Some navel gazing on this Tuesday afternoon. I am pretty hard on myself. I set big goals and work to accomplish them, and sometimes I fail spectacularly. Especially with running. I declared 2 years ago that my goal was to break 4 hours in my fall marathon in Richmond, and I was all over social media with my training and my hopes for the race, and I garnered a lot of support and encouragement from every corner of my friend universe, both virtual and in real life. And then I crashed and burned in Richmond, failing big time, missing my goal by 43 minutes and 1 second. So I picked up, moved on, and made some new goals for last year. I changed things up a bit and did several triathlons, but I had to skip my goal race due to injury. So I dove headlong into marathon training, with my lofty goal again being sub-4 at NYCM this fall (although if I’m being honest with myself, I knew it wouldn’t happen that day). This time I failed even more bigly, missing my goal by 1 hour 16 minutes and 18 seconds (but who’s counting).
Missing my goals by such large margins leaves me disappointed and frustrated. The disappointment dissipates eventually, but the frustration remains. I know that being frustrated with these results isn’t productive. Sometimes I think I’m not meant to be a (true) runner. My biomechanics aren’t optimal, but I am counteracting them as best I can with custom orthotics. Should I give myself a pass for running on a reconstructed ACL and a surgically repaired foot? Perhaps, but I don’t. I know there are a lot of things in training that I can do better to help myself achieve my sub-4 goal. I just need to commit to doing them and then recommit from time to time so that I don’t lose sight of that goal.
My ultimate life running goal of qualifying for and running Boston might be a pipe dream, but I’m going to do everything that I can to get there. Going sub-4 is a stepping stone to Boston, and I need to keep my focus over these long winter months and not lose sight of that. I’ve picked myself up and dusted myself off after NYCM, and I’ve already scheduled my next marathon (Sugarloaf in Maine in May) and planned out my training schedule. Now I’ve just got to execute. No excuses, do the work.