It’s late January here in Texas and the weather the last couple of days feels like May. It’s absolutely beautiful outside with plenty of sunshine. It’s almost like a good tease to the new season that lies ahead! :-). I don’t like to miss a good run on a pretty day. So needless to say, I have been getting some mileage in this past week. LOVE IT!
Yesterday, as I was running, I realized something I do every time I run. And I have been doing this since I began running over a decade ago. I have “telephone pole goals“. See, I live in a small town. I actually live IN the small town, but am one block away from a road that leads me out to the “back roads” or “country roads”. These roads have open pastures of land. I am able to see horses, cows, creeks, hills, etc… These roads are lined with telephone poles, too.
I am very much a goal oriented person. I like to set small goals that lead to bigger goals….and I like to accomplish my goals, too. Feeling successful is empowering. In the beginning stages of my running, I started out at the track. My first days of attempting running (after being a walker) I would run the straight-a-ways and walk the curves of the track. This eventually moved to run half the track, walk half the track, and then walk/run laps at at time. I quickly progressed to running 1 to 2 miles at the track at a time….but it became boring going in circles….so I began to take on the “back roads” for something different.
Now–back to why I mentioned telephone poles earlier… These telephone poles have been a big key to my running success. These back roads are longer and more difficult terrain to exercise on. It isn’t nearly the same as running on the track. The roads can be uneven, there are hills to conquer, there are random cracks in the pavements you have to dodge, and of course traffic, and the occasional friendly dog that becomes your running buddy for a couple of miles. HA! Because these roads were lined with telephone poles, I began playing mind games with myself by setting goals to run to a certain telephone pole and then walk to another. As I progressed in my endurance, I would extend my telephone pole goals to perhaps run to the 4th telephone pole and then walk to the next, run 4 more telephone poles, walk another, so on. Even as a marathon runner, I still had telephone pole goals; run to the “subdivision entrance” telephone pole, walk to the next, etc.
Yesterday it dawned on me that I am still subconsciously using these telephone poles to push me and make me go a little further. What a great tool to have!
This is something YOU can do to. It doesn’t have to be telephone poles either. It can be streets, blocks, or houses if you live in a neighborhood. It can be street lights in the city. You can even do this with walking if your not ready to run yet. Maybe speed walk a block, and then casually walk the next, and so on. There is no right or wrong way to this. The main thing is to get out in this beautiful weather and move! Set yourself these goals! And make yourself feel successful.