Having a baby has forced me to get organized. I'm generally a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person, especially when it comes to my personal life. At work, it's a much different story. I'm organized because I have to be. I couldn't do my job well or properly if I weren't. However in my personal life, including running, general housekeeping, and hobbies (like jewelry design) that I'd love to turn into full-fledged (side) businesses, I'm generally not as organized or stringent with my time and goals. But having a baby has changed that a little. It's caused me to rethink and reorganize. Also...mommy brain. It's real, you guys, and it's come to visit me. If it's not on a list in my KanbanFlow app, it doesn't get done.
And setting goals is also a good way to keep myself organized and on target. I recently took a Skillshare class called"Becoming a Better Blogger"taught by Andrea Goulet Ford and was reminded of the SMART method of goal setting (SMART = Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, in some cases, the A is "assignable," Realistic, and Time-bound). I've used this many times before - in marketing plans, for team roadmaps, for research studies, for my grad school thesis - but I never really applied the idea to anything in my personal life and I have no idea why. I guess I just like to hold on to my free-spirited nature when I'm not at work. It's as if I rail against everything that is my work life when it comes to my personal life. Well, it's not as if I do that; I actually do do that.
So anyway, all of that to say, why not create SMART goals for my running? For example, I could say I want to run an ultra race in October 2014, but that would not be a SMART goal because it fails at being appropriate (meaning it doesn't relate back to my overall running desires, so I probably won't be motivated to work toward it anyway) and realistic (I'm only back up to 3 miles at a time right now, so expecting to go past the marathon distance in just two months is sort of insane). So this goal would be neither SMART nor smart.
I have longer term racing goals (like a sub-20 minute 5K and a BQ marathon), which are fairly ambitious, but given my progress in my first year of running, as well as my starting point with speed, I think they're possible over the next several years (i.e., before I turn 40, five years from now). However, in order to get there, I've got to set and attain goals in the interim. How do you eat an elephant, right?
So my first smaller set of short-term goals is to get me through until the end of December (time-bound) and includes training, eating, and race pace goals. Obviously, I'll be updating my progress here.
- Work out 6 days a week
- Run at least 4 times a week, including one speedwork and/or hill repeat session
- Get my long run up to 10 miles by December - I'll need to do this if I plan to run a half in January
- Crosstrain at least once a week (HIIT, Madabolic, cycling, elliptical, etc)
- Strength train at least twice week (weights, barre, BodyFlow, BodyPump, etc)
- Eat three meals and two snacks a day - this doesn't sound difficult, but I've got issues with getting food ready ahead of time, which is what is required for me to complete this goal
- Run a 52-minute 10k. This is in between my PR time of 49:25 run last September (when I may or may not have been pregnant - the timing is questionable) and my first 10k time of 54:22, run one year prior to the PR. I think this is fairly realistic, especially since I'll be formally training for this distance for the first time ever
- Run a 25 minute 5k early in the season (October) - this one might be pretty ambitious, but I'd like to at least hover around the 5k time I ran when I was 13 weeks pregnant
- Run a 24:30 5k later in the season (December) - once I've been back up and running for several months, I think getting my time down to this is pretty reasonable
None of these are crazy, unattainable goals, although some might be a bit of a stretch, but that's the fun of it. Setting goals I'm guaranteed to reach is boring. As much as I'd like to hit some PRs this fall, I think I'll be saving those for next spring or summer, and this fall is all about laying the foundation for that, as well as keeping injury at bay as I ramp back up to my former self.
Quote in photo is from poem by erin hanson - full poem here