Saturday, January 7, 2012

Running Goals for 2012

As we get set to embrace another new year, most if not all of us, will attempt to start the year with a clean slate and try our best to establish and achieve goals that will hopefully improve various areas of our lives. Runners especially, tend to rely heavily on goal-setting, and for that reason Anna and I wanted to share a few thoughts and get the ball rolling for 2012:

By Anna Boom

Goals! I love goals and checklists. Is this just me or this a part of our female psyche? I keep my training schedule in my car, on the dash, so I see it every time I drive. In one glance, I know what I am running today, tomorrow and next week. Then when I have completed the task, I check it off, or if I haven't, I write in what I missed like if it was short or slower or faster (hey, I can always dream!).

A recommendation I often read and hear and adhere to, is to have a race planned. Sign up for the race, pay for the race, get your training plan in place. For so many of us, without a goal we are striving for, we can easily roll over and dismiss our alarm at 0430.

Here is where having your training schedule ready will help. Print it out, post it to the fridge, scribble all over it, just use it. Most generic training plans you find offer anywhere from 12-16 weeks from start to race. It takes this long to get your body trained to run extended periods without pushing too fast, which often leads to injury.

For races in Japan, you have to sign up months in advance. The sign up for the Naha marathon, for example, begins August 1st. The marathon race date is the first Sunday in December. This can be motivating for some, especially if you have the long view. For others, it can work against as it seems like so far in the future, why not wait til next week to start training.
Nago Half Marathon Application (Feb 2012) - did you sign up??
If you are searching for a basic, generic running plan, offers some easy options. If you are looking for something more personal, there are a few women running coaches available (*alert, alert, I am one of them).

By Jannine Myers

A friend shared with me a video clip recently which cleverly portrayed a runner as two persons running at the same time, with one of the persons always slightly behind the other. The catch phrase at the end of the video said, "And so it goes on and on, chasing the person you want to become."

I saw myself in that video, running the same paths and trails, day in and day out, sometimes alone with my thoughts, sometimes with friends, or sometimes with my pup. And every once in awhile catching a glimpse of the shadow in front of me. I guess I had never really thought to ask myself who she is, and yet, as the video suggests, I spend my days chasing her.

So who is she, really? Or should I be asking instead, "who do I WANT her to be?" Maybe that ought to be my goal for 2012; to envision a shadow of myself that's wrapped up in all of my hopes and dreams for the new year. What successes will she achieve and what bad habits will she gladly let go of?

If I could determine the path my shadow will travel in 2012, then surely that would mean each of my runs would have a purpose. Wouldn't they? Just like the guy in the video, chasing the person he wants to become, why don't we try doing the same.

That's my challenge for all you ladies this year: to find out who it is you want your shadow to be in 2012 and then start the chase - start running after her and don't give up until you catch her.

Setting goals is the easy part; achieving them requires dedication and hard work. But each step forward, whether easy or difficult, gets you one step closer to the end. Stay focused and you WILL succeed! (No comments please on how pathetically pained I look - in my defense I hobbled the last three miles of this marathon with a torn hamstring)
Crossing the finish line (and achieving your goals) is always a sweet victory! (Hmm, should it bother me that she seems way more in control than her mama?)
Wishing you all a happy and fulfilling new year!

To view the video I mentioned above, click on the following link:

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