Posts Tagged goals

Soldier Field Race Goals

Photo from Fleet Feet Sports email

So this Saturday is my longest race so far: The Soldier Field 10 Miler.  Race week has been a little rough because I haven’t gotten in many maintenance runs before race day. I was out of town Monday and Tuesday and didn’t get a chance to do my easy Monday run (I was stuck in a travel nightmare instead), but luckily I got 3.6 miles in yesterday. Hopefully my 16-week training is what will pay off on Saturday.

My SmartCoach training plan says I’m supposed to finish the race in one hour and 25 minutes (about an 8:30ish pace). Ha–I don’t know about that, but here are my own race goals for this weekend:

  1. Finish the race (in about 1 hour and 30 minutes). Since I’ve never done a race this long, my ultimate goal is just to finish it. I’ve done a couple 10 mile training runs so I know this is possible. I ran those training runs in about 1 hr. 40 min. (10 min. miles) so ideally I’d like to race it slightly faster than that by running about 9 minute miles. I’m not sure how I’ll feel that day so we’ll see how this goes (plus I don’t have a Garmin that will tell me my pace so I’m just going to have to gauge it myself).
  2. Listen to my body. Ever since I got myself a good pair of running shoes, I’ve been able to stay injury-free. I’d like to keep it that way. During the race, I’m going to be aware of what my body’s telling me. Hopefully I don’t actually get injured after all my hard training, but in terms of staying hydrated during the race too.
  3. Keep a positive attitude. They say running a race is 90% mental. Training was the time where it was more physical, pushing my body farther and showing it that it could do what I set out to do. I know I can do the 10 miles without stopping, so now I just have to keep myself going with the finish line in mind (and who wouldn’t want to finish on the 50 yard line at Soldier Field?). I like to break the race up in my mind (I did this in training too). I tell myself at 5 miles that I can do this…I ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8k. At 6 miles, I remind myself of how I used to run 6 miles a day every few days last summer. At 8 miles, I tell myself that there are only 2 miles left. Then at 9 miles…well, how hard is it to run one more mile? It’s funny how sometimes I can be so tired after just running 3 miles but then I can keep myself going at a nice steady pace for 9 miles another day because I planned on running that far. Wherever you planned for the finish line to be, that’s where your brain tells your body it is. So it helps to play little mental games with yourself while you run.
  4. Have fun! Years ago I never would’ve thought I’d have fun while running. Yes, it’s hard. I sweat. I get tired. I want to quit. But there’s nothing like crossing that finish line and knowing I accomplished something and achieved another goal. Plus there’s nothing like running by the lake (which you don’t get to do in the suburbs much) and taking in all the sights and sounds of Chicago with it.

And as I wear that finisher’s medal proudly at the end of the race, grateful for my mom, dad, and Gerald who are getting up super early on Saturday to support me (and walk the Hut Hut Hike along with our pug), I can also remind myself that by 9:30 AM on Saturday I would’ve run 10 miles. :) That’s more than we can say for most people in the city.

Do you have any other good race tips or goals to share?

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Pressing On

This month I’ve been reading Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room, an advent devotional by Nancy Guthrie (and it’s published by Tyndale). Today’s devo was very fitting since it was all about pressing on (also my blog title). I thought I’d share some key points with you here:

“As the year comes to a close and we prepare to begin a new year, we know that our family will get busy doing lots of things–many good things. The new beginning that comes with a new year allows us to step back and consider if all the things that we are busy with help us move forward toward what is most important. We want to ask, are the things we’re doing helping us or hindering us from making progress in the one thing that is most important–the one thing that will matter for eternity?

Paul was determined to make sure everything he was doing helped him in accomplishing the one thing that was most important. “I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me,” he said. “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:12-14) As Paul looked toward the future, he was determined to “press on.” He wanted to continue to make progress in the life of faith–to love and trust God more tomorrow than he did yesterday. He wanted to live his life now in light of eternity. He didn’t want to become distracted by anything that would steal his attention from what will matter for eternity.

What would it look like to “press on” toward knowing and enjoying Christ as you and your family enter another year?…Today is a good day to look back, look forward, and look inward. We want to see ourselves and our lives as Christ sees us and be willing to face hard truths about ourselves. But more important than looking inward is looking upward to Christ. Looking to Christ gives us a goal to pursue, a person to enjoy, a passion to feed. Looking to Christ orients the direction of the coming year–and of our entire lives.

2010 was full of exciting opportunities and I grew and learned a lot throughout this year. You can even read about some of those experiences in previous blog posts.

As I look toward 2011, there are many things to look forward to like getting married, our spring youth retreat, the Soldier Field 10-Mile race, experiencing life as a newly wed, working with some great authors to promote their books, and so much more that I don’t know will happen yet. I also wanted to do a sprint distance triathlon next year, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to since my wedding will be in July. But you never know!

All the life changes are a little scary, but exciting at the same time. But even with all the planning that will be going on for me especially in the first half of this year and all the new adjustments, I want to make sure I don’t get lost in the details and forget to press on toward what is most important–becoming more like Christ.

What are your goals for 2011?

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