Believe in Your Ability to Succeed: January 2016 Goals Progress Report

January 2016 Goals Progress Report

With the first month of the year already over, it’s time to check in on my 2016 running goals. Progress reports keep us accountable while also sharing the very real ups and downs that go along with accomplishing goals in running. The ups and downs of January come down to one major theme: believe in your ability to succeed, and be ready to hours of hard work. But would any goal be worth pursuing if it didn’t require hard work?

You can read more about my running goals for 2016 from the post back in December.

I also want to hear in the comments how YOUR progress towards your goals is going!

Believe in Your Ability to Succeed: January 2016 Goals Progress Report

2016 Goals: January Progress Report

Run a Sub-1:40 Half Marathon

Training for the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon has gone very well so far, even with a few weeks of slightly less mileage than I planned. I’m a bit smitten with Hudson’s progression of workouts. I feel strong during each run and more than capable of the paces.

Last week’s goal pace workout was a prime example of that: it was windy and I was fairly congested, but I hit my paces at a moderately hard yet comfortable effort.

My last half marathon (my PR race) fell apart when I (1) started out too fast and (2) mentally gave up. I ordered Matt Fitzgerald’s How Bad Do You Want It? and began reading it this weekend to improve my mental ability to cope with discomfort during a race. I have focused this training cycle on not only running according to effort, but teaching myself to get more comfortable with harder efforts.

How bad do I want it? As badly as Charlie wants me to set the whole chicken on the floor in front of him each time I pull a fresh roast out of the oven: intensely.

If anything, this training cycle is reminding me just how much I relish and thrive in half marathon specific training. My marathon is at the end of July, and I’m a bit eager to sign up for some fall half marathons on the Eastside of Seattle.

PR in the Marathon

No progress here, other than building my speed and endurance in half marathon training, as marathon training won’t begin until April. I’m heavily considering adapting Hudson’s Marathon level 2 plan, since my adaption of his half marathon plan has worked so well so far.

Hike the Snoqualmie to Stevens segment of the Pacific Crest Trail

Again, no progress here because it’s not the appropriate time of year. Also, we’re realizing we may not have enough vacation days for this between our trip to London and a possible family vacation to Yellowstone (and the recent fixation I’ve developed on car camping in northern California). We could always hike a segment of the segment, though!

Improve Nutrition and Hydration for Races

I wrote an update on my fueling and hydration for long runs a few weeks ago. The combination of Enduropacks + Hammer gels + toast and banana before the run still works well for me, which is a good sign. On a recent 14 miler, I took two gels (half of one at 5, half at 7, and a full at 10) and finished feeling fantastic and didn’t have any stomach issues; in the past, two GUs would leave me feeling thirsty and felt as if they sat heavy in my stomach. Hopefully this method works on race day!

Grow My Coaching Business

Good things take time, don’t they? I have a couple clients for races in the fall, which is incredibly exciting. I’m still working on growing my clientele base, so if you are considering a running coach for your next race, be sure to check out my coaching services page and fill out the contact form there!

Expand my Pilates Practice

After sharing these goals in December, I decided to not wait until the new year and try some new Pilates workouts. I found a small collection of Pilatesology (a Pilates subscription site) workouts for free on YouTube and have been doing a combination of those a few times a week. Pilatesology of course emphasizes control, but they move at a slightly faster pace and employ the more difficult variations of the classic moves to work your muscles hard. I also love how they include Pilates push ups in every workout!

January was weird because of travel, so hopefully in February I can incorporate Pilates at least 3 times per week. I remember in college how defined even my upper body was when I taught 2 hours of Pilates a week, so ultimately I would love to get back to that level. I can feel even with just 30 minutes of Pilates a week how it improves my running form and strengthens my core.

Believe in Your Ability to Succeed: January 2016 Goals Progress Report

Life, Work, Etc.

While I haven’t shared my personal and professional goals on the blog yet, I began to work on them in January.

I volunteered throughout high school (I went to one of those schools that required service hours to graduate) and continued through college, but I stopped once I moved to a new city a few years back for graduate school.

Now that Ryan and I have settled into a city where we plan on living indefinitely and finally joined a parish, I wanted to start volunteering again. After searching for the right opportunity in terms of time and talent, I finally started making connections to hopefully use my writing and research skills to volunteer on a communications committee for a homelessness initiative at my parish.

I want to grow my freelance writing, and by grow I mean actually get paid to write. I did some freelance work here and there throughout 2015, but not much.  I’m working on some pitches and queries now, which makes me a little very anxious. I get in the way of my own success because I’m cautious, afraid, and hard on myself.

But this weekend Ryan and I were reading The 4-Hour Workweek and it occurred to me: what would I really lose by pitching? Half an hour of my time? The words “no” should be nothing more than an incentive to try harder and try again. I remember when I did not get into my first choice grad school (Notre Dame); after a few tears and drinks, I sent out more applications and quickly received acceptance to a few schools, including the University of Dayton, which then provided me with a full ride and a stipend so I could get my degree without any debt (which was very good, considering I don’t directly use my master’s degree). Sometimes you just have to try, even though trying is unnerving and scary.

So I started drafting queries yesterday to send. Eeeeek. The problem is I’m selective. But is there anything wrong in knowing exactly what you want?

You can sense when a website or magazine is a good match for your writing, and even if they’re a big publication where you may risk several rejections, it’s certainly is better than compromising your writing style, authenticity, or niche for a publication that you may have a better chance at publishing some article that’s only mediocre because the passion and knowledge isn’t there. I’m not the type to compromise and I’d rather work hard and get rejected a few times to get what I really want than to waste my time on what matters less and is less lucrative in the long run.

The takeaway? To succeed, you need to believe in your ability to succeed. So that’s my mini-goal for February, the golden thread throughout all of these other goals: trust in my own capability of succeeding. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which cost you nothing but provide a small commission to the blog. Thank you for your support! 

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Like this post? You may also enjoy:
How I Improved My Fueling and Hydration {Part One}
Set Bold Yet Realistic Goals for 2016
How to Run a Sub 1:45 Half Marathon

What progress are you making on your goals for 2016?
Do you ever get in the way of your own success?


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18 Responses

  1. I have started working on my monthly goal check-in and I can’t believe January is over already! While I feel like I have made some progress, I kind of feel like the month flew by and I barely got to accomplish anything. But If I learned anything last year it’s that progress takes time and there is no need to rush it. I can’t wait to see how you do in your next half- your training has been going so well!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! I’m excited to read how your goals are going. I feel like January is always such a quick month, like we just sit to catch our breath from the holidays and then – boom! – it’s February.

  2. You are doing awesome in your training! I am hoping that I can learn to not start out so fast in races, I did fairly well in my last half with this but need to make sure it sticks! I hate the mental and physical fatigue that hits me towards the end of those halfs! And yes to hammer gel!

  3. I think sometimes the person most preventing our success is ourselves. It looks like you are doing a great job and your goal for February sounds important for you.

  4. I’ve written about getting in my own way before. I go 80% of the way, and then I get scared of the disappointment and pull back. I’m glad that I made some real strides this past fall to work on that. I would love to talk to you about your pitching to various writing oportunities. I would love to do more freelance stuff, but I am a bit stuck in that rut, as it were.

    1. Shoot me an email – I’d love to talk to you! Not that I know half of what I’m doing, because pitching and freelancing is overwhelming and scary, haha, and sometimes it’s a challenge just to find places that accept freelance writers who don’t already have several years of experienced in publishing their pieces.

  5. I agree with you on the goals and the mental success. I want to read How Bad Do You Want It but my library doesn’t have it in (will have to get the loan I think). I was talking to a friend last night who’s blown up in a lot of races and told her, she is only 6 inches from her goal and it’s the 6 inches between her ears… I really believe this sport is 90% mental. You are going to rock your half marathon and that endurance will be GREAT for marathon training when you start too. Good luck with growing your coaching business and freelancing. I am a salaried technical writer for a company but would really love to do some freelancing as well.

    1. Blowing up in a race is so mental – both that it takes mental control to pace well in the beginning, and then it takes mental fortitude to stay strong when everything hurts. You should definitely read it if you can find it! And thank you so much!

  6. You’re making great progress on your running/training goals and its great to read about your personal goals as well. I love that you aren’t willing to compromise your writing style and values to be accepted by some publication. Although it may mean being more selective, I don’t think you will regret this in the long run! I definitely think I can get in the way of my own success. When self doubt or fear of failure set in, it completely steals my self confidence. I have to be careful to not allow it get the best of me. I try to remind myself of the times I’ve put myself out there and the amazing things that have happened. It helps. Keep us posted on how things are going with your freelancing! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Angie! That’s great advice about drawing on past successes – and remembering that past disappointments were never as awful as we feared. And I just pitched my first query to a fairly big magazine today! It probably won’t be accepted (hello, hoops to jump through), but trying in and of itself gave me a lot of confidence.

  7. I loved the Charlie chicken metaphor. 🙂 I’ve heard so much about that How Bad Do You Want It book. I’m still waiting for my Hanson’s book to show up so once I read that then maybe I’ll dive into this other one. I just think you’re amazing. You’re a very gifted writer and such an intelligent, compassionate person–I have no doubt that your goals will be met across the board. Goooooo LAURA!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Suzy! You are too sweet and generous in your compliments. 🙂 Charlie wants the chicken, but he also knows that practicing patience and control will eventually help him get some (I’m such a pushover for his puppy eyes. The metaphors kind of works that wait also. Hopefully your Hansons book gets there soon! It’s a good read and the book helps make sense of some of the aspects of training (like when long runs should go over their famous 16 mile cap, etc). Happy reading!

    1. There’s so many good videos out there! I’m always surprised at what I can find on youtube and it’s a great way to sample some subscription services before paying.

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