Dreams Vs. Goals

I’m at a loss as to how to start. I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever, which is almost true (almost 1 month).

The last time you all saw me was after I had had a terrible (think life threatening) cold. It was sooo bad….ugh. After I recovered mostly from that, I got a lovely sinus infection. Perfect! So I was sick for about 3 weeks. Then it was Christmas week (which means, following sickness, very little exercise is done).

On Monday, December 29 I went to the gym. I was going to take it easy, and I did, but after a couple body-weight squats and lunges, my right hamstring cramped up BAD. I couldn’t use the leg at all. I tried gentle stretching and rolling, but it was no use. I ended up having to stop. The next couple days, all my lower body muscles were sore as if I had done a super hard workout – yeah right! Pft! All in all, it was extremely disconcerting. 😦

On January 1st (how fitting!) I went for my first real run – 5 miles. It was actually awesome! I was laughing and smiling the whole time. I wish I could bottle that feeling and chug it when I need it again. That Saturday I ran again (6 miles) and yesterday I did my first “hard” workout – 2 mi “short tempo” (really 30 seconds over the old goal pace, but I pushed hard) with 2 miles each warm up and cool down. It was very, very good – so nice to push myself!

Today I went to the gym, did some bike and easy strength stuff. I fell like I went back a year on my strength level. It is so discouraging to work so hard to get strong, and then be sick for 4 weeks and come back, only to feel as if you lost it all. Why does life hate me?

I’m pressing on. For Christmas, I got a RW calendar and this month’s quote is my theme quote for these 8 (actually 7 1/2) weeks before my first marathon. “If you have the courage to fail, you have the courage to succeed” (Shalane Flanagan). I will be running this race easy, but I WILL be running it (with a new, revised plan).

OK, to get to my title. I was contemplating why I feel like I fail at all my “goals” (other than things out of my control). (This actually took place on a run 🙂 ). I realized that it was because I tend to blur the line between dreams and goals. To me, dreams are the things that seam completely, utterly impossible, but you decide you want to do it nonetheless. Goals are much, much smaller steps you take, one at a time, that get you closer to achieving that dream.

I dream of having a 6-pack (don’t judge 😉 ). My goals to get there start with eating enough healthy food, then cutting out junk food (maybe all for a period of time), then having an exercise plan focused on losing body fat, etc. Mini goals exist in each of these steps. Make sense?

To help me stay on track for my race, I decided I need a reward system. I made a little jar with 11 slips of paper. Each paper has a reward (mostly non-food. The 2 exceptions are a fro yo date and a date to a coffee shop that has fun games and is good for spending time with others. I don’t ever get sugary or full-fat coffee, so it fits in). Things such as: hike Badger Mountain (really a large hill with trails and an amazing view; I put two slips in with this one), browse at a book shop (I love doing this, but never do), go to a movie, etc. Every time I am struggling (mot eating sugar this week, not eating out of my food log, running the whole workout without stopping, etc.) I will set a plausible goal and be allowed to draw a reward if I reach it.

I decided to start a goal right now. I will try to blog often about it. I have been struggling with my diet, so I’m going to log all my food and stay in my calorie limit for a whole week. I’ll focus on eating produce and allowing treats in moderation. Starting…..NOW!

See you later!

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