“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air” says I Corinthians 9:26.
We all have and set goals in our lives, but it’s that focus – and self-discipline – that allows us to achieve them.
We asked our group members two questions recently:
1.) What is your number one personal goal for 2014?
2.) What is your number one wish for the running and triathlon community this year?
While we didn’t limit the first question to athletic performance only, it’s only natural that in any running or multisport training club or group it is the first thing off the top of our heads.
Above all of those, though, comes from somewhere in Afghanistan where Melissa Poole is currently stationed in her service to our country as part of the United States Air Force.
It was simply to, “Come home.”
We couldn’t agree more, but Melissa’s personal caveat was to be able to set a personal best at the Marine Corps Marathon in late October in Washington, D.C.
To be – and perform -- at our best, we have to aim “to run healthy and happy … one week at a time,” according to Volte coach Adrienne Langelier.
Kelly Green wants to stay on the healthy trail too, but added “… to get stronger and a little faster.”
Yet others just need a push, even our founder, Bill Dwyer.
“Start running races again. It’s long overdue,” he said.
Meanwhile, you have to appreciate Kelly Whiddon’s honesty. She said she just wants “to be motivated to exercise again.”
Tracy Raborn isn’t far behind saying that hers “is to get back to my running; 2013 was a roller coaster.”
Keeping her “running strong” is where Naika Vargas aims to be at and also “free of injuries and joyful”. Either the Chicago Marathon or New York City Marathon awaits her later this year – and maybe a 50-miler in 2015.
Some common themes emerge too. Can you identify them?
“I have many personal goals, but my running-related goals are to remain injury free, train smart and smash my BQ time,” said Carrie Hyde.
“Mine are to train smarter and more consistently while staying injury free and to keep my focus – moving ahead one day at a time,” added Marta Mixa.
Anita Werner attaches a qualifier to hers.
“Stay healthy and train consistent all year and race to my capability at Ironman Wisconsin (in September),” she said. “Beating Derek Bailey would be a bonus.”
Continuing “to train hard, get stronger both physically and mentally” is the desire of Erica Cahill in addition to running a personal best in her next marathon.
That is what Michell Bradie is focusing on for March’s The Woodlands Marathon – let alone her sub 4-Boston qualifier, but she says, “Realistically, it is to run faster without injury and enjoy myself and the company of my fellow runners.”
Enjoy seems to be the operative word with Mary Carter too.
“Getting fit and healthy and enjoying running at whatever level my body allows” is her primary focus, she said. “This year is about taking care of myself so that I can continue my passion for the sport and helping others pursue the same.”
And, then again, some goals are impending – as in this weekend:
Randy Harris? “A really good time at Houston.” He’s running his first Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday.
Volte coach Rich Cooper’s main goal is to complete his 11th Houston Marathon – and first in the 50-54 age group. (After that, he says his aim is to break 1:25 in the 10-miler and also post a sub-1:50 half marathon.)
Two weeks to follow is Curtis Hooper’s adventure at Rocky Raccoon 100 in Huntsville. But after he recovers, his focus is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
It is the desire of Derek Bailey’s heart too. (Well, not the 100-miler, but rather to requalify for Boston – and with his long sought after sub-3 hour time.)
Brian Jackson’s was in agreement with the 100-miler aversion, but he aims for personal bests in all of the Dopey Challenge distances – 5K, 10K, half marathon and the marathon.
Yet not all in one setting.
Justin Bui did all of those distances last weekend at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, but the former Valparaiso Crusader cross country and track and field athlete wants to complete his first triathlon this year – and go under 1:20 in the half marathon.
Much like Jackson, Jerritt Park, though, has specific numbers taped to his refrigerator door: “run under a 19-minute 5K, break 41 minutes in a 10K, 1:31 half marathon and maybe, just maybe, a sub 3:25 marathon.”
Those will make you go “Wow”, which is the type of race that Randy Smith is shooting for in 2014.
We’ll have to get Tabitha Young and Gabby Coates together as they both want to go sub-2 hours in the half marathon as well as marked achievements in the marathon. Tabitha is shooting for a PR while Gabby presses towards the 4-hour mark at The Woodlands Marathon on Saturday, March 1.
Then the wheels literally move in to motion for Coates as she embarks on a triathlon journey this year that she aims to realize a sub-1:25 performance in early May at the already sold out CB&I Triathlon in The Woodlands – and a half Iron distance race in 2014.
Somebody in our group will receive a real treat in 2014 as David Odom desires to “help someone run a really fast road distance (10K, half marathon or marathon)”.
And finally, a goal we all should possess, but verbalized by one of our recent Volte additions, Hope Layman.
“To have faith in myself because God gave me a talent that I have never questioned,” she said. “I love running, no matter what has happened (in the past).”
Those talents, of course, to be used and worked are much, much more than just putting one foot in front of the other, as Matthew 25:14-30 suggests.
Today is for our goals.
Tomorrow, we’ll reveal our wishes for the running and triathlon community in 2014.