Racing to a Goal

By Amber Bobo

My husband James and I started running a few years ago with an app called C25K.  It seems like every time we decided to start this challenge; it was beginning to be summer in Arkansas.  You know you can’t beat the heat in Arkansas, but we tried many times.  We would try running at night after the sun had set (less heat) and early in the morning before the sun rose (less heat).  No matter when we ran, this was not an easy challenge.  Starting an 8-week running program several times throughout a couple of years was not working.

It started with a conversation that went something a little like this:

Husband: “We should start running.”

Me: “I don’t like to run.”

Husband: “Me either.  We should run a marathon.”

Me: “We should run a Disney marathon!”

Neither one of us like to run nor did we have an intention to run.  When you set a goal for yourself, it needs to have a useful purpose.  Ours was to overcome the challenge of running mentally.  Running to us seemed dull, and it was.  All the more reason to keep trying.  So, we set a definitive goal that had an outcome.  We ended up reevaluating and settled for a half-marathon.  We printed an image of this particular Disney race and posted it on our vision board. 

Back to the C25K app.  We signed up for a 5k in February 2017.  This 5k was Freezin’ for a Reason and was our very first race. We were successful at completing the 8-week running program with the app and completed our 5k with a smile and some sweat despite the freezing temperatures. 

From that moment, we ran a few more 5k races and signed up for our half marathon at Disney, which would be in November 2017. 

Once we found that 3.1 miles were considered an easy run, we switched our training program over to an app called Nike+Run Club.  Since our working schedules did not allow for consistency to join a local running club or group, we relied on one another and this motivating voice in our ear from the apps.

When you set goals, not only do have to embrace any setbacks, you have to prepare for failure.  The key is NOT to GIVE UP!  As our half-marathon approached, we welcomed a few setbacks including selling a home and buying a new one with apartment living in between, Lasik eye surgery for James, lots of travel for work for the both of us, and an injured foot for me on our last long run before the race.

Life is busy.  That doesn’t mean you stop or push aside your goals.  You go after them with a vengeance because you can.  We chose to move forward and not turn our setbacks into excuses.  Were we 100% prepared for this half-marathon?  Not exactly, but we weren’t trying to win the race, we were there to complete a very long-term goal that we worked very hard to achieve.  IT WAS WORTH IT!  Seeing commentators, you don’t know stand on the sidelines and cheer you on is a beautiful feeling.  Running 13.2 miles and earning a medal to wear makes you feel proud.  Mentally, we were determined to complete this goal.  Due to life setbacks, we were not as physically prepared, but we did it.  And we continue to run.  We ran the Freezin’ for a Reason 10k this year to commemorate our progress over a year.  We are excited to expand our racing opportunities. 

You really can do anything you set your mind to do.  Don’t give up on your goals and never quit. 

One of the best ways to become more successful is by writing your goal down and keeping it in front of you on a daily basis.  You can find a goal setting worksheet here.  Hopefully, it will be of help to you when you set your next goal.