After the Chicago Marathon, I was trying really hard to come up with some new running goals for 2014. I'd reached all my time goals; I didn't have any particular race that I was itching to run; and I just wasn't sure which direction to go. I ended up setting some pretty steep goals to PR in the 5K, 10K, and half-marathon distances this spring, and I wrote out a hardcore training plan for it.
I just haven't been able to get excited about it, though, probably because those goals really didn't have meaning to me. I just came up with them because I couldn't think of anything else. After my first hospital visit with Mark, I felt something change inside of me. I wanted to truly enjoy life! The exact moment it hit me was when Mark offered me a piece of his chocolate. I said no, and thanked him anyway. I started to explain--I asked him if he remembered when I was very heavy, and explained that I lost the weight and that I have to be very careful about what I eat...
Mark and I hadn't been very close; until his diagnosis, I only saw him a few times a year, when my dad brought him fishing or on Halloween for Mark's birthday. I never expected that his illness would affect me the way it has. I drive 45 minutes each way to visit him every other day, and on the days I don't go, I am excited to talk to my parents to ask how he's doing (they usually visit on the days I don't). I feel like I've really gotten to know him through these visits, and I look forward to each one. I try to think of ways I can bring him some joy, like with a strawberry milkshake or the hush puppies he was craving.
It's because of him that I have this urge to enjoy everything that I do. And that's why I revised my running goal for 2014. I don't want to focus on numbers, or trying to reach a particular time goal. Instead, I want to run for the pure enjoyment of it. Sometimes I enjoy running fast, but sometimes I want to slog through the whole thing, stopping to take pictures or chat with a friend. I no longer have any goal races for this spring, and that makes me happy! If I feel like running a race, I'll do it for the scenery, or to pace a friend to her goal, or just be around other runners. If I feel like racing hard, I may do that, too. But for now, my running goal is to not have any running goals--just have fun :)
Another goal that I want to focus hard on this year is being binge-free. The chocolate-incident with Mark inspired me to stop counting everything and work on eating "normally" without bingeing. I'm happy with how it's going! My weight has stayed pretty steady, which I'm fine with, because my BMI is in the normal range.
The third goal I want to focus on is to do one random act of kindness every day, big or small. I was inspired to do this when I saw just how many people were sending Mark kind cards, letters, pictures, and gifts. I got a warm feeling inside, and thought about just how nice everybody is! I would love to pay it forward by doing something nice for someone else each and every day.
So, my main three goals for 2014 are:
1) Be binge-free.
2) Try to find enjoyment in everything that I do.
3) Do a random act of kindness each day, big or small.
I didn't want to make my list too long, because that gets overwhelming... but something else that I hope to accomplish this year is to stick with strength training all year (two days per week). I've done it for a few weeks now, so I'd like to make it a habit. I guess if I "officially" mark this as #4, I'm committed ;)
Anyone else making some