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First 2011 Post…Where I Have Been & Goals

I have been struggling to come up with the right way to express how I have been feeling lately and when it came time to put my goals list together I struggled even more.  It took me almost the whole month of December to figure out why.

And here it is…

I was keeping charts and graphs and tracking everything I did.  I was driving myself crazy writing schedules, setting alarms and calculating my pace/distance for every swim/bike/run.  I was completely overwhelmed by all the facebook updates and blog posts in my google reader that were all about running, working out and etc.  I was putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself and feeling negative about myself.  All because I felt like I had to fit into some standard.  (I feel like a five year old even admitting all this.)  At times lately, it has all felt very competitive; I notice gatherings with my teammates where the only conversations we have are about working out and who is doing what and how much of it they are doing.  Honestly, it makes my head spin. And instead of being motivated to change, I shut down and allowed it all to push me into a hole that kept me from having a desire to do anything at all.

Running is not my life.  Neither is swimming.  And well, I think we all know biking isn’t either.  There are so many more aspects to my life than working out and keeping track of my miles.  But I was pressuring myself to “keep up with the Jones’s” for a while and was concentrating to the point of exhaustion on things that honestly don’t matter to me.  But I wanted them to matter to me so I kept doing them.  I wanted them to matter because I thought it put me in the same ranks as everyone else.  A “real” athlete.  If I woke up and didn’t want to work out, I felt like something was wrong with me.  And the truth is, more days than not I woke up not wanting to work out.  The more days in a row this happened, the less I felt about who I was as an athlete.  And not only was I frustrated but I was confused as to why I even felt that way.

But I know why- I felt that way because I thought I was letting myself and others down if I wasn’t “taking it serious enough” and that if I didn’t take it serious, people wouldn’t take me as a person seriously.  Got all that?  Anyway, the good news is, I snapped myself out of it, got real with myself and decided that I don’t have to be so serious.  And people who like and respect me will like and respect me even if I am not caculating my miles vs. distance every step of the way.  They will like me even if I don’t care that I missed a workout.  But most importantly, I will like myself again.  Because I will be having fun again.  And for me, fun is what it is all about.  And for the record, I am totally most definitely without a doubt an athlete!

At the end of it all I was able to come up with some goals.

Goals for 2011:

  1. Run for time, not distance; stop focusing so much on mileage.  It’ll be easier now with a Garmin to keep track of my miles without having to map out runs and etc, but some days I just want to run.  Run without caring about the exact distance.  At the end of the day, the miles I run in a week, month, year…that is not who I am.  I am not the miles I run, I am a runner simply because I run.
  2. There will be no more week in reviews.  No more formula posts to keep up with or anything else that cause me to self-pressure over miles/hours/etc.
  3. No more “100 push-ups a week” challenges for me.  Or anything of that nature.
  4. I will only host a give-a-way when I truly believe in the product.  I will not make the give-a-way rules harder than and IQ tests and there will always be less steps than when you call your credit card company!
  5. I will eliminate all unrealistic goals.  And I will push hard to achieve the realistic ones.
  6. Give myself a break.  Or two. Or ten.
  7. Realize I don’t need to blog every day.  Go back to quality over quantity.  My faithful readers will be here whether I blog once a day or once a week.
  8. Keep my goals more private.  Again, limiting the self-pressure.
  9. Continue to be an honest blogger.  Remember that at its most basic foundation this blog was my journey.  It is not always pretty, but it is always real!
  10. I will make it fun again. I want to channel the way I felt when I started this whole journey to my first tri…I felt fresh and new and it was fun.  I want to go back to how good it felt to just want to go to the gym…get out and run or hop in the pool.  I want to get back to a place where I knew what I was doing was making me a better person, not driving me insane.  I want to get back to me.

I just thought I should start the year posting how I really felt.  Being me.  Honest little me.

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23 thoughts on “First 2011 Post…Where I Have Been & Goals

  1. Jill – I can’t tell you how much I loved reading this post. Inspiration and motivation come from within, not without (you know what I mean). The only thing that comes from outside of us is pressure, and it sounds like you were taking on an extra-large helping of that last year.

    Good for you to zero in on the things you really want to do, chase and “be”. You are very right – the folks that follow and care about you do so because you are honest, funny, kind hearted and pretty darn wonderful.

    Running 20 miles a week or 60 miles a week doesn’t change that.

    Neither does running zero miles a week.

    Do what feels right – I’ll be following along regardless.

  2. Satisfy yourself; not others. The only people who should be taking this stuff seriously are coaches who get paid to take it seriously.

  3. love this- reflection, realization, true to yourself. i am that way with my blog now too!!! and i totally agree… do it for you.

  4. I love your goals. The great thing is that they are personal. What works for you won’t be the same as what works for me (I’m upping my training this time around…). I’m all for making it fun – because if it’s not what’s the point?

    I get you on trying to “fit in” with the athletic crowd. Maybe this is the year where I commit to my training plan without thinking of what other people’s opinions are. So my marathon time isn’t going to be a BQ (or even close)? Doesn’t matter as long as I try MY best.

  5. ummm. i love spreadsheets. we must be opposite pies. but that’s ok.

    also.

    i forgot what i was going to say and had to scroll up.

    also i can’t believe you don’t want to jump through fiery hoops for a giveaway. i mean i get the self-promotion and crap but having to tweet + fb + “like” + become a fan + become a follower + write an article for the local newspaper + get published in the NY Times + leave a coded message on the end of a roll of toilet paper. that’s the best part.

  6. Great goals! It’s good to evaluate how you feel and make changes to address anything that is sucking the fun out of your workouts.
    My only real goals for this year are to complete a few races and to keep on running and have fun. I don’t usually put too much pressure on myself though… and most of my friends actually run less than I do (I’m not in a running club or anything) so they all think I’m a little crazy with my modest amount of miles (compared to many others).

  7. Just so ya know, I think 99% of your posts, especially about races and trips to Hershey are pretty damn fun.
    And I can’t point to a single post that I’ve read that shouts quantity over quality.
    So yeah I’m saying, keep being awesome, keep your head up, and I dunno, go skydive again.

  8. Jilly! First and foremost, I miss you and we need a dinner date soon! I love this post. Well, I love ALL of your posts. It’s awesome how honest you are with your feelings, and I think you are on track for a happy and successful 2011! I know where you are coming from…..I feel like I’ve been in a similar slump lately. Little desire to work out hard, and feelings of guilt when I don’t. But just like you said, we ARE athletes…..and darn good ones! Hopefully we can get in a race or two together this year, even if it just means a 5k. Plus, a mandatory meeting at PF Changs every now and then. 🙂
    Keep your head up girlfriend.

  9. amen!! 🙂 i don’t know how people blog/log/etc every single run pace, distance, feeling, crap, snot rocket, etc. how can it possibly be fun when you’re tracking every single minute detail? i have never calculated my weekly mileage. i have a schedule each week, but i don’t know know what it adds up to. because who the F cares?? not me. what matters is that i’m having fun doing this! i just recently posted about how i’m not making any running goals this year. i have things in my head about challenging myself but goal schmoal. life is too short and i’m just going to roll with it this year. i feel like we should be discussing this over a bottle (or two) of wine!

  10. There is a balance needed for everything. Some days tracking the pace and distance can be fun other days we just need to get out and run. I think that is why I don’t have a garmin because I don’t want to know all those stats and get overwhelmed by them. I just get out and run and then I come back and can analyze the distance and pace if I want to. Its all about personal preference and you need to do what makes you happy!

  11. You know what: I love it!

    I love goals for myself and keep track of everything I do but I do it just for me. I don’t compare myself to others because there is always someone who’s faster, ran more, works out more. I’m on this health journey for me!

    And although I love the feeling after a run or a workout most of the times I don’t want to go because working out is still not natural for me. I have to push myself to go.

    As for the blogging, I blog on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and that’s enough for me. I have so much other things I want to do.

    So .. conclusion: do what you want to do Jill, it’s your life and you have to make it fun. If you blog 7 times or 1 time a week I’ll still be reading you because I like you.

  12. What a great post! I am happy that you came to the conclusion that you ARE an athlete, because it’s true. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter how many miles you run, or how fast, or how much you do of anything, or how often! Just that you are having fun! I know what you mean about people competing with each other. I read a few blogs that talk down the “slow” runners and it upsets me. I am just trying to have fun. And there are definitely days I don’t feel like working out! I really have to force myself to do strength/yoga, and I just try to do that so I don’t get injured 😉 I do enjoy tracking mileage and writing about it though, it encourages me and makes me feel pride.

    Oh, and the other thing I wanted to say, is that I think no one except US cares as much as we do about our personal athletic history, you know? I am not saying that to be mean, just that it is often something I tell myself if I get caught up in it all. I love hearing about all of my blog friends’ accomplishments, don’t get me wrong, but I am not upset if they get slower, or take a break, or have to cancel a race. I just want them to be happy. So… we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. 🙂

    I hope 2011 is a great year for you! I love reading your blog and am excited to hear about your new year 🙂

  13. This so resonates with me… I do love running, but I get frustrated when it seems like everyone is always asking “How fast did you run?” or “How far did you go?” or “When’s your next race?”… most of the time minutes after you finish something. There is no living in that moment, just always thinking how to look toward the future and how you have to “be better”.

    Your honesty is so refreshing to me and I love how open you are (yet, you’re going to be less open this year with some things… which is also awesome). I can learn a lot from you, and I wish I had figured out some of these things when I was younger.

    Cheers to you, make 2011 great for you… not for what you think others expect for you.

  14. Love it!! Be who you are and do what works for you and your life! Never mind what the Jones’s think!! Working out and blogging should give you joy and bring something positive to your life and when it doesn’t it’s time to reevaluate which is always good!!

  15. Oh, I just wanted to reach out and give you a big hug!!! I love you for your spunk, fun attitude and your constant support of others(and selfishly, me)…I see you has a hard and dedicated worker and athlete but NEVER,EVER feel like you’re being judged for your performances, results nor blogging dedication! Heck, I’d read your blog and think about you even if you only blogged once a month or once a year…you have touched my life and inspired me and now, YOU is who counts…not the numbers!!
    Have a great weekend and THANKS, for all of it!!!

  16. Aaaw, Jill! I’m so sorry you struggled with this!!!! And I’m so glad you are being honest with yourself. I think that’s a fantastic goal list for 2011. Can I be a little selfish? I’m in the same boat, that’s why I love your goal list! Haha! Happy New Year!

  17. Jill, I can imagine this was a hard post to write. Feeling like we’re not “good enough” in any way can really sink us into a depression. I know; I’m fighting a good fight against depression right now, mostly because my expectations of myself are not real.

    I believe in you, I respect you, and I really love how honest you got with yourself.
    My best to you,
    Lara

  18. You have some great goals here. You’ve always got to do what works for you. I can’t do the weekly updates either, I have trouble even keeping up with my monthly ones.

    I kind of do some of the same – I don’t post about EVERY run like some people do — just seems like it gets boring after a while 🙂

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