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Not meeting a goal is not a failure

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sounds like I'm setting up excuses, right? Or having a reaction to "The Black Swan". But no, this came from Runner's World Complete Book of Running for Women:

"If success were a certainty, you wouldn't have much of a challenge to begin with. There is little point in setting an easily attainable goal. Goals are meant to stimulate you and inspire greatness. A goal that is obviously attainable is without value.That means that any worthy goal comes with the implication that you might not meet it. Learning and growth come only in the struggle to attain your goal".

Remember my blog about baby steps vs big dreams? Now I think I get it! Yes, Virginia, you can have both -- but they shouldn't be easy. Yes, it's important to set yourself up for success, but not to the point that you are not stretching yourself out of your comfort zone.

And if you do fail? You learned something. Maybe you learned something not to do, maybe you learned that method or goal doesn't work for you, but you ALWAYS learn something. It's how we grow.

It's like kids. There's a fine line somewhere between giving kids awards for just showing up & trying, and motivating them without crushing their spirits when they don't attain their goals. It's the same for us. We're all just big kids.

In that spirit, my goal for my first 10k -- which may not be til October -- is to run it in 70 minutes. That may not be fast, but it would be fast for me. I'm not sure I can do that, but that is my goal. I already use that goal to visualize a finish line with that time on the clock.

And, of course, I still have a goal to get to my WW GW by my birthday. About a month away. Past experience says I can't lose that much weight in that amount of time -- not when I'm this close to my goal, anyway. Roughly 8 lbs. In a month. Which is a lot when you're that close to goal, but it CAN be done.

If I do not meet my goals, I will still have learned a lot along the way. Knowledge is power.

What are your big dreams and goals? What lessons have you learnt along the way?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OHSOSVELTE 1/14/2011 8:42AM

    Wow! (Hand slap to the forehead.) This is not supposed to be easy. We do not want it to be. Holy smokes. Thank you.
GO,GO,GO on that 10 K! I'll be cheering (oh, and training) on the sideline in spirit!

Comment edited on: 1/14/2011 8:45:12 AM

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MZSLYDE01 1/14/2011 8:36AM

    Yes I like that - Very nicely put.
It's so true too.
Your first 10K - How exciting for you. I hope you make your goal time and if not you have accomplished so much by doing it anyway.

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DOGMOMMA2THREE 1/13/2011 7:31PM

    Fantastic blog once again! I love the quote about goals. When I first joined Spark I was hesitant to make any goals as I had severe self-doubts. Now, after reading your blog, I realize that my goals shouldn't be something easily attainable but rather a challenge of sorts to keep me motivated!

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TARANIE 1/13/2011 3:52PM

    Very true that goals should be something that you have to work for! Good for you!

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RUNJEWELRUN 1/13/2011 3:47PM

    Great blog and great wisdom :)

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TEMPEST272002 1/13/2011 3:43PM

    LOVE the quote! I think one of the big life-lessons I've learned on this journey is to push myself past where I thought I could go. When I first started sparking, I thought of running as an impossible goal... but I took it one run at a time, telling myself that the only "failure" was if I didn't make the attempt at all. I pushed out of the comfort zone & ended up amazing myself with what I was able to accomplish.

I agree that 8 lbs in less than 4 weeks is not reasonable for you... but I bet you could get very close with concerted effort. Make a big push and shake up your routines and see where it takes you. I'll be cheering you on!

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MOMGABE 1/13/2011 1:35PM

    I think running a 10K under 70 minutes is a worthy goal. It puts your pace between 11-12 minutes miles. I, too, plan to run my first 10K this year. I think you have helped me define my goal time. Thanks! emoticon

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JRIMM4 1/13/2011 11:52AM


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NATPLUMMER 1/13/2011 10:35AM

    "If I do not meet my goals, I will still have learned a lot along the way. Knowledge is power. "
I like that a lot. It's true.
I think you will achieve your 10K goal. You do have a lot of time to prepare for it. As for the birthday weight goal. Yours and mine are the same and we've both got about the same amount to lose in the same amount of time. I pretty much think I won't make it. But I'm okay with it. If I can get half way, I'd be happy.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/13/2011 10:19AM

    Oh what fun to share this 10K goal with you. I know you'll do it and it'll be a great adventure.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/13/2011 7:37AM

    Any goal worth achieving is worth working for. It makes you appreciate it alot more. You said it perfectly. And I know you will do great on the 10K.

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A change will do your body good

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I have blogged, ad nauseam, it seems, about my oatmeal-cashini-chocolate chip habit. I know this doesn't sound healthy, but it truly can be -- in moderation.

Just as your body gets used to a certain type of exercise and doesn't have to work as hard at it eventually, so to does it adapt to eating the same foods all the time.

Much as I love this breakfast, I knew after almost 3 weeks straight of eating it it was time for a change. A savory change. I do tend toward sweet breakfasts: fruit & granola, fruit smoothies, oatmeal + chocolate chips, pancakes. All healthy.

So I made up some scrambled tofu for lunch one day, and had it for breakfast yesterday. Lots of veggies: broccoli, mushrooms, red onions, & avocado. Yum! And yes, it was back to oatmeal+cashini+chocolate chips this morning.

I believe you really do have to look forward to what you're eating. You have to anticipate it. I wrote a long time ago that food should be something more than fuel, and something less than comfort. But you should really enjoy what you're eating -- just don't get stuck in an eating rut!

Things have a way of working out. Since we did get our heating checked on Monday, and I was productive early in the day, that freed me up yesterday to go see "The Black Swan". If you're a perfectionist, this should cure you of that habit! I found it a bit odd, but thought provoking all the same.

And today the snow is really coming down, so I'll be on the treadmill again. And shoveling again (already shoveled some paths in the backyard, but they'll just have to be shoveled again at some point -- supposed to snow all day). A much shorter, but hopefully faster run.

I downloaded a new app: Running Log Free. It allows you do track your miles, automatically figures your pace, and a whole lot more. There's a more advanced version that only costs $.99, and I suspect this will be useful enough to spring for the full version eventually. Have I mentioned how much I love my Ipod Touch lately?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEYRED221 1/12/2011 8:48PM

    It does sound good, but what is kashini. I do like the idea of choc chips in my oatmeal though, gotta at least do that.

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EOSTAR_45 1/12/2011 4:33PM

    That is a great food philosophy--looking forward to enjoying your food. Cooking a variety of tasty, nutritious food and eating in moderation without feeling guilty about it. Love it.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 1/12/2011 2:17PM

    What is kashini? I love chocolate, but not chocolate chips. My current favorite is dark espresso chocolate with anise (even though I don't like anise.)

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LEONALIONESS 1/12/2011 1:36PM


This oatmeal owns me currently.
It is SO GOOD I crave it.

I do 50 grams oats (1/2 c. plus 2 tbs)
50 grams banana (1/2 a medium/large)
6 grams chia seed (.5 tbs)
6 ounces unsweetened almond milk
6-7 ounces water
bit of stevia and salt

and then top with maple extract, vanilla bean paste, pumpkin pie spice and a serving of reconstituted PB2. It's AMAZING. Creamy and so satisfying. You should give it a shot with the banana and chia cooked in.

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HALFFAST 1/12/2011 11:32AM

    Similar to your oatmeal breakfast, I add a T of peanut butter to my oatmeal. Or I make fiber one pancakes with chocolate chips :) This morning I changed it up a bit and had 2 hard boiled eggs on an Arnold sandwich thin with a wedge of laughing cow. Change is good :) Today is my 2nd rest day of the week so no running for me. I'll be spending most of my day on the phone in negotiations with my prior boss- they are basically begging me to come back and said I can even make my own schedule (hours/days). At first I thought it was undo-able, but since I've been playing with google maps I just might be able to make this work. They will, of course, have to compensate me for the (almost) 2 hour drive ;) Wish me luck!

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NATPLUMMER 1/12/2011 11:20AM

    I do love a tofu scramble. It is good to have a little something savory for breakfast every once in a while. Then you appreciate your favorite oatmeal that much more.
Have a great run. The shoveling will give you some upper body strength workout.
Glad you're loving your iPod touch. I've got an iPhone so wouldn't need it. Some of those apps are great.

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MZSLYDE01 1/12/2011 9:28AM

    LOL you crack me up.
I would love to know what is all in the Oatmeal-kashini-chocolate chip - I guess I don't know what kashini is???
Anyway sounds delic because I love oatmeal with chocolate chips and walnuts. YUMMY oh yeah and with banana too....
Anyway the tofu scramble is something I would really enjoy. I love both sweet or savory breakfasts myself. Depends on my mood.
I SO WANT TO SEE "THE BLACK SWAN" I thought it looked pretty different and thought provoking. Just up my alley.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/12/2011 9:27AM

    I was stuck in a rut too, I had to give up the trail mix for a while, now I'm into shredded wheat for breakfast. I guess we are all creatures of habit. Enjoy your run today.

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JOHNNIEGIRL0612 1/12/2011 8:12AM

    I am the same way. I get stuck in 'food ruts'. The only difference is I do not like breakfast foods. I do like a good scrambled tofu but it has to be savory. And spicy. I have learned to live with it...been this way since I was a child. As long as you are within your caloric range, I see no problem. Good for you for exercise! The snow scares me into the house. I like to look at it but not be in it!

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What do you do when a good day goes south?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yesterday started out well. I've been making a habit of listing 3 to-dos for every day. And I got started on them early -- got the laundry in the machine, cleaned a litterbox. Then I got on my treadmill for a looooong, slooooow run.

Long for me, anyway: 7 miles. Slower than usual for me, too: a 4 mph pace. i know for some people 7 miles is still nothing, but to me it still seems hard -- and I keep thinking to myself seriously? You want to try doing double that?

But that's why I'm working on distance now. Cause it takes me time to work up to these things! I don't want to take 3+ hours to run a HM -- not just cause that's a slow time, simply cause I don't really want to spend that much time running!

I'm not even planning to run a HM til 2012. Yup, that's me, the planner. Slow & consistent.

Anyway, I did it, felt somewhat good about the accomplishment (hey, it's only been a couple of years since I ran my first mile after all!), and that is when the proverbial s$*# hit the fan.

A couple of months ago we made an appointment to have our heating checked. Had all sorts of problem just getting the appointment made. I didn't remember when the appointment was -- sort of thought it was today, but no, turns out it was for yesterday. Despite the fact that we made the appointment 2 months ago, they couldn't be bothered with a reminder call (a pattern is starting here).

Good thing my group run was canceled, as the window was 2-5. Only she wanted to know if he could come now cause he had some time. Well, no, I'm sorry I'm in the middle of something that can't be put aside (I was already in the middle of cooking my lunch). She seemed shocked that I couldn't just drop everything to accommodate them.

So she asked if I'd be there at 2 and said he'd come right at 2.

I rush thru cooking my lunch, rush thru eating it, and yes, you guessed it . . . waited . . . and waited . . . and waited.

At 4:15 the phone finally rings. Did I still want him to come today? The previous stop turned out not to have heat so he was running late.

Well, I was upset. Not that they were taking care of a customer without heat, that they couldn't call to tell me they weren't coming at 2 when they had made it seem very important that I be here at 2. Had they called, I would have been able to walk the dogs. They didn't get walked Friday or Saturday due to the weather, and we have more snow predicted our way for tonight & tomorrow.

The girl starts getting upset right back at me, seemingly forgetting that she made a big deal out of the fact he'd be here right at 2, kept quoting that our slot was 2-5. Then going on about how they were helping someone without heat.

Totally missing the point. All I wanted was a call when they knew they would be late! That's it; so I could have gotten on with my life.

Then she asks me if I wanted to hear how her day went. This was my chance to be a big person, but of course I said no, I really don't care, I'm YOUR customer not the other way around. I was not abusive to her, I was not mean -- I was annoyed however. And that is when the phone cut to elevator music.

Seriously? Are you s#*%%ing me? After listening for about a minute I hung up. Apparently she went to get her supervisor, who called me back. Who actually did remember we'd already had problems with them. To say I am unimpressed by this company would be a mild understatement (remember, we've only lived here a year & a half).

Well, long story short, the dogs didn't get walked, but the guy did get here at 5 pm (then took an entire hour -- probably cause DH got home soon after & chatted him up).

So, how did I eat in response to this? Well, I'd already planned some rather high calorie, leftover pasta for dinner. Pasta, butter, garlic, cheese. Not exactly healthy (but it's a small amount of butter and not too heavy on the choose either, about an ounce per serving). I had originally planned a dessert, too, but had decided earlier in the day not to have it.

Well, I did have it. I was hungry. Did I eat in response to my emotions? Maybe. But at least I thought about it. It was just what I wanted, and I savored it. I don't feel guilty. Of course I'll feel angry if there's another gain -- I know I'm pushing it with that dessert -- 7 miles isn't as much energy expenditure as you like to think it is (which is why it's easy to gain weight when training for a race).

Well, I know people love to hear how we're still human & all, so there you go. Very much human.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 1/12/2011 2:19PM

    7 miles? emoticon Of course I'm laughing too, because I remember that not so long ago you didn't even want to do a 5k.
There's nothing quite like a long run when you're upset. It's not so long ago I wouldn't have dreamed of saying that either!

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HALFFAST 1/12/2011 11:40AM

    7 miles! Woohoo for you! That's fantastic! As far as customer service goes, you have to check this out... http://theoatmeal.com/comics/custom

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HEYRED221 1/11/2011 6:55PM

    I feel you. Customer service is one of my pet peeves and if they can't at least show the courtesy to call its very frustrating. And very unprofessional of her to not show you some respect. Hope it all got resolved in the end.

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TEMPEST272002 1/11/2011 5:03PM

    It's so disrespectful when they treat your time like it has no value. Grrrr.... hopefully blogging about it helped you release some of the stress.

I am in AWE of your 7 miles - slow or not! Be proud of that 7 miles. Think of all the people you know in real life... how many of them can run 7 miles? How many could run even 1?

Being the planner that you are, I have absolutely no doubt that you'll be running 14 by 2012. What a fantastic goal and kuddos for having that kind of commitment!

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ALYFITN 1/11/2011 1:22PM

    I get frustrated with service people, too. But I'm learning how I emotionally react and eat in response to the emotion. I'm learning I have a pattern of punishing MYSELF when I'm totally annoyed by another person. I am working on breaking this pattern.

There IS time I cut myself some slack. But these times are becoming fewer and farther between and I am CHOOSING them.

Good luck! And WAY TO GO on 7 miles!! Hooray!

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NATPLUMMER 1/11/2011 11:04AM

    Great job on getting in 7 miles!!!
A little common courtesy would be nice. I agree that they should have given you a reminder call and it was crappy of them not to let you know that they were running late.
You may have been hungry because you ran 7 miles. I think I would have wanted dessert by the end of the day, too.


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FRECKS96 1/11/2011 10:46AM

    Ugh! It sounds like you were much nicer than I would have been. Not calling is one of my biggest pet peeves, too (and it's my hubby that's the worst!) Hopefully you got a good night's rest and can move on today knowing that your heat is fixed and that you can call another company next time.

Good Luck!

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LEONALIONESS 1/11/2011 9:26AM

    Hey, I want to toss myself on a sword doing much more than 3-4 on a dreadmill, so 7 is great! You're stronger than I am. I did an 8 once, before my marathon, and it was AWFUL. I hate the dreadmill. :( I just realized that my 18/19 week marathon training for my June full starts up on the 25th. SOB. At least the first month the long runs aren't much more than 10-13... I'm going to go crazy on the dreadmill. Hope for balmy unseasonable weather in MN for me?

And I hate service calls where they give you a range.
Honestly, I never expect them when they say. They have the range so they can be unpredicable and keep you waiting and you can't say they are late, since they WERE in that ridiculously long range of times. Sigh.

That's also why when anything ships UPS or FedEx, I send it to work. I'm NEVER home when they have that delivery time range. And then you get the warnings...

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MZSLYDE01 1/11/2011 8:08AM

    Wow - I am frustrated just from reading it. I hate it when they do that - We'll be there between mumbo shmumbo. I don't even want to think about it or I am going to get mad. LOL
You handled it like a LADY.
Great job on the the 7 miles. I wish I could 7 miles - Although I am not a runner - would someday like to do a mile or 2 but that can be one of my challenges.
Hope your day goes better today!!!!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/11/2011 7:57AM

    I can feel your frustration from your blog. People don't consider our time valuable and you had every right to be upset and glad you let them know it. People can be so inconsiderate, good job on setting them straight. Way to go with a 7-miler on the treadmill, that alone is impressive. emoticon

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DOGMOMMA2THREE 1/11/2011 7:50AM

    Gotta love...err...hate customer service! I agree with you, if they tell you a time and they don't show up, it is up to them to notify you that they are running behind. That way, you are not pacing the floor waiting.

7 miles, 7 miles.....I'm tired even reading about it!

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SHEILA1505 1/11/2011 6:53AM

    The days when the customer is King seem to have gone don't they! The courtesy of phone calls when they are running late is such a simple thing - and as you say, you could have rescheduled other things.

Since when is the service provider or anyone else's hour more valuable than ours?? Such disrespect - but hopefully your problem has now been rectified


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Running jinx & where motivation comes from

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm beginning to think I may be jinxed from running in groups. Last year I signed up for a running tour of NYC, only to have it canceled when my guide got an acting gig & we couldn't set another time.

I joined a local running group, and even signed up for my first group run this afternoon. Only the leader got sick so it's canceled.

No worries, I will still run. But it's cold & it's breezy & I am not my buddy DDHEART & I'm gonna do my long run on the treadmill today. Cause I don't fancy running loops around my neighborhood and I don't really want to give up the time to drive somewhere now that I don't have to.

While I was looking forward to finally running with people and (maybe) conversing -- considering the official pace was much faster than I can run -- I wasn't really enthusiastic about running in the late afternoon, especially as it would get dark before the end of the run and that would make it even colder.

I know I'm not really a jinx, and I know at some point I WILL do a group run. Just not today. And since I have a bunch of chores to do around the house (already got laundry started and one litterbox drip drying), the extra time (and warmth) will be appreciated. I'll just have to give up my hot cocoa!

So where does motivation come from? Well, it can come from many sources, but one great source is actually having an exercise group/buddy/partner. It's way easier to wimp out on exercise when you're only effecting yourself.

For all the reasons stated above, I would never choose to run at that time at this time of year. But I was motivated to at least try running with other people -- that would've worked to get me out the door.

So even if you think you're a lone wolf, give a group/buddy/partner a try. Even if you're very shy, as I am (no, really, I am; you'd know that if you met me in RL without having met me here first).

And if you don't have any RL groups/buddies/partners, that's the beauty of SP. You've got them just waiting to join you here.

You don't want to disappoint your buddies, now do you? I thought not.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEMPEST272002 1/10/2011 5:01PM

    How disappointing to gear yourself up for the group run, and then have it cancelled. Hopefully next time it will all come together.

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JRIMM4 1/10/2011 1:51PM

    I'm sure your group run will come together at some point, just keep trying for it! As a 'Lone Wolf' I know, deep down, that you are probably right! An exercise buddy would likely be an advantage, now where to find one with a similar crazy schedule (Gym visits that vary from 8 am to 10 pm) and who is not too chatty lol.


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RUNJEWELRUN 1/10/2011 12:47PM

    That is hilarious! I hope you find a nice group(since you actually want to run in one). The last time I tried to run with someone, it ruined our friendship and the only other time I did group runs before was in the Army(gotta love basic training).
Hope your day gets better! Congrats on your seven miles :)

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MZSLYDE01 1/10/2011 12:24PM

    Awe - Sorry the leader got sick but it looks like you have been keeping busy and getting the run in anyway. Your right - If you have buddy's you don't want to dissapoint them.

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NATPLUMMER 1/10/2011 10:50AM

    No, you're not really a jinx. It is kind of a weird coincidence though. You will get a group run in eventually.
Nothing wrong with doing your run on the treadmill as long as you are willing to give up your cocoa.
I'm shy, too. Once I get back to running, perhaps I will try to find a group. I'm sure it would mess up my super early morning exercise but if they met on the weekends, that would be doable.
Have a great inside run!!

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/10/2011 10:26AM

    My question is just the opposite. My highly-motivated personality came to a screeching halt a few years ago and it has been a remarkable difference. Where has my motivation gone? I have to pretend to myself that I am motivated so that maybe someday the real stuff willl return. Have a wonderful day.

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HALFFAST 1/10/2011 9:55AM

    Good morning Judy! I can totally relate to this one! I am also very shy and prefer my "Lone Wolf" running. I have been toying with the idea of joining a running group since there's one so close now, but then my fear sets in. What if they don't like me, what if I'm not fast enough, blah blah blah! So I guess that's next on my list of things to do- Overcome This! Have fun on your run and have a great day!

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FRECKS96 1/10/2011 9:42AM

    It's so true. As much as I love my solo runs, I also love running with a partner or a group. And, it really is motivating to know that others are watching and cheering you on.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/10/2011 8:20AM

    Sorry your group run didn't work out today, but glad you are getting "outside the box". So proud of you for wanting to surroud yourself with exercise oriented people. I know it's hard doing it alone in the real world, but you are never alone on SPARK. I'm one of your biggest fans. Keep up the good work. You ARE motivated. emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 1/10/2011 8:16AM

    Find a Galloway group, Judy. There are usually lots of different pace groups and you can find one that's right for you.

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DDHEART 1/10/2011 8:15AM

    Judy, you crack me up....your post kind of talked right around in a circle from running jinx to you're doing your run (nothing to be ashamed of hitting the dreadmill) along with all of the other household chores and encouraging the rest of us to find ways to get out there outside of our personal comfort zones! Have a good day...me, I'm thinking we have a semi decent weather day (while it lasts) and I'm gonna hit the pavement for a long run before it starts to snow again!

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I have the reward, now what to reward?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

It already looks like my goal to be at my WW GW by my birthday may already be out of reach, but I haven't thrown in the towel yet.

One of my goals for this weekend was to think long and hard about a reward that would motivate me. I was having real trouble, cause pretty much everything I was thinking up that was REALLY motivating cost money, and of course one of my other goals is to save up for my Ipad.

Finally I hit it: use one of the house cleaning coupons my husband got us. Perfect. Very motivating to have to do less cleaning around my birthday. And it's already paid for.

Now, what exactly do I reward, tho? I already know that try as hard as I might weight loss isn't really under my control. Oh, I suppose it could be if I never ate any sugar again and never ate out. I don't eat out a whole lot, and even less than usual lately -- but those aren't really realistic goals for me.

I'm having a bit of a problem coming up with something that is truly measurable and something I'm not already doing. Exercise is not a problem for me -- and I already feel like I spend most of my spare time exercising (altho I suppose I need to really do the math like my buddy Carolyn) -- maybe just a bit of extra exercise 4 times a week? Or one extra run a week (I typically only run 3 days a week)?

Maybe weigh & measure everything a certain number of times per week?

Record every BLT?

A savory breakfast x number of times per week?

I've got to think some more about this, but I've got to make a decision soon! Before I know it, my birthday will be only a month a way!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MZSLYDE01 1/10/2011 12:05PM

    Hmmm - My birthday is February 8th - Am I reading the post right that your a Feb baby too. NICE.
I can't come up with rewards for myself either. I have everything I pretty much need or want. If you get any good ideas let me know. I think the whole house cleaning thing is awesome because that is what I need help with the most.

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NATPLUMMER 1/9/2011 9:52AM

    The house cleaning coupon is a great idea for a reward. It is hard coming up with something measurable that is in your control. I know exactly how you feel about weight loss not really being in your control. I think I will use for myself the weigh & measure everything for all meals I prepare myself. We do go out quite a bit on the weekends and I'm meeting with a girlfriend this Monday and next. But I think I'm really going to crack down on the measurements myself. Maybe that's the key. Thanks for the idea.
Good luck!!! February is fast approaching.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/9/2011 9:30AM

    So, we are both Aquarians? Mine is Feb. 8. I have a tough time finding rewards because I've run out of things that motivate me. No kidding! Have a fun day.

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