Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yesterday is but a memory....

For yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow is only a vision;
but today well lived makes every yesterday a memory of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
*Sanskrit Poem*

A few weeks ago the topic for Runner's Lounge Take It and Run Thursday was "Look Back, Look Ahead," checking in on the goals we set for ourselves this year. I didn't write about it then, but the idea stayed in my head and I've mulled it over a few times.

Now, on my birthday, which is itself the end of one year and the beginning of another, it seems like a good time to remember the goals I've set and see whether, in fact, I've accomplished anything at all!

My running goals for 2008 were pretty simple. Let's take a gander, shall we?

Mileage goal: 1500 miles for the year. Last year's mileage was something over 1200 miles (average 100 miles per month), and I thought an increase to 1500 seemed doable. This would require an average of 30 miles per week, allowing two weeks off during the year for vacation or whatever.

Progress so far: On track. At the end of June (which was technically halfway through the year), I had an average of 29 miles per week counting every week, but if I allowed myself one of the "vacation weeks" (and in fact I did go skiing for a week in January), my weekly average was 30-plus. As of last week my average was 30 miles for every week, even without incorporating a vacation week.

Half-marathon goal: Complete Whidbey, Robie Creek, Anacortes, and Royal Victoria Half Marathons.

Progress so far: I have completed the first three, and I'm registered for Victoria in October. (I am also registered for the Maine Coast Half Marathon in September and Las Vegas in December.)

Half-marathon time goal: Finish under two hours as many times as possible. Beat my time from last year's Anacortes Half. Beat my PR from last year's Whidbey (1:54:30), if not at Whidbey this year then at some other race.

Progress so far: Well, I finished under two hours and beat last year's time in Anacortes. I'm still waiting on a new PR, however. I mean working on a new PR!

General race goal: Run at least one race (of any distance) every month.

Progress so far: Definitely on track. I've actually done at least two every month except January, when I just did one.

Race time goal #1: Break 26-minute 5K.
Race time goal #2: Break 25-minute 5K.

Progress so far: #1 - Done! #2 - Still trying! Best time so far, 25:28 at the Marysville Berry Run.

I think I've done pretty well with the running goals. Each one so far is either achieved or potentially achievable during the remainder of the year. (I'm not so confident about the 25-minute 5K though....)

I also set a few birthday goals last year—things I wanted to accomplish by my next birthday. Progress was not so good there, I'm afraid.... For example:

Reach goal weight and stay there. Instead, I've gained 5 or 10 pounds in the last few months. While running more than ever! How is that fair? How did that happen? (And how am I going to fix it?) Goal not yet achieved, but not abandoned.

Start weight training and do a few sessions with a personal trainer. Not yet. I have been doing Pilates class twice a week, though, with an instructer who's a bit like a boot camp sergeant (although I've missed a few over the summer). Goal still alive, but yet to be integrated.

Run the Whidbey and Robie Creek Half Marathons on April 13 & 20. Done! See above.

Get my house back into shape. Can't say that's done yet. Well, actually it's been done superficially several times, but it hasn't stuck. This is a good goal to accomplish before the holidays, I think.

Work on my garden. Well, again, I've done some things, but there'll be no garden tours this year.

Clean closets, get rid of excess clothes. Umm... not yet.

(I have to say that all the running goals—which I've done well on—have probably impacted my ability, willingness, and time to achieve some of these more pragmatic objectives.)

Spend less money, pay off some bills. I think I'm making good progress here! I've definitely cut back on the shopping. I've become downright frugal! Within reason, of course.

I had a few fantasy goals, also (even more fantastic that my other unattained goals). Such as... Go to the Oprah show, run in the Bath Half-Marathon in England, write a book. Needless to say, they remain in my imagination. Although the Bath Half-Marathon is definitely on the schedule for next year, if I can get in when general registration opens on September 1.

So, a good year so far, leaving plenty of room for progress. It's good to have something to shoot for, don't you think? Perfection is so over-rated. Boring, really!

And, as the Sanskrit poet said, tomorrow is a vision of hope.

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