What Is Happening In 2014

There is light after the storm
There is light after the storm

I am going to do things a bit different.

Well actually a LOT different in 2014, than I have in the past when it comes to my running.

Okay Harold, we have heard this crap before, you are going to change your running and that is so going to change the world!

In other words what in the hell do you want to try this time – Harold?

What I want to do

This article gives a pretty good overview of the direction I am sort of heading. In other words – no S.M.A.R.T. goals and focusing more on “just doing” or the process. This is a huge change for me and I know that many out there will disagree with my decision to do this, however, it is a change that I feel I have to make.

So I will:

  • Run,

  • Have fun,

  • Work hard,

  • Stay close enough to my training plans,

  • Do my best,

  • Don’t get injured,

  • Don’t die (Inside joke – yes I am a member of the Idiots Running Club),

  • Then repeat.

Yes, I have things that I want to do, but I do not feel that I need to say I am going to run a certain time for a particular distance or race. I have found that those kind of goals did not work for me in the past and that when I attempt to use S.M.A.R.T. goals for my running (yes, I know how to develop and use them – I was a Special Education teacher for 10 years and it was part of my job to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals for my caseload).

When using S.M.A.R.T. goals I tend to focus too much on the goals I have set, forget about enjoying the journey to get there and if I do not make the goal, blather on and on, about my failure(s).

Which is unfortunate, because often the journey to the goal is often more important than simply achieving a measurable goal.

What do I want to during 2014:

  • Avoid injuries
  • Use and comapre the McMillan and Hanson Half Marathon training plans to see which one works best for me
  • January – Run – Central Maine Striders January Thaw – Belgrade
  • February – Run – Joshua Chamberlain Half – Brewer
  • April – Race – Race the Runways Half Marathon – Brunswick
  • April – Race – Joseph’s 5K – Fairfield
  • May – Run – Sugarloaf 15 – Kingfield
  • June – Race – Rail Trail Half Marathon – Augusta
  • June to August – Volunteer at the Quarry Road Trail Race Series
  • July to September – Run the Bond Brook Trail Race Series
  • September – Race – Rise ‘N Shine 5K – Augusta
  • October – Race – Maine Half Marathon – Portland
  • October – Run – Treadfest – Augusta
  • November – Base Building
  • December – Base Building

There is a difference between racing and running in a race and I want to enjoy going to races more, than trying to race every one. Which means that I am not going to race as often, but I am going to run in a lot of races and go have fun at them. However, if I miss one of the above races, I am not going to get all upset by it.

I am sure that I will pick up a few other races over the course of the year, especially a few more trail races.

Other Changes

I am going to start using Strava as my primary online running log, instead of the Garmin site. I just like Strava’s interface better, the only thing I don’t like is the constant in your face reminder to go pro, but unless I find a specific need, I will stay with the free site. I still plan to upload to the Garmin site once every couple of weeks, but just as a backup.

Strava Screen Shot
Strava Screen Shot

2014 RunLog Spreadsheet

2014 RunLog
2014 RunLog

There are some minor changes to formatting and I have added a column to score each run numerically to give me a little more information and show patterns. By having my spreadsheet I am able to have access and control my own data – just in case. I know that sounds old-fashioned, but you never know the changes that might happen to a website – any website, so I am more comfortable doing it this way.

I will keep blogging about my daily runs, but it might be a little more sporadic when it comes to routine runs that are on Strava and I share on Facebook or Twitter that way.

Focusing on What is Important

Sometimes we get so caught up in measuring what we are doing that we forget why we are doing it.

For me running is very simple – I do it because:

  • I can
  • I want to
  • It is something that I enjoy doing
  • It helps me stay at a decent weight
  • It is my social outlet

Running can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. In 2014 one of the things that I do want to accomplish is make my running and things I do related to running more simple.

The reality is that

My running successes or failures are not major news wire stories or running mags top news and are not really all that important to anyone but me. I am not going to win any major or minor races, break world records and I am certainly not going to make my living as a professional runner.

I know that I am a middle of the pack runner and am just an old fart who has run for a long-time. As I keep getting older, I have begun to finally realize (reluctantly) that I need to re-focus my running, to make it so that 30 years from now I am still enjoying running.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t work hard, try to run fast (for me) or do dumb shit from time-to-time, but it does mean that some changes were necessary. I think that I have identified and started the process to make some of the changes that I need to do.

I am sure that I will find more things that I will change during 2014.

One thing that I have to remember and that I forgot or more likely ignored over the past couple of years is that:

For most of us, focusing on improving our training methods, possibly finding a coach, getting to a healthy racing weight, eating right for you and developing mental toughness will give you more bang for your buck and do more to lower times than the style of running shoes we wear or the gear that we use.

Sometimes we focus too much on the gadget/gear side of the running equation, when the answer is a lot more simple.

Just Run!

Having all those measurable goals and objectives was making running too much like work, which is the last frigging thing that I want my running to be about. Then when I couldn’t meet my S.M.A.R.T. goals for whatever reason, it stressed me out, because I was “supposed” to meet that goal. Yes, I am also a recovering Type “A” personality and still have issues with that old – if I say I am going to do it, by damn I will!

It will be interesting to see how this year goes without using the S.M.A.R.T. goal system that I have used so unsuccessfully for so many years. It is definitely a huge change for me, and it will be interesting how this former Special Education teacher will adjust to going without S.M.A.R.T. goals and if it makes a positive difference to my running in 2014.

That is the great thing about being a runner, we get to try all kinds of different things and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but it tends to work differently for each of us.

Here is to a GREAT year of running in 2014.

What do you want to change or accomplish in 2014?

3 thoughts on “What Is Happening In 2014

  1. Sounds very good, Runnah! Enjoy the new year and have TONS OF FUN – and yes, stay alive. That made my list too. First I said, “don’t get killed by coyotes” and then next on the list, “don’t get killed by anything.” I had a list 50 items long. Somewhat of a joke… 🙂 Happy New Year!

  2. The whole ‘don’t get injured’ is very important to me. As I was doing stuff this year, I made my priority – nothing matters to me as much as the ability to get up tomorrow and run. No pace, no distance, no race. The minute I begin to feel myself in jeopardy due to pursuit of a certain goal, I will pull back in order to focus on the ability to make my daily run. 2014 will be 25 years for me, and I would like another 25.

    1. Mike – that is the theme of 2014 for me, stay running and uninjured. It means that I will have to put aside some of the competitive fires that tell me to ignore that little pain, that is beyond the ache you get sometimes. I just have to remember the difference and in the heat of the moment it is sometimes hard. 🙂

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