I have goals. At least I like to think I do. My idea of goals may vary from another's, but I do have goals.
My goals right now are twofold: 1) set a PR at the Mission Inn Run on Sunday and 2) finish the Surf City 2010 Marathon in February.
There are a lot of little goals that make up those two bigger goals so I guess if I broke it down there would be plenty of goals along the way to meet, and when those runs come up I do consider them goals. I mean, we do have a 20-miler sometime in January which I'm sure will be a big goal when it comes up.
But there are other things I want to accomplish that I'm not sure I'd call goals. Dreams? Maybe. Impossible? Pie in the sky? Quite possibly, but you never know what you are capable of until you set your sights on something and challenge yourself. I wrote once about how when I first talked to my personal trainer (weighing in at 308 pounds) and he asked me what my goal was, that I told him the most pie-in-the-sky thing I could think of, I said to have a one in front of my weight, to weigh 199.
It seemed ridiculous to have a huge guy who wore size 44 pants and XXL shirts to talk about weighing 199, but that's what I said.
Twenty months later, of course, I reached that figure.
Now, this isn't quite the same thing but to me these goals/dreams/pies seem unreachable. And I'm not sure why I want to achieve them.
Pie 1) Run a 10K in 49:59 or faster.
Pie 2) Run a Half Marathon in 1:59:59 or faster.
I would add a 5K goal but I do think I can beat my PR of 25:05 since I've only run one 5K before. And I don't think there's any way I can run a 5K in less than 20 minutes so I won't even bother with that one. And I'm sure that I'll have plenty of time to think about a marathon time and PR after I run my first, because finishing that will be a chore in and of itself.
If you've read my blog for awhile, you know that speed isn't important to me. I'm not exactly competing against the other runners during races. I'm not going to place anywhere near the top of my age group in any particular race unless I'm the only one in it. I'm not going to set any new course records anywhere. I'm slow. But that's fine. I understand I'm slow. I try to speed up but no matter how fast I get, I'm never going to compete for a 10K race title. But I don't care.
What I do care about, though, is competing against myself. I like to think that I'm a stronger, better, more informed runner now than I was in June, and that in June I was stronger/better/more informed than I was in March, and so on, and so on. Times that I set in the past, then, should be times I can beat in the present.
Finishing a 10K in under 50 minutes would be nothing for many experienced runners, but such a speed is not a reality I enjoy. Finishing in under 50 minutes means running 8-minute miles. That's a pretty fast clip. I can probably hold that pace for about three miles, maybe four. But I've only ran it for that long of a time. I've not tried to run that pace for longer than 3-4 miles so I don't know if that's something I can do or something that will drain me quickly once I get a certain distance.
Finishing a 21K (half marathon) in under two hours would mean running at a pace of 9:11-minutes-per-mile, which is a pretty solid pace. I can run that no problem for six or seven miles, but 13?
It's funny though because I think I have a better chance of running a half under two hours than running a 10K in under 50 minutes, even though I'd have to shave off almost 15 minutes from my half time as opposed to about three from my 10K time.
Still, even though I want to set new PRs and reach my goals, I'll try and not be disappointed if I fail to accomplish them. After all, if I take care of myself and get in the sufficient amount of training before a race, the outcome will be positive even if I don't set a new PR.