “Shoot for the stars and if you’re pure of heart you will succeed in the (near) impossible!” i.e. – Set an unlikely goal and sink or swim. There are some great examples of over-achievers in history following this path, however for the everyday athlete it’s probably impractical. More often than not (barring catastrophe) when the going gets tough we fall back onto our training base. On race day you’ll discover pretty quickly whether you’ve put in the time and effort or not.
So what the hell am I trying to say? After my last run I decided that I was probably going to change my goal times for Sunday’s race. Why the change in expectations? A sincere review of my training specs: distances, paces, effort levels, health, mentality. I went back through my training logs and noticed that despite my honest desire to run a 2:30 30km (5 min/km), I haven’t run enough (especially long) KMs at this pace to make a fair attempt at that speed. Setting lofty goals is a fantastic way to push yourself to new heights and, again, I plan to run my skinny ass off Sunday but realistically…I don’t see it happening. Despite the well meaning encouragement from folks on a few websites I post on I’m pretty sure I’ve made up my mind. I really appreciate the support and feedback that the online community has provided; however the well-wishes I’ve received regarding Sunday’s race has to be tempered with a spoonful of reality. I can run 5km at 5 min/km, I can run 10km at 5 min/km…but 20km at that pace…plus ANOTHER 10km with significant hills…seems a bit excessive to me.
Anyway, enough psycho-babble…without further adieu:
Goal A – 2:40 (5:10/km) I’m going to be going all out for this time or better if the stars align
Goal B – 2:45 (5:15/km) I’d be slightly disappointed but OK if I hit this goal
Goal C – 2:46 (5:15.5ish/km) This is only seconds better than my time from last year, to be honest I’d probably be pissed if I didn’t get this one
Goal D – Not poop myself…always a plus
Race day miracles are few and far between. More often than not, your training dictates just how your race is going to go (outside of physical or personal calamity that is) and I know that (despite missing a few key workouts) I’ve put in my time….now let’s see how things play out…
Have a great weekend kids, and remember to always shoot for Goal D!