The Art Of The Goal
Going From Dreaming To Doing - An Interview With Little Wing
Goals. We've all got them. Living commitments to a future that's different from today. But goals are a journey - with a road that meets us in the present. So as we begin the process of collecting our compasses and defining our plan of attack - we catch up with our favorite trio of dreamers - Little Wing. Mel, Collier, and Jess break down how they move from dreaming to doing, and share their best advice on how you can get after your goals.
GOALS: YOU'VE GOT EM. WE WANT TO HEAR EM. WHAT ARE YOU RUNNING TOWARD IN 2017?
COLLIER: I've being doing left hand turns on the oval for +15 years so time to mix it up a little bit and test out the road racing world. Halfs, 10ks, 8ks, lots of stuff.
MEL: After coming off my strongest season yet (and the best since 2009), I want to focus on getting my times down, and of course, staying healthy and listening to my body. Nothing will happen if I don't do that.
JESS: Starting my career, working full time, while keeping my running + racing a priority. Opposite of Coll, I am dropping down in distance and will be focusing on the 800 and 1500 this year. SEA GAMES 2017, I am coming for you! The main goal: two gold medals.
WHAT'S GOING TO HELP YOU GET THERE?
C: When you set a goal, it's often something you've never done (or haven't been able to do in so long it basically feels like you've never done it). Figuring out what skills you've mastered, need to practice, and still need to teach your body are crucial to sailing those uncharted waters. I think of it as studying for a test. The information you get day to day is never 2+2=4 on test day. What else did you learn that gets you to four? I'm big on accepting what you are and in turn, using that to determine what skills you can cultivate. Not to say don't dream big, I dream with the biggest, but realistically what are you able to grasp and grab at to pull you closer to your goal. What fits in your toolbox?
I'm a pretty equanimous individual - it takes a lot to work me up. I've taken that trait and developed skills around it. Being as calm and cool under stress is the best skill I can continue to develop. Practicing even, calm breathing and keeping my eyes relaxed when I start hurting. Using my brain to focus on lowering my heart rate. Finding patience and discipline in that pain. Staying as stoic as long as possible.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR WHEN LIFE GETS IN THE WAY?
M: You can go out and run everyday, and that's the easy part. For me, it'll be important to start doing and paying attention to all the small things. My college coach always told us, "control the controllables." Sometimes life is going to get in the way, and there isn't much you can do about that. Instead, focus on the things you can control and don't stress over the things you can't.
J: Knowing that life will always get in the way. Rarely do things pan out exactly they way you planned. There will be road bumps, sickness, injury. It's about how you react to those hiccups! Stay calm, adjust your plan and go from there.
LOGGING. WE ALL KNOW IT'S IMPORTANT BUT HOW HAS IT HELPED YOU SPECIFICALLY?
M: Each day I write down what I did, generally how it felt, and I add more detail is something is a little achey. I like doing this so I can go and look back on all the workouts I have done and see how I've improved. I can also go back and look at little injuries I've had and compare it to any new ones I might get. Sometimes my achilles get a little sore, and after a while it's hard to keep track of which one was sore last. If I write it down, it's easier to track and remember.
C: My logging is fairly basic: distance, time, pace, and heart rate. We're able to look back at training blocks and highlight where things were and weren't going well. Then if I've been good with my logs, dig into the minutiae and pinpoint what exactly was going on. I have a hard time with true recovery runs so the heart rate has been a big one for me- I know when I fill out my log whether I did my recovery days right or not. I think Lauren would like a little more detail about how we were feeling because that's equally important, numbers can't tell you everything.
WHAT SHOULD WE BE KEEPING FRONT OF MIND AS WE TAKE ON OUR OWN GOALS IN 2017?
C: Know that failure is a possibility. I see a huge relationship between fear of the unknown and fear of failure. We fear failure because we're scared to see what we don't have or don't know. The same goes for success; there's more confidence chasing goals when things have been going well but it's still scary to do something you've never done. Some of my biggest breakthroughs have had these terrifying moments of shock that it's actually happening.
M: I’m a huge proponent for having balance in your life. I think it's pretty easy to drive yourself crazy focusing on one thing and one goal. It's good for the brain and body to have a few things in your life that make you happy, giving you balance and flexibility on your main goal.
J: Create smaller goals that build up to your larger goal. Sometimes our goals can feel too far away, too large or daunting. Hitting those benchmarks is encouraging and let's you know you're on the right track. Secondly, look around. Are you surrounded by people who support and believe in you? It's just as important as believing in yourself.