Thoughts on goals

The countdown to 2015 is on, and I’m working on setting some goals for coming year. The first and biggest: Run 1,000 miles. I’m aiming for 100 miles a month, knowing that my travel and summer bird camp schedule will make for some weeks when I just can’t get many miles in.

I’ve been using December as a test run, trying to get in a groove before January 1 comes around, and it’s been great, actually. This time of year, when the days get shorter and weather turns colder, has always been a hard time for me to get out and run, so I’m always trying to find things to keep me motivated.

Being part of the Oiselle flock has really helped (nothing like seeing the accomplishments of other people to get motivated). I’ve also started using my Garmin regularly on runs. I’ve had a Forerunner 305 for years. I’ve used it off and on, but the software it came with was a little clunky and for the past few years I’ve mostly been using my watch or running without keeping track of time at all. This month I dusted off the Garmin and found out that there is now a whole new system: Garmin Connect. It has all kinds of groovy features, including the ability to set and track progress on all kinds of goals–mileage goals (by week, month, year, etc.), distance goals, frequency goals, and even calorie goals for those who are so inclined. So I set weekly goals and monthly goals for December to try to get to 100 miles this month. And it turns out that seeing the progress bar shift to the right is a real motivation for me to run. The first thing I do when I get home is hook my Garmin up to the computer and upload my data.

I’ve also gotten back into listening to podcasts while running. I used to do this all the time. Then I began running with other people and started leaving my iPod at home. Fast forward to today, when I am mostly running on my own again. I struggled with motivation. Getting out to run on some mornings felt impossible. Then I remembered podcasts. Yesterday I went out on a run pretty much solely because I wanted to listen to the last episode of Serial. Current (and some perennial) favorites: This American Life, The Moth, Radiolab, Wiretap, Third Coast International Audio Festival, and 99% Invisible.

I also added a new widget to my website, over there in the upper right-hand side. I’m tracking my weekly/monthly/annual mileage and putting it out there for the world to see (well, I’m not that deluded–for the two of you who read this blog to see).

I’m working out a few more goals for the coming year, one of which is to write here regularly. But 1000 miles, watch out. I’m coming for you.

What are your goals for 2015?