I remember in school each fall we set goals for the year. We’d all sit down, pull out a pencil and lined paper, and make some things up that we wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. We had to write them down because it made the goals feel more concrete and real, and really forced us kids to feel like we were committing to something (or maybe I just put that pressure on myself). Periodically throughout the year we’d have check-ins and would be forced to measure our progress against them. Had we reached our goals? Were we close? What had we done to push ourselves in the right direction? What more did we need to do to seal the deal?
Usually I don’t like to share my goals with others. I almost always have one, and these days I don’t need to write them down in order to feel like I’ve inked my life to the cause, but I put enough pressure on myself to nail them without having other people measure me against myself. I know, I know, other people don’t actually care what I do, at all, ever, and how could I be so self-centered to assume such, but talking about my goals out loud makes me uncomfortable so I don’t do it often. I skirt questions with bits like, “I want to do well,” or “I want to have fun,” but if you’ve ever gotten a vague answer from me consider this your notice that you were officially brushed off. I always have a goal, I just don’t always share it.
My old ways allowed me to avoid commitment and manage potential disappointment; missing my target made me crabby and keeping it private made the mountain mine to scale and enabled me to own every bit of getting there. But this time around I’m comfortable being uncomfortable. I spent all summer alone in a cold dark lake until I forced my body to relax enough to breathe and swim, climbed back up on my new tri bike after a bloody crash and then decided that if that wasn’t enough I wanted to be attached to it more permanently with real cycling pedals and shoes. I’ve come a long way. I’ve done the training, I’ve worked hard and so far it’s showed, and I want to capitalize on that feeling. So in the spirit of a new blog for a new sport, let’s see if this new application of childhood tactics will help produce some results. Consider yourself part of the inner circle interwebs, because I’d like to pen my goals for Saturday.
Goal #1: Start each leg at a steady pace. I have a tendency to start out too fast so I want to not get caught up in the race and adjust to each leg before I push it.
Goal #2: I want to finish feeling like I really raced, not just completed the race in quick manner.
Goal #3: I want to swim in under 40 minutes. I want to bike at a 17 MPH average. I want to run in under 1:55. I want a sub 6 hour finish.
I’ve put a lot of thought into how I can accomplish each of these goals, but when it comes down to it the tactics are similar. I need to slow down my mind and trust my training, focus on each leg separately as a unique and attainable goal, and save enough juice to rock the run.
Whew. I said it. Now I just gotta get it done.