Monday, August 24, 2015

Fourth Quarter

Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic.-- Robin Sharma

I went out this morning at the crack of dawn to add another 6 miles to my tally for the month. Actually it was pre-dawn because I was back and showered before the Sun came out. I usually have a goal but this one is the biggest that I've made as a runner. I decided to make a SMART goal. Smart is an acronym for goal setting typically used in project management and other areas of business.

S- Specific. The goal I set was 150 miles to be completed in the month of August. I didn't say that I want to run more this month. I specifically picked a distance and a time-frame in order to accomplish the goal. If I made an ambiguous goal it would be hard to accomplish.

M- Measurable. I know everyday that I run I will run a particular distance. Simple math will tell me how far away or close I am. I can check everyday to see what I've done compared to where I want to be. Many runners do not "keep score" when they run. That is perfect. But when one has a goal, said person has to find a way to measure progress.

A- Attainable. I know people that can put up 300 or 400 miles in a month. Perhaps some day I will be able to reach mileage like that. That day is not today. I set a goal that was challenging but within the realm of my ability and perceived effort. I had reached 100 miles several times in the past. My best month was 125 miles. It isn't a given that I will hit 150 miles but it wouldn't be outlandish if I did.

R- Relevant. In 2016 I will run 12 marathons. I need to condition my body to roll out of bed and knock out 20 miles without thought and then recover like I ran 5 miles. The only way to do that would be to run more miles, more often. Generally marathon training is about 4 months or 16 weeks. Sometime in September or October I will need to train for the Callaway Gardens Marathon on January 30th. Slowly building a base now will help me transition to the ramp up in training and potentially reduce overuse injury.

T- Time Bound. It doesn't matter what I do. August will end on the 31st. I cannot extend the deadline. Knowing that I had a finite amount of time I can plan my long runs and rest days accordingly. It forces me to really create a plan of action. I found myself constantly recalculating the average per day in order to reach the mark.

I have 7 days to run 38 miles. It is very doable. Although it is doable, I still need to do it. I need to decide if I will run every day at an average of 5.42 miles. That's easy because I very rarely go below 6 miles on a run. Then I have to account for taking a day off. Either way you look at it, this will come down to the wire like a last second shot. And for the WIN...

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