1250. I’m setting a goal to run 1250 miles in 2018. We are a day into 2018 and it’s time for me to set my running goal for the year. I started this, last year, and blew that goal away by 150 miles. Can I do the same in 2018? It will be a lot harder than 2017, but after a nice 7 mile run on New Year’s Day, I have laid out a plan to get me to my goal in 2018.
Why 1250? I’m really not so sure. But after looking at last year’s goal, I’m already close to running the weekly mileage needed to accomplish this. I’ve learned to break the larger goal down into manageable chunks. Looking at the big number can be daunting. Knowing I have 1243 more miles to go when it’s -4 degrees in Chicago is enough to make me want to crawl back into bed. But knowing I only have to run 25 miles per week makes me get out the door. And breaking it down more, I only have to run 10 miles during the week and 15 on weekends.
I’ve been asked about setting this mileage goal. What about professional goals? What about your goals to be a better spouse/partner/father/teammate? This seems like a very selfish goal and one that takes time and focus away from the other things.
Yes, it is selfish. I said it last year and I still believe it. But guess what. Your goal has to be for yourself. You don’t lose weight for someone else. You don’t get that new job because your partner wants you to. You don’t look to build a big business because others are doing it. If you want your goals to stick, it has to happen because you want it to. Doing it for any other person and those goals will fail after the first week.
I learned throughout last year’s process that focusing on this running goal affected all the things mentioned above. By focusing on my running, my mental health improved along with my physical health. When I’m running consistently, I’m in a better mood. My daily outlook is improved because I have started the day by creating my list of to-do’s while on my run. I’m able to organize my thoughts, create blog posts, or work through a tough problem in the workplace.
I’m confident I’ll be able to accomplish this goal because I’m taking on something I already enjoy and stretch me just outside my comfort zone. Now I’m no Matt Foley, but after 20+ years in Human Resources, I know a little bit about human behavior and motivation. Plus I read a few books and have read the research on creating habits and behaviors to accomplish sustained performance. I’m not looking to double my mileage from 2017. I’m just looking to average 2 more miles per week than I did last year. Easy.
I set a couple of guidelines for this year. I realize 2017 was the perfect year, weather-wise. We had mild temperatures throughout the year and I was able to log a majority of my miles outdoors. I used the treadmill in the first quarter and when I was on the road and those were some of the most dreadful miles I had. I do not like the treadmill. It’s a necessary evil, but I want to avoid it.
So for 2018, I will not step foot on a treadmill. You can’t get to where you’re going by running in place. For extreme weather situations, I’ll use the track at my local park center. When traveling, I’ll either run outdoors or plan ahead to find a local YMCA or place with an indoor track.
This goal will be getting off to a slow start. While I ran on New Year’s day, I’m on vacation this whole week and I don’t plan on running. I’ll hit the pavement over the weekend and then test my first travel challenge, next week, as I’ll be on the road 4 of the 5 days. I know I’ll be able to make up the miles in February and March as I’ll be ramping up my training for a spring half marathon.
Which leads me to my racing. I’m not going to do all of this running and not get some medals for it. I’ll run the Shamrock Shuffle in March. I have my eye on a couple of half marathons in the spring and just need to nail it down. I’ll sprinkle in a couple of 5ks with the kids throughout the year. I plan on competing in the triathlon I did last summer and will run another half marathon in the fall.
I look forward to accomplishing this goal in 2018. I’m grateful to be able to lace up the Asics and have the physical ability to do this and I don’t take that for granted. My running sets the tone for all of my other activities and goals. I have a lot of miles to log so it’s time to turn off the computer and get running!