As I ran my hard 5k today, I couldn't help but consider my goals in the sport.
Siri drove next to me for about 3k of the run, yelling out her window, trying to help motivate me to keep pushing harder. It was... well... interesting. I couldn't help but laugh to myself a bit (amid gasps for air) because I was already pushing well harder than I wanted to be. Believe me, if I could have run faster and made the pain stop sooner, I would have!
She was trying to get me to envision myself in a race, leading the race or chasing down the few remaining leaders, but she kept talking about it on the scale of a Continental Cup. Yes, it is true that you have to walk before you can run, figuratively speaking. Ie. you have to win little before you can win big. But, I want to think big. I don't want to settle for dreaming about winning a Continental Cup.
Winning a Continental Cup would be great, and a big step in the right direction, but it is so far from what I want to accomplish even this year. So, I thought maybe it was time to actually write down my goals for the year and for my career. If I put them on paper, I can look at them every day and remember on the toughest days what I am working towards.
Goals are an interesting animal. They can be motivational but they can certainly also serve as a reminder of what you did not accomplish if you fail to reach them. It is important to set a number of different types of goals. There are more immediate goals, those things you hope to reach in the next 4-6 weeks. There are season goals, enough said and finally career goals. Obviously, as the years pass the career goals will change. They may get loftier, or perhaps the reality will set in and they will have to be scaled back. However, I certainly see the benefit of verbalizing and actually admitting your goals to yourself by writing them down.
Once they are on paper, they are real. Now, it is just a matter of going after them, one day at a time, one workout at a time, and crossing them very neatly off the list... one at a time.