Friday, May 15, 2009

Book in the Making

One of the things I enjoy doing is helping people. I have helped test a program, written documentation for (although that is still in progress) and edit two books for my friend and running coach Dean. So when Dean sent me a chapter of his new book, I happily read it. One of the awesome things about seeing a book through the process is the morphs the book takes from the initial idea to the end result.

Usually most stories about someone starting to read a book is they curl up on the couch, next to the fireplace with their cat cuddling next to them. Living in Phoenix with a broken A/C on a day that's to hit 105 doesn't lend to that level of comfort and coziness.

Opening up the document I see that its 15 pages...ugh. Why when I read a book do I like short chapters, even if its the best book in the world. Guess that's a carry over from college days and doing homework.

The chapter is about goal setting.....hmmm. Certainly an area I can improve in. It goes through the list of why (yeah, yeah, know all about those), why not to (hey if I don't create a goal I can't fail at it, right?) Hey, its talking about not sitting on my butt eating that donut (little does Dean know that I have a card for a donut a day from Krispy Kreme) and wait, it says don't go to the scrapbooking store and get fancy paper (is that comment directed towards me? One can never have too much scrapbooking supplies.)

I like this idea and had tried it since I liked it. "A trick I learned long ago was to have a key word that reminded me of my goal. I wrote it on a small colored piece of paper and put it in my wallet next to the dollar bills. Every time I went to purchase anything anytime, I would see that paper. Several times a day I reinforced my goal. What makes this so practical is that in very short order, I would only have to see glimpses of that piece of paper and I would immediately think of my goal. I didn’t have to take a “goal setting worksheet” out of a file in my desk and read through it to remind myself of what I wanted to achieve. It was instant. It was repetitive. It was cheap. It was private. " The problem with it, is its not fool proof an I'm a skeptic. I had did that, was working towards my goal and yet got injured so there went my goal. Yes, I know that I will try again but what did I do to attract the injury when I had did everything I was supposed to? Or thought I was supposed to? How do I know what I missed?

Dean's comment to keep a goal private is something I'll try next time. I told people that I was training to qualify and now I have to deal with the questions of when's my race or how's my training going and I have to deal with my own disappointment each time I answer them.

One thing about reading about goals is I feel I should set them (again).
Here's my new goal following the goal setting steps outlined.
Goal: Run a Boston Qualifying marathon in 2009 with a 3:50 or less time.
  1. Run NO MORE than 5 days a week
  2. Run one long run, one speed work and one tempo run a week
  3. Reduce red meat, refined sugar (ohhh, that doesn't mean I give up my chai tea does it?)
  4. Include strenghtening exercises 4-5 days a week.
So I set them, now what? Each day I need to work closer to the goals. Dean asks the question..."What one thing have you done today to get closer to your goals?" When I'm running on a regular basis the answer...I went for a run is too dull, too standard, is it really working towards my goal. If you're working towards a goal aren't you supposed to feel extraordinaire in someway?

So I've begun my journey working towards my goal to qualify. 4 miles today and now I need to focus on what I'm doing and not the fact that I was suppose to be tapering for my marathon right now. I ran 4 miles, with almost no discomfort and that is more than I was able to do a week ago. Tomorrow, I'll do something to work towards my goal.


Anonymous said...

You crack me up but at least it looks like you read all 15 pages.

The idea behind that piece of paper is to keep you focused on where you are going... even if you are not TODAY running... so.. what one thing even if mundane have you done to work towards that goal?

Lesley said...

Enjoyed reading your post! Goal setting is tricky business, indeed! You've given me some things to think about as I reassess my running goals too. Thanks! :)

sneakersister said...

Goals are good! The best thing I like about having a goal is all the baby steps I must take on my journey towards that goal. I really, really like the part about keeping goals private. That is a big lesson I learned last year in my marathon endeavor. This year I am much more private about what I want to do for all of the reasons that you've outlined in this post.

Will you incorporate any biking into your training schedule? I have found that biking has made me a much stronger runner and I can easily replace a running day with a biking day without worrying about losing my running fitness. I've been strength training for the past 3 months and that has made a huge difference as well.

Good luck on your journey to Boston!

Anonymous said...

Remind me... I have a card for your wallet. :-)

Christina said...

I've been biking but more because my running is limited. My meeting my sub-goals (running no more than 5 days a week) that means that I can bike on the 6th day. I want to make sure I keep the 7th day as total rest.