Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Sure Way to Failing

So I'm going to let you in on a little that I'm working on perfecting!! It's called the Sure Way to FAILING and I'm getting REALLY good at it!! (Said in a very sarcastic tone of voice).

Step One: create a training plan - put a lot of time and effort into this because the other steps are somewhat dependent on this one. So spend several hours perfecting it, plugging the details into your running journal - my favorite is the Believe Training Journal by Lauren and Ro - creating the workouts in your Garmin calendar and whatever else you need to do to be ready for kickoff on Day 1 of the plan.

Step Two: Set some SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. For example you might set the following goal: Set a PR in the half marathon distance on May 23, 2015. Specific: Get a PR. Measurable: you have a time from your last race, all you have to do is come in under that one...totally measurable. Attainable: yep - just stick to the training and eating right and it should be no problem. Relevant: yes, totally relevant. Time-Bound: there's a solid date attached to this goal. This is a GREAT goal!! Should be completely manageable!!

Step Three: Tell yourself that you are going to completely NAIL this training cycle. You are going to eat right, get enough rest, stretch, foam roll, yoga your ass off, oh and don't forget cross training - you're going to ace that too!! You should also go on Pinterest and pin all kinds of happy motivation to get you jazzed up for this! Print some off, tape them to your wall, use that motivation!!

Step Four: Eat all the bad food. Slack off on all the workouts. Completely forget every goal you set. Don't pay attention to what's on the training plan. Go out and run your 13.1 miles with no more than 9 miles done in training. SUCCESS - you have now completely and totally set yourself up to succeed at failing!!! Brilliant!!! Whomp-whomp.

Seriously though, I have not done the work and I have made a plethora of excuses and I recognize that I have this really bad habit of completely and totally going into sabotage mode as I near a race. I don't know what that is or where it comes from...I could probably psychoanalyze the heck out of myself and find out that it is related to a fear of not living up to the standards I've set in my head, so if I have a bunch of "reasons" why I can't meet those standards than it isn't really my fault. Yeah...I'm guessing it's something like that. hahahaha Talk about a total mind f*&%!!! But here's the thing...I don't like it. I don't like being that person that is all fired up at the beginning just to completely fizzle out like a firework that didn't have enough oomph.

I want to know what it feels like to get to a starting line and know that I've done everything I possibly could have, within reason, to be READY to tackle the distance and the pace. I would even be okay if I didn't make my goal because I would at least know that I had done everything I could. But I haven't gotten there yet, and I'm definitely not there for this weekend's half marathon. My single goal for this one is to just finish it within the time limit so I can get my medal.

But I'm ready to turn a corner and no longer succeed at failing...I want to actually SUCCEED.

More to come on this...I've been working on setting some new goals, a new plan, and a system to support those goals and plans. I'll be sharing soon!

In the meantime, keep in mind that even though I joke about it, even failure is a building block to success because it teaches us what needs to be changed or tweaked on the next try! It's all part of the learning I'm getting pretty darn good at.


  1. I love this post! I am all too familiar with Step 4. My question for you is why do you continue to set the particular goals that you set? I have found over the years that I can't get motivated for a clock based goal more than every few years. I love running and running in races but I do NOT love racing the clock. I need to be in a particular head space to make that work. I've found that choosing different goals (a race of any distance once a month for a year, 12 half marathons in 2012, only races I'd never run before, etc.) are more motivating and fun for me than "beat my time" type goals. The last time I really committed to a time goal, I had a great PR but fell 53 pesky seconds short of the "A" goal but it was still satisfying. That was in 2012 and I'm only now, this training cycle, considering chasing that clock time again in the fall....and I'm still not sure I'm ready. (And for the record, I also have the Believe journal, and I love it.) I also recommend this book by Sage Rountree because it helped me to wrap my brain around some of this stuff. Racing Wisely: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Performing at Your Personal Best

    1. Thank you, Helen! That is some awesome feedback and I so appreciate it!! I don't even know if I care about racing the clock so much anymore either; I just really want to actually hit my training at at least 90% instead of the haphazard method I've been using that totally isn't working out. What I really want is to see what is possible if I actually put in the training like I should. And thanks for the book recommend - I'm going to check that out for sure!

  2. I don't know if you run solo or with friend or with a group but I find that I do much better when I have a group for regular accountability and I LOVE the interaction I get with them on the runs. Unfortunately, all of that companionship that doesn't really mesh too well with a clock based goal. I hope you figure out something that works.