Setting Goals

Rarely do I set goals for myself. Instead, I am drawn to just doing better than before, more of a constant desire to improve. However, this summer I have set a definite goal of biking 500 miles. I met this goal two years ago, under a different set of circumstances, and aspire to meet it again.

I absolutely love biking and this goal was set just to see if I could do it. The best part of this goal is that it is something I desire, but won't beat myself up over. If I meet it, great! If I don't, I'll probably be really close. It is however a little extra incentive to get outside and bike. I don't want a goal I dread, instead I want it to be a positive addition to my life.

When I met this goal two years ago, I was teaching and had the summer off. Also, my husband works from home and accompanied me almost every mile, either biking or running. When he was running, I biked at a slower pace, about half as fast as when we both biked.

Last summer, I started a new, year-round job and worked all summer. Without setting any goals I was still able to bike 300 miles for the season (approximately May through September.) This year, my 500 miles will all be done with both of us biking, either after work or on the weekends. Thus, the goal to bike 500 miles is a little different than the 500 miles I biked two years ago as more effort is involved.

How am I doing? Well, I projected biking 100 miles a month. We had a few early, warm spring days that helped me get a good start as May's weather wasn't the best. I now have 15 miles to go to get to 200 by the end of June. That is what prompted this post - I may not make it. Am I OK with that? Definitely. This past week involved hosting a family dinner one night, dinner out with friends another, and organizing a large event at work that required some extra thought/energy. Life is not predictable.

Even though I am OK with not being totally on schedule, I am still trying. We went out 15 miles this morning and hope to go tomorrow. The goal is a gentle push to get out there, just enough, but not too much. I am also keeping track of my average MPH on each trip; not necessarily to add another goal, but to provide some positive feedback that yes, I am getting stronger.

If I have to bike into October (providing the weather is cooperative) I will. It felt fantastic to meet this goal two years ago, and I am looking forward to meeting it again. Do you have any goals that are uplifting?

October 2015 update: I did it! I even surpassed it: 631 miles. The warm weather in Spring and Fall really helped out.