I had a great run this morning. 7 miles under blue skies. It was 55 degrees which is so warm for late November here in Philly. I wore my Garmin for the first time in a while, and found my average pace to be much faster than I thought it’d be. I’m making progress. Postpartum progress I call it. Getting stronger and faster. Running further. Yet, I found myself feeling emotional today. A bit sad.
See, this morning is the Philadelphia Half Marathon. Tens of thousands of runners set out today to run 13.1 miles. But I wasn’t one of them.
When the babies were born and I started running again, I jumped ahead to this day and told myself I’d run the half. I would get up early and run before the babies were awake. To run even when I was tired. To push myself physically to get back into shape. I did it before, why can’t I do it again?! But a few weeks later, I realized how unrealistic my goal was. While it might be possible for others, running a half marathon 5 months postpartum (after an emergency c section with some heavy complications) for me would be irresponsible. My goal oriented-ness had gotten in the way of rational thinking. I was trying to go from 0 to 13.1 in 15 weeks. Did I think I was Superwoman?! Why would I want to push myself into something before I’m truly ready only to risk injury or burn out?
It made me realize it’s okay to not reach a goal – especially when that goal isn’t realistic. That being said, I let go of my half marathon goal a few weeks ago. But I think I’m most proud of the fact that even without a race to train for I’ve still been averaging 15-18 miles a week and I’m feeling like I can increase that. I’ve been doing long runs on the weekends. I have been getting up and running before the babies are awake during the week. I push myself physically. I’ve been adding in strength training as well as continuing yoga to my routine. I’m seeing results. So while today wasn’t a race day for me as I thought it might be, I still have so much progress to be proud of. I’ve been working hard. So I’m going to celebrate all that.
But also, I want to hear your thoughts on goals, specifically unrealistic ones. Have you ever set a goal – only to realize later it was unrealistic? Did you still go through with it? Did it work out the way you wanted? Or if not, did you have a hard time letting it go – even though you knew it wasn’t the right goal for you? I want to hear your stories! Comment below.