No Parking on the Race Course: Christina setting a 1/2-marathon PR at Bellingham Bay.
Dream Big, Share Your Goals, and Have a Blast!
With the New Year here and the start of the racing season approaching, many of us runners are starting to think about our goals for 2013. This last year I competed in the Olympic Trials marathon, a goal that I worked towards for two years! I learned a few valuable lessons on setting and attaining goals through that process.
Lesson No. 1: Set an Ambitious Goal
It sounds obvious, but I hear many people setting goals that they are too certain that they can meet. Although guaranteed success, a goal that is too easily attainable is not exciting and thus less motivating. See if you can fill in the blank with your goal, “I don’t know If I can do _____, but that would be SOO sweet if I did!” The goal should be something that you can daydream about on long runs, something that gets you out of bed in the morning, and something you are just plain pumped about!
Lesson No. 2: Set Little Goals along the Way
While important to have a tough goal, having little attainable goals along the way is also important. It provides you with confidence and fuels your motivation for the larger goal. In addition, small goals like a short strength routine or adding strides to a few runs a week, give you an opportunity to tweak your training, keeping you fit and healthy.
This has been the most important thing I have learned. Like many runners I tend to quietly pursue my goals, crushing speed workouts alone while most are still sound asleep in their beds. But the first time I openly spoke about a running goal was when I decided to try to qualify for the Olympic Trials. It was uncomfortable having others know my my goal. This is a common feeling among runners. It is risky and uncomfortable to openly share your goals to others, knowing that you may not succeed. I found, however, that this openness led to accountability, camaraderie, and most importantly, it was FUN! By being open about your goals, it allows others to participate in your quest with you. Friends will start asking how your training is coming and it may inspire others to set goals of their own. Having others involved also helps you push through those tough days or weeks in your training. By being open about your goal you will likely meet others with similar dreams offering opportunities to train and encourage each other.
You won’t reach a goal if you don’t keep it fun. Having a secret goal, working alone, relying on your own inner strength and dedication gets tiresome and mundane. Dreaming big, working hard with a purpose, supporting friends and having them supporting you...now that's fun, and probably fast!
PRC Race Team's Christina Overbeck Crawford achieved her goal of racing in the 2012 Olympic Marathon trials (left). She contributes frequently to PRC's website and newsletter.