Bottom’s Up: A Toast to Chasing Goals

IMG_7285It’s time to admit my 2015 Outdoor Track season is officially over; I went to get a pedicure yesterday to take care of those two little (not so little) feet that take care of me every stride. While I was really hoping to get an invite to participate in the 2015 Beijing World Championships it won’t be happening, but I did get to finish the season on my terms.

How did I stack up to the Goals I set?
The entire 2015 season is not over, but one of the best things I’ve learned over the last year is to reflect back on what you set out to do. In January I posted 2015 goals. So far, here is how I stacked up to what I set out to do:

Running Goals:
1) 2:40 or Sub in the 1k, 4:08 or sub in the 1500, 15:35 or sub for the 5000: I ran a sub 2:40 for the 1k at the Spire Indoor Meet back in February. In June I ran 4:07 twice. I have only run one 5000 to date, where I ran 16:02. Hopefully this fall I have an opportunity to run some 5k’s on the road and chase that goal. Overall: two of three checks.
2)  To keep working at the 800 and get as close to 2:00 to maintain my speed: Last season my PB in the 800 was 2:08.79. This year I worked down to 2:02.90. More importantly I learned how to race an 800; I learned from mistakes I made in early races. I would give myself about a 75% success rate on this. I made giant leaps forward but I know there is more in the tank and that I can get closer to 2:00.
3) To slowly increase my mileage in preparation for my marathon; one 30k long, east run by the end of 2015: Last week I finished my season with a 28k run. I am working toward 30k this year and I am moving in the right direction to safely complete a 30k run by the end of 2015. I have also been cautiously upping my mileage. This is work in progress and I will keep working hard to achieve this goal.

Other Goals:
My other goals are definitely a work in progress. Trying to complete my comprehensive exam for my PhD in Q2 was a completely unrealistic goal; only one I could understand by immersing myself in my PhD. I am well on my way to reading 35 books this year; I am just about to complete book 28. As for my research scope for my PhD, this blog post has done a fabulous job at helping me to further procrastinate! Admittedly, I have completed the readings I want to do for it, have an outline and will pull everything together.

In the future I am going to reflect back on my goals more often. Goals should be fluid, so you can readjust to make sure they are attainable, and when you reach a goal you should reset it so you can set the bar even higher.

When is the best time to take a break? When you do NOT feel like you need one. I am one week into approximately a two and a half week break. I am going stir crazy! My body, and my brain, crave the endorphin fix you get from working out.

I am thankful that I am taking a break not because I am mentally exhausted orIMG_7307 because I’m physically exhausted or injured. Being able to take a break like this is because I have an amazing integrated support team that helps me insure I keep myself as healthy as can be. Thanks team!

About 6 months ago I asked my coaches if I could have a month off. We work well together and they said yes, secretly knowing I would not make it that long. More importantly that I really was not going to need that long. We have decided that after two weeks we will slowly start building mileage, strength training to get better, faster, stronger for 2016.

I also consider this block of rest my first serious block of training for the #RoadToRio. It is not always easy to see why rest is so important to training but once you try it you see how much faster your workouts get you totally buy-in!

Final Thoughts on the 2015 Outdoor Season
I believe that my 2015 outdoor season was a success. No wait, my 2015 outdoor season was a success. Why? I accomplished many of the goals I set out for myself and still have time to chase after more. I chased after the Pan Am team, made it, then medalled (with only half a shoe on!). I had a lot of fun with my teammates. I met some really amazing people along the way. I worked hard at every workout. I rested when my body demanded I recover.  I got stronger. I got faster.

Somewhere as things progressed in 2015 I set a goal of making the Beijing World Championships. Qualifying this year was a bit different from years previous, there was one standard and then invitations. I just missed standards but I did receive an invitation. Athletics Canada set out a policy for invitations; a policy I did not meet the standard for (Jeremy Rae wrote a great blog explaining the process). While I did not get to race in Beijing, no one can take away from me that I deserved to be there.

I am asked if I am disappointed or angry with the decision by AC not to bring me to Beijing. Yes and no. The only person I’m disappointed in is myself. And why would I get angry at something that is out of my control. This should only fuel me to get strIMG_4675onger and faster for Rio. I don’t see it as just the Road to Rio, but the road to the podium in Rio.

2016 I’m coming for you. But for now, it’s time for some sunset beers, devouring some great books, and jumping off the boat house at the cottage. Enjoy the rest of the summer, I know I will.