Setting the goals for 2014

I feel a little bit behind.

The new year started with a major life change — I bought a house. After being a renter my entire life I decided it was the right time to look for a house. I found the right place for me and 2013 went out in a whirlwind of my first real estate closing while 2014 came in with a flurry of painting, packing and moving. So here it is, nearing the end of January and I’m just starting to feel settled. It’s been weeks since I followed any regular training and the Lockport Y-10, a challenging 10 mile race, is right around the corner. Oh, and I haven’t even begun to think about what I want to do this year in terms of running and triathlon goals. So at times my happiness is tempered by anxiety.

This is familiar territory for me. Tragic, but true.

Scenes from a winter run.

Scenes from a winter run.

As I prepare for my easy four-mile run this morning, stepping around the last of the boxes that need to be unpacked, I take a deep breath. A really long, cleansing deep breath with my eyes closed. As I finish exhaling, I realize I want to hug my house. Really. I want to put my arms around it and give it a nice, warm embrace.

There are few material possessions which hold tremendous importance for me. (The list pretty much ends with my laptop and road bike.) The symbolism of owning my own house is less about having made it, having my own piece of America, and more about a new opportunity to create my life story. In fact, the house is all about opportunity for me, about new challenges, about new ways of looking at life.

And it starts with asking the simple question: What do I really want?

As I begin to think about my training and racing schedule for 2014, I ask myself this question. What do I want? It’s not about what other people think my goals should be or about keeping up with what other people are doing. Last year I trained hard to run my personal best in the half marathon. I loved it and I learned a lot from it.

But this year, finishing 13.1-miles (or add any distance/event here) in a certain time doesn’t hold the same allure for me. The voice of my friend Tara echoes in my brain: I do this because it’s fun. I want to enjoy it. I think back to the moment everything clicked for me in the realm of fitness and it had nothing to do with a 5K time or age group awards. For me, it was about being healthy and fit for adventures I wanted to experience. It was about the experience and not the end result.

My only resolution for this year was live more intentionally, live on purpose. I started to work on that intention with moving and unpacking. Instead of trying to set everything up immediately, I’m taking my time, deciding where I want things to go and how I want my home to flow. As I get back into regular training and decide what my goals are for 2014, I step into this place of intentionality. What is it I want from training and racing? I can already feel my perspective begin to shift.