Making and Breaking Goals

For the year of 2021, I made the goal to run 1200 miles. I figured that each month my goal should be 100 miles to keep me on track. It has all been going swimmingly until August hit. August hit me like a ton of bricks.

To start the month, we went on vacation… vacations are supposed to be relaxing, right? But I was stressed about flying for the first time since the pandemic, I was stressed because my work team has turned over a lot over the last year and a half and I have mostly new employees. I felt terrible leaving them to field all the requests. (They did fine.) I was stressed about making sure that we had things to do on vacation. And I just was apprehensive about leaving home after being here for 18 months in a no-fun-allowed world pandemic.

My vacation was nice, just not very relaxing. (Want to know what is a relaxing trip? Going on a work trip to a conference by myself. I always feel so rejuvenated after that!) I hardly ran at all… I feel an intense obligation to stick around my family on vacation. I do not know how people sneak out of hotel rooms early without waking up their entire family (and I’m not noisy) or how they take up ample amount of time to explore new places on foot while their family is sitting in a hotel waiting on them. I feel guilty. And sometimes I feel unsafe. So instead of running 25-30 miles that week… I ran a whopping 5.

Even though work has been insane and intense, and my husband’s job has done its part to cause me stress, and I had my kiddo starting school, and she had a birthday… I did manage to put in quite a few miles the rest of the month. And I’m wrapping up August with 96 miles, 4 shy of the 100 I planned.

August 2021 running data from Smashrun

Not gonna lie… I was disappointed in myself. At first…

I need to do better at not being so hard on myself. I ran quite a bit to be able to bring that gap up to so little compared to how the month started, I gotta give myself some kudos for that! Sometimes, life gets in the way of running. And that really is okay.

Plus, when you look at the big picture goal, which was actually to run 1200 miles for the whole year, I’m still ahead of where I need to be. Not by a huge margin, just 14 miles ahead. But that’s a little bit of wiggle room for the rest of the year.

Smashrun chart showing 2021 year-to-date

Then there is also the logic in creating a goal like this. It’s something to work toward throughout the year, especially since I don’t have any races on the immediate horizon.* So building up toward a mileage goal keeps me focused on something. However, I don’t usually lack motivation to get my running done each week. I NEED the run to feel a little bit like I am myself as opposed to just Jill-the-servant-to-everyone-else-first. So when I don’t run, I start to feel antsy and agitated.

And we’re living in a pandemic… and while I am vaccinated I just don’t know what will happen with variants, quarantine potential, a child who is too young to be vaccinated… anything could happen that might derail the overall mileage goal.

So I’ve settled on the idea that my running goals are good, but they need to be bendable and I can’t let it dictate how I feel if it doesn’t work out.

But I can totally let it influence me to feeling like a rock star when I make it!

*Maybe I’ll tackle a real race again in 2022.

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