So I kind of had an epiphany recently. Remember OATT Syndrome and that god-awful case of it I had a few months back? Well, I’ve kept it at bay recently (mostly, anyway) and I think it’s because I’ve figured out that there is a difference (and a big one) between goals and rules.
For me, goals are milestones I set for myself — something to work towards, to reach for, to strive for.
Rules become mandates or things I must do, must tick off my list, must abide by.
For awhile, the line between my goals and my rules were blurring, overlapping — becoming one and the same.
…which is why I had a hard time embracing rest days.
…and struggled with being ok with adjustments in my workout ‘plan’ for the week (OMG I had to move a planned run from a Monday to a Wednesday, NO WAY)
…and was obsessed with being so goddamn perfect all the time (which clearly nobody can be) instead of striving for excellence instead.
The whole concept of rules vs. goals came into play recently with marathon training too — at the very beginning I was so fixated on my training plan and making sure I got EVERY mile of EVERY run in. But guess what? “LIFE” happens. Sometimes those running plans change — you’re super tired and can’t eek out that run, or at least not the run distance you planned on. Or you have to work late and can’t get the run in the way you want to. Or you have to sub an extra class at the studio which messes with your training schedule that week. Instead of letting it roll off my back, I’d get so frustrated, I’d OATT over my training plan until my sister told me to walk away from it, and it was getting a little bit ridiculous, quite honestly. I was stealing the joy right out of the process.
But recently, something changed.
I realize that my training plan is just that — a plan. It’s not a mandate, not set in stone, not a must-do-or-die sort of thing. I mean really, we’re not talking life or death here.
I also trust my training a heck of a lot more now. I realize that if I don’t get one of my shorter runs in, or in the way I had planned (i.e. 8 miles vs. 10 or 7 vs. 9), I’m not going to crash and burn on race day. One run is not going to make or break me on October 7. I truly think our 20-miler last week is what sealed the deal for me. I know I can tackle 26.2 now, thanks to that 20 miler. But back to my real point here — my training plan is a plan, and I trust it, I trust that process.
I also realize that life isn’t a matter of a set of rules to live by, or mandates — it’s about living each day as best as you can, reaching for your goals and doing your darn best. It’s as simple as that.
…and it kinda goes back to the whole “just be” mantra, too.
(in a big way, actually)
So next time I start going into OATT mode over some silly ‘change’ in my day, my routine, my structure, my ‘norm’ — I’m going to refer back to this post (and if I don’t, someone PLEASE play the tough love game with me and use my words against me!!). It’s the reminder I need now as we head into the final weeks (!) of training, but also after the marathon, when I can settle back and revisit my life, setting a new ‘normal’ for myself all over again. (which I’ll definitely need to do given some other big changes in life for me…something I’ll share with you guys soon, I promise)
So now I ask you — do you see a big difference between goals and rules or do they blur a lot for you, too (for better or worse)?
<<And PS apologies in advance for such a serious post for a Friday…and for a Friday before a long weekend in fact. Geez 😉 >>