Now that I’m in my third month of training, I’m realizing that I’m not progressing at the rate that I had hoped. I’m finding that I’m feeling disappointed because I am comparing my own training progress to the achievements of other runners. I often find myself hoping and wishing that I could get my pace down to those of others, or run for as long of a period of time as others. However, I have to keep reminding myself that I am still a novice runner and that it will take time to get my running to where I’d like for it to be.
Instead of comparing my successes to those of others, I need to instead keep my goals in check and realistic based on where I am now physically and the time that I can realistically devote to my training. I can plan to spend X amount of time training each week, but life happens and its important to remember that training will not always go as planned. There are going to be stressful weeks at work (I’ve faced this in the past couple of weeks with the administration of SOLs, interviewing for a new position for next school year, and planning for next year), there are going to be times when we get sick (I’m currently battling a summer cold and it was best tonight for me to stay home and rest instead of going to the gym), and there are going to be times when life outside of training is super busy (this past weekend I cohosted a friend’s baby shower, which took lots of prep work in advance and then we had a long day the day of the big event).
While its great to set goals, its also important to remember that not meeting every goal isn’t a sign of failure. Instead, its evidence of reality. As Bruce Lee once said, “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”