Monday, March 01, 2004

Small Goals

I don't normally work out on Mondays. In order to save some money, I joined The Fitness Center under their 5-days-a-week plan. I have full access to all facilities except on Monday and Wednesday. I've worked around it and I think the savings is worth it. Anyway, as I was driving home today with the windows down, enjoying the 60ยบ weather, looking at the gorgeous pink and orange sunset and the partly cloud sky, I decided that I should go for a run around Centennial Park. Actually, I debated myself first. I should go for a run, I thought. But I don't usually work out on Mondays. But it's so nice outside. No, no, I'll just wait, I'll work out tomorrow. Wait, why am I talking myself out of working out? Ok, yeah, I'll go for a run! I hurried up and changed so I could get started while it was still light out. I was pumped up to run and I took off head first into the 15 MPH wind. I had to push pretty hard against it. The second half will be easier. After I finished going south down the west side of the block and turned to head east, the wind was finally on my side instead of in my face. Normally when I run, I go for about a mile, then walk a little, then run about another mile. But today, I thought it might be possible to run around the whole block. I ran in the grass just inside of the sidewalk; the ground was the perfect consistency. It gave just enough underfoot so that it was comfortable, unlike the concrete of the sidewalk. After I had covered two of the four sides of the rectangular block, I considered stopping and walking or stretching. But I didn't. I'll just run to that tree. But when I got to that tree, I decided to go for the fire hydrant, then to the parking lot, then to the sign, and so on. Next think I knew, I had come all the way up the long side of the block. Keep going. I kept setting small goals.

When I started running in earnest two months ago, my short term goal was to be able to run around Centennial Park nonstop. Today, by breaking up my larger goal into small, realizable chunks, I achieved my goal. It felt great today to be able to run over two miles nonstop. Some people might scoff at a measly two miles. But when I started, I was totally dizzy after running one mile. Near the end of my run today, I was pretty fatigued, so I was picking landmarks that were only 10 or 20 yards away. But I kept doing it, I didn't give up. I succeeded.

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