One of my favorite recent posts on the topic comes from fellow Skirt Sports ambassador captain Mirna Valerio, who tells readers to be SMART about goal setting. In her Women’s Running piece, she writes: “SMART goals are SPECIFIC, MEANINGFUL, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, TIME–BOUND.”
So here’s my rundown of my 2016 goals using her tips:
SPECIFIC: My goal race for this year is the Bad Apple Ultra in October. It’s a trail race at an apple orchard and I committed to it after speaking with Dr. Awesome and getting promises from my BRFs (best running friends) that they’ll be there with me.
Because what’s the point of suffering through 32 miles if you can’t share the experience with your favorite runners?
MEASURABLE and MEANINGFUL: I’m very goal driven and am fortunate to have several BRFs who already are ultra marathoners and recommended the 50K training plan from Women’s Running magazine they’ve used for their races. I plan to print out the plan, post it on my fridge and stick to it as much as possible.
And, let’s be honest, it’s also far enough from now that I feel like I have all the time in the world to get ready. Remind me of that come those 6 a.m. 90-degree July long runs.
ATTAINABLE and REALISTIC: I have a hugely supportive family who allows me to make the time to run during the week and who has the decency to sleep in on the weekends while I do my long runs. And because we camp at state campgrounds during the summer, I also will have inherent access to lots of trails.
Just don’t tell them that I’m making campground reservations based solely on that week’s mileage.
RELEVANT: I am relatively healthy (thanks to the aforementioned Dr. Awesome) and have access to experienced ultra marathoners and other women who have agreed to this insanity, I mean, who plan to make this their first ultra. Because I’ve maintained my base mileage, ramping up is also a realistic goal. Right? RIGHT?!
Did I mention it’s supposed to be a fairly flat course?
TIMELY: Registration for Bad Apple isn’t open yet, but the date is already highlighted on my calendar and I’m currently scheduling races throughout the season that will help me prepare. In fact, I specifically registered for an April half marathon to force myself to keep up my mileage during the tough Michigan winter.
Getting to scratch off a run on the training plan is the only thing that gets me out the door some days. OK, most days. OK, pretty much every day.
Will I reach my goals? Only if I’m smart about it. (See what I did there?)
What are your goals for 2016? What’s your big audacious goal? What are you willing to do to achieve it?