Like many people, in January, I made resolutions for the new year. In my case, I decided to set quarterly goals in 3 spheres: career, relationships, self. My goal for Q1 in the self category was to be able to finish a treadmill workout I found in Oxygen magazine that required running 2 minutes at 9.0 mph after a progressive build-up from 6.0 mph. As this was a Q1 goal, I was supposed to hit it by March 31.
I will skip to the end of this story: March 31 has come and passed, and I never hit it. The 90 seconds I wrote about a few weeks ago was the peak. The honest truth is that after I wrote that post, I never got on the treadmill to try that speed workout again.
There are reasons. Mostly good ones, I think. The weather took a turn for the better and once I was back outdoors, I had no desire to revisit the mill. Instead of running fast, I have been running long. I have done a number of 5-7 mile runs during the week, in addition to the long runs on weekends. So it is not like I have stopped running, which I think would be a worse way to fail at this goal.
I also achieved the larger goal of getting faster. In the course of hurling myself against that 2-minute 9.0 mph barrier, I figured out that I could do short sprints at 10.0 mph. I tend to be more of a 10-minute miler, and in the course of doing speed work, I did my first 8-minute mile. I ran a half mile at 7:30 pace.
So my feelings about all this are mixed. I am writing a piece for Fast Company on how to tell if a goal is achievable and realistic. I think this one was in what Michael Hyatt (who I interviewed for the piece) told me is the “discomfort zone.” It is challenging enough to be compelling. Of course, the nature of such a goal is that you might not hit it. That is failure, on some level, but not reaching the goal reminds me that the process itself has upsides. I pushed myself harder than if I had not set the goal. So I believe the goal-setting is still worthwhile.
Do you have any goals in the discomfort zone that you are working toward?
Photo: Shot on a run that was not done on the treadmill.