Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

2011 Resolutions | #2 – Run At Least 3 Races

Runner 693

Image by tychay via Flickr

I have been meaning to talk about the power of goal setting and some methods for setting and achieving goals on this blog.  As a way of addressing this topic, I am going to talk about my four resolutions for 2011 this week.

I do not now and never have considered myself a runner.  As you read in the previous post, I have always been a big person.  Growing up, I played football, basketball, baseball and (in high school) track.  I always played positions that required more strength and power than speed and endurance – lineman, center, catcher, shot putter and discus thrower.  I have never needed endurance in my athletic pursuits.  However, as time moves on, the requirements of your body change.  Likewise, I found that once I left school-related activities I lost an outlet for my competitive nature.

Running will cure these issues and 2011 will be the year I commit to being a runner.

Zeroing In On The Goal

It is easy for me to say that I am a runner.  I have run in a handful of 5K’s over the years and have even participated in a few multi-discipline races.  Therefore, one could conclude that since I have run, I am therefore a runner.  However, in order to put some meaning behind the statement, I need to make running a habit than an occasional activity.  I want to get to the point where I embrace the fact that I need to run much in the same that I need to eat or breathe.  In order to achieve this goal, I will need to create some consistency within my training.  If my personal history has shown anything in the last few years, it is that I do not train very well if I do not have a purpose in mind.  Therefore, it is very easy for me to set a specific goal for this resolution.

I will enter and compete in at least three (3) races in 2011.
Each of which will be a minimum of 5K in distance.

Baby Steps

Achieving this goal is all about planning and progression.  As the old saying goes, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Where do we start?

The approach I will use is going to be serial for the most part.  I will start with step one, progress to step two and so on.


1. Organizing.  I know that I will be running in a minimum of three (3) races this year.  Therefore, if I spread them out over equal periods, I will be running one race every 3-4 months.  I now have a good idea of what timeframes I should be using when looking for races to sign-up for.  This step should be complete by the middle of January.

2. Entering.  Once I have identified the rough dates for the races I will enter, I can search and sign-up for the races.  Proximity to my house or places I normally travel to will limit where I can enter races.  I will use website such as and to help expedite my search.  This step should be complete by the end of January.

3. Create Training Plans.  By determining the dates of my races, I will be able to create training plans that will allow me to properly train for the races.  My training background as well as website such as,, and Couch to 5K App will help me create individual training plans.  This step should be complete no later than the middle of February.

Once the planning steps outlined above are complete, I will simply need to follow my training schedules and prepare myself for the races.

Constant Monitoring and Feedback

What do I do if I do not find any races that meet my needs?  I will expand my search to include races that may be a bit out of my way but still meet the date and distance requirements.  If that approach does not work, I will begin to look at races that are outside of my ideal date windows.

What happens if my training goes awry?  I will need to be honest with myself at this point.  I will need to ask the honest questions about whether I am putting myself into harm’s way by actually taking part in this race.  If the answer to that question is yes, then I will have to readjust my plans and involve myself in another race.

If injuries present themselves during my training then I will obviously have to completely reevaluate my schedule and reformulate a plan of attack to accomplish my goal.

Now that I have discussed two goals that center around my physical health, I will address a goal for mental health improvement in my next post.

One response to “2011 Resolutions | #2 – Run At Least 3 Races

  1. Sam Jacobs 7-January-2011 at 10:07 am

    Wish I could do this one with you, but I can’t run very well. Stupid skiing accident…

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