A year ago, I thought that an ultimate goal would be to run a sub-60 10k. In terms of my running, I never really looked beyond that. To me, that was fast. To actually be able to hold that fast pace for a full 10k seemed almost unreachable.
Um, did I happen to mention that I destroyed that goal just over a week ago? After 16 months of running, I reached my "ultimate" goal.
It was an incredibly rewarding experience. Yet, at the same time, it kind of left me directionless. Searching for something. But what?
New goals. New dreams.
Here's the thing though. I was so set on where my limits were that I didn't dare to look beyond that. But, really? Where are my limits? I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know one thing: I'm not setting a limit on it.
It's important to have short term goals, mid-term goals, and long term goals. It's also important to have dreams and aspirations. What's the difference between goals and dreams? I'm sure there's lots of definitions, but here's my take on it. Goals are specific and attainable. Dreams are things that you'd like to reach, but don't know when, how or if.
So, with that said, I'm all about impulsive goal setting. Seriously. I think when you follow your first instinct, it's sometimes exactly what you need. Overthink it and you can psych yourself out.
Short term goals:
Run a strong half marathon on Nov 13
Run that half marathon in less then 2:15
These goals are ones that I am currently working towards and have a date when I plan to achieve them. I consider them to be attainable and realistic right now. The 2:15 goal scares me a little bit, yet at the same time, I question whether I can even go faster. The Mcmillan calculator actually predicts my half marathon time at 2:05:50 (based on my recent 10k). Right now, I intend to pace for 2:15, and then negative split if I have it in me.
Run a sub 26 minute 5K
Run a sub 55 minute 10K
Run a sub 2 hour half marathon
Break 3 hours in an Olympic triathlon
Complete a half ironman, to the best of my ability
Some of these goals are probably attainable (or almost attainable) now, but I don't have specific plans when I will achieve them. I mainly plan to shoot for them the next time I am doing races of those distances.
Complete a marathon, to the best of my ability
Complete a full ironman, to the best of my ability
These are things I definitely plan to do, eventually. The ironman is years away, and I haven't decided yet when I will be attempting a marathon.
Something that I have come to realize about myself is that I will never be happy with "just finishing". I don't always have to have a time goal, but I need to feel like I did everything I could, on that day and at that point in my training. Hence, the term "to the best of my ability" on some of the longer distance races. If I cross an ironman finish line in 16:59:59 and I gave it everything I had, I'd be happy with finishing. If I crossed it in 14 hours, but I took it really easy on the bike and walked on the run (when I had no need to), I'd be unhappy.
And now, because sometimes, you should shoot for the stars...
Place in my age group
I've often been heard saying "I'm never going to be placing". I'm now recognizing that that's a limit that I've put on myself. At this point, I don't know what I'm capable of. However, I do believe that I have the potential to do far more then I have. I've also been heard to say "I'm not a fast runner." I now believe I have the potential to go much much faster then I have. I haven't even scratched the surface of my speed.
And yep, I put it out there. I would love to BQ or KQ. Is that an attainable goal? Truthfully, I don't know. I honestly don't know if I have that potential. But, then that's why it's not a "goal". I might have that potential though. And, that is why I've allowed it to be a dream.
As for limits? Well, I'm not going there anymore. About the only limit I'm seeing is that I will never go pro. Realistically, I'm too old for that, and at this point in my life, it's not what I want for me or my family.
Otherwise, the possibilities are limitless. I'll just see how far I can go.