This post was inspired by Shalane Flanagan.
She now plans to run all six majors this fall—in person in Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston, and New York, plus a virtual race in place of the postponed Tokyo Marathon AND finish each under 3 hours!!
WOW!! That is a big hairy goal!!!
In 2019, my big hairy goal was to run my FIRST MARATHON.
In 2020, before the pandemic, I planned to run ONE half marathon EACH MONTH. I ran 3 live races (but had to run 6 half marathons virtually.) So I did not run 12 halfs but was proud of my 9 half achievement.
In 2021 – Unfortunately the Pandemic continued. Even though racing opportunities started opening up, I never felt that I would be able to achieve a BIG goal.
For 2022 – I doubt things will be normal (if ever) but it may be time to come up with another BIG goal….
Not sure what that will be yet. Any ideas for me?
But I know what it will NOT be:
- run streak
- Ragnar race
- obstacle race
- 50 state challenge
- online certification courses
Anyway, here are some reasons to set a Big Hairy Goal:
1. Big goals stretch what we believe is possible.
I have heard many runners say “I can’t….” (Guilty as charged lol)
When we say that, it becomes true.
Of course, we CAN run a marathon!!
Believing is the first step to accomplishing something big.
2. They cause us to make improvements.
It’s easy to get into a rut. For example, we race the same distance or type of race, we may get comfortable and be successful with little effort.
In order to achieve a big goal, you will most likely need to make adjustments – train harder, train differently …
3. If We Allow Ourselves To Dream, We Get Really Excited.
When we stop and think about what it would feel like if we actually achieved that big goal, we get excited. We may buy that 26.2 magnet for our car or a shirt that says “I am a Marathoner.”
The excitement of the possibility pushes us to train and to push forward toward that goal.
4. We will see how far we have come
While the destination is important, it’s the journey that matters most. Without goals, it’s hard to see how far we have come.
I ran 5ks for years. I got faster and was content.
It wasn’t until I ran my first half marathon did I realize how much my running had improved. And an unexpected result of running longer races was that I felt stronger at the shorter ones.
5. It’s OK to swing and miss.
I’ve heard it said that If there’s not a decent chance we’ll fall short, we’re not setting high enough goals.
What if we train for an Ironman and we don’t meet the cutoff after one the legs. We would, of course, be disappointed.
What an accomplishment to have made it to the start line! What did we learn along the way? Was there anything we could have done better? Should we try again?
Happy Running! Are you a “BIG” goal setter? Any other tips to add? Please share.
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