77 days ...

There are 77 days left in 2017. That's it. 77. 

And I'm not sitting around waiting for time to pass to "start over" or start something new. I am, quite simply, tired of those words and tired of that mentality with A LOT OF THINGS, especially when it comes to running. 

A little more than a month ago, I finally dropped "Running Because" because it didn't fit me. It doesn't mean I'm giving up on running ... it simply means that running won't define me in the online world. 

Now that I've been going to the gym regularly for several months and doing all the things I rarely did while running, I have a whole new approach and mindset to fitness. I will get back to running one day, but it's going to be completely different. 

There's no doubt that 2017 has been a failure in a lot of ways, but at the end of the next 77 days, I don't want to look back on the year and think that it was horrible just because a couple of illnesses and injuries threw off my running goals. 

So what can I do in the next 77 days? Here are some thoughts I've had since starting this post (which was at 82 days when I saved it in draft at the end of that question):

- Whatever old way of thinking I had before isn't going to work. It's time for a new mentality. While having three goals each month works to some degree, it's OLD. It may not completely go away, but I'm not setting three goals every month. 

- Mileage is not important. When it comes to running, over the next two and a half months, I'm running whatever feels right. Maybe it will be a tenth of a mile, or maybe I'll try running 2 miles. I've got to focus on just moving forward without focusing on miles for a little while. I may vaguely post to social media more than I already do about running and not being specific with my distance.

- I want to reconnect with old running friends. It's been 2 years since an AMAZING experience at the Runner's World Festival where I made awesome connections. I've lost touch with too many of those people for a variety of reasons. 

- I will continue to ride my bike, a lot. And yes, mileage will be a focus and I'll set goals based on mileage, but I'm learning more and more that time on the bike is more important than distance.

- I will also continue to lift weights and do lots of push-ups. The last time I felt this strong was well before I ever ran my first race in 2004. I have finally moved beyond that point of "I need to do more with cross training" to being really strong. 

- When Dec. 31 gets here, I want to be able to reflect on this post and not be disappointed in myself. And that, my friends, is truly what I'm after ... 

Power of 3 is back for the final 1/3 of 2017

Focusing on 3 goals at a time per month was a perfect way to start the year, but for the past couple of months I decided NOT to set any goals as I had yet another comeback from injury.

I just wanted to be in the moment and not worry about crossing things off a list.  

About a week ago, I decided to bring back "power of 3" to get myself refocused on the final 1/3 of the year. I was pretty sure the fall races I signed up for would be out, but I was ready to be serious about running goals again.  

My goals were going to be simple -- getting my long run back to 8-10 miles (I was already back to 6), some kind of cross training goal (probably trying out new machines at the gym), and something about doing some kind of race (until last week, I still was confident I could do the Virginia 10 Miler). 

But then ... my foot hurt after I wore new shoes on Saturday for an easy hike. This time it was the right side of my body -- the opposite side of my problems from the past year. 

So ... I don't know what's going on, but I'm tired of running, getting injured, getting better, then repeating. I'm not sad about it -- I'm just flat out exhausted from the process.

The good thing? I've done a lot of cross training since my last injury in June. Lifting weights, riding my bike and a little bit on an elliptical have worked well -- they've helped my running more than I ever thought possible. And those are the things I'm ready to focus completely on for September.

I almost decided to not have any goals for this month as I deal with another injury, but that would get me nowhere. It's time for my "Power of 3" mindset to return in September and for the final 1/3 of 2017.

So with all this said, here are my 3 goals for this month...

  1. DON'T run more than a mile at a time. The only running I plan to do is a tenth of a mile or two with my dog once the pain fully goes away.
  2. Increase max weight lifting by 10%. I'll be testing myself today on a few machines to figure out what my true max is and then try to increase that this month. 
  3. Ride my bike and stationary bike at least 60 miles. With no running, this is my next best thing to have for a distance goal. It seems low, but I'm also planning to do aerobic workouts on the elliptical.