The importance of setting goals

Back in April, two colleagues and I set a goal of running the Amsterdam marathon. 6 months later, all three of us completed the challenge.

Any previous training sequence I had begun, had always failed. I either got bored of running or 1 week of inactivity lead to 2, 3, 4,… which meant I always had to start again. It’s tough to motivate yourself to get out there and get moving without actually having a proper reason.

After our marathon, which was exactly 4 weeks ago today, I feared I would grind to a halt. I needed something to look forward to. I managed, after about a week of rest, to put my running shoes on again and go for a run. It actually felt good, the aftereffects of the marathon were wearing off.

But still, I wasn’t sure what my next step would be. I had talked about doing a triathlon but nothing was concrete yet. Two other mates were also showing an interest in the 70.3 Moselle Ironman in Luxembourg on 17 June. You know how it goes, you get each other so excited that there’s no way back. So last weekend I paid and registered. 1.9km of open water swimming, 90km of cycling in the hills of the Moselle region and a half marathon to finish off. The pain will be real. But goal number 1 has been set.

I was also contemplating a second marathon. I know I can do better than the 4:34 I ran in Amsterdam. Every year, there’s a 10 miles race & marathon in Antwerp at the end of April. This year it’s on the 22 April. Our company always takes care of the entrance fees it for its employees which is pretty handy.
Even though I’ve not officially registered yet, this is definitely goal number 2.

In the meantime, 8 friends and I have decided to run 100km to aid cancer research. Luckily, you don’t run 100km on your own. The first person sets off and gets joined by the second person after 10km. At the 20km mark, the third runner joins the group and the 4th joins at 30km. That means the first runner will run a total of 40km, the second 30km, third 20km and fourth 10km, which is 100km in total.
To be allowed to run though, your team needs to raise a minimum of €2.500 for charity. We’re organising lots of different things, selling waffles and we’re going to have a stand on a Xmas market to sell homemade baby accessories,… It brings you together as a group, and feels great to be doing something which might, in the long run, help cure cancer.

I will be running either the 30km or 40km leg of the race. Still to be decided! The run is on 18 March, so that’s goal number 3. If you would like to donate, you can find all the information here: https://www.100kmrun.be/team/heroestherest

On Friday, the two colleagues who I ran the marathon with and I were talking about upcoming goals. I mentioned that I had already set three for myself. They were in the position I feared falling into, not knowing what they would do next. We had already talked about running a trail sometime in the future, and we’ve found one in the Ardennes that seems interesting! 25km with about 800m elevation gain. This would be on the 28th January and would be a completely different challenge! It’s not set in stone just yet but that would be goal number 4.

I went back to my sports doctor to have a second lactate threshold test. I was excited to see the results as I expected a huge improvement on my first one and wasn’t disappointed. My threshold has increased slightly but my training zones have changed dramatically which is great.
I also lost 11kg and got my body fat % down from 20.3% to 16.5%. Safe to say I’m a lot healthier now than what I was in April. This is the number one reason why I want to keep going and keep pushing myself. I feel so much better and fitter now.

So, 4 goals for the first half of 2018. Enough to keep me busy and motivated!

  1. Houffalize Trail 25km         28/01
  2. 100km charity run               18/03
  3. Antwerp marathon              22/04
  4. Moselle 70.3 Ironman          17/06

 

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