Random Rantings and Ravings from a Slow-Poke Runner in the Heart of the South. (A Weeekly (sort of) Blog about running and just about anything else)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

There's Goals, Goals, and Goals

Ok, so I completed the Race for the Cure last weekend and, as I said on this blog, met my goal to run the race in under 28 minutes. Now I know some of you "real" runners may be turning your noses up at a time like that but remember, homeboy got winded walking from the couch to the frig about 18 months ago! But I digress.

Goals are great! Goals are what keeps most of us runners dragging out of bed on a cold morning or lacing up the sneaks after a long day at the office. And there is different sets of goals: health goals, time goals, weight loss goals, or even stress-reduction as a goal. But goals are the fuel that often keeps us runners going.

For a while, goals of weight loss kept me running. Now time goals have taken over. But time goals are more public. You run a race and even your non-running friends ask, "So how long did it take you?" And it's not hard for them to do the math - 28 minutes - 3 miles (they never want to give me credit for that 0.13). Having met this goal, I have goals for my next race in March.

I don't know if anyone else out there is like this. Maybe if you are you could comment and tell me. I usually have three sets of goals going into the race:

  1. There is my public goal that I don't mind telling anyone that asks. In fact, I may even volunteer it myself. It's the goal that I am confident in my mind that I will reach. For this last race, under 29 minutes was my public goal. It's the goal I told everyone at church because, hey, you don't want to be embarrassed later and give a time that was MORE than your goal!
  2. Then there is the semi-private goal. You may tell your wife, you may tell a few really close friends, you may even be a dummy like me and publish it in a blog. But this is your REAL goal; the one you know will be a challenge for you to meet. You have trained enough to know the goal is reasonable if you run a good race, but you also know that you may not reach it. This is the feel good goal. The one that, if you reached it, you feel pretty good about things when the race is done.
  3. But then there's the secret, dream goal. You tell no one this goal. Maybe your wife in a moment of weakness, but otherwise you keep it to yourself. This is the goal you sometimes imagine yourself meeting like, "It would be so cool to run it in ...". This is the goal you imagine in the shower when you have nothing better to do; or during the commute to work when the morning show is in commercials. But with the training you've done, you know this goal is a stretch and you would have to really surprise yourself to do this well. This is the comfort goal.

I'm not going to tell anyone what my dream goal was for this last weekend. But maybe you are like me. You hope that your dream goal is one day your semi-private goal, or maybe, just maybe, even a public goal for everyone to share! Drop me a line and let me know about your goals!

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