Week 4 Training

Feb 8
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in 2013 Challenge, Training

Success in my training this week! Last week I was disheartened by my slow mile repeats; this week I ran better and I’m elated. Here’s the week in review:

Sunday: Off

Monday: Speed work. After a warm up at the track, Carol had us alternate between running one lap hard (at our one-mile trial pace–which for me is 8:50) and then a half lap slow for recovery. We did this for 25 minutes. It was a hard workout! Thanks coach Carol.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Pace work. After a slow one-mile warm up, my goal was to repeat four (4) miles at my 10K pace (9:30) with a one minute recovery break between each mile. I can’t tell you why, but I felt much better this week than last! Mile 1 was 9:12; mile 2 was 9:17; mile 3 was 9:20; and mile 4 was 9:19. This was a huge confidence builder for me. I felt good–no nausea–even though my miles were significantly faster than the repeats I ran last Wednesday. My best guess about why this week was better is that I listened to music during the workout. Who really knows why some days feel great and some feel like crap? (If you DO know, don’t hold out on us. Tell us what’s up!) But I needed this success to assure me I’m making progress. Thanks, body. Next week for my pace work I’ll do two two-mile repeats at my 10K pace with a two minute break between them. It should be interesting to string the miles together and see if I can still keep up my goal speed.

Thursday: 3 slow miles.

Friday: Long run. 10.5 miles. I ran the first 7 with my friend Janna and the last 4.5 listening to TED Talks on my mp3 player.

Saturday: Off. I’ll be on a writing retreat, so I moved the long run to today and probably won’t get out for anything more than a walk tomorrow.

The way I’m approaching this training is to (minimally) get in speed work, pace work, and long runs. This week I’ll end up with three days off from running. This is different than I’ve trained before–which has always been primarily about increasing my mileage each week, rather than working on form and pace. It’s an experiment for me to be trying something new, to challenge myself to grow as a runner. And I feel good. I’ve dropped a couple of pounds (which isn’t necessarily a goal, but may help with speeding up my pace) and my body is feeling strong and, thus far, injury free. So, whew!

What about you? How did your week in training go? If you’re just getting started, what are your challenges and questions? You’re not alone; we’re all cheering for each other! Keep up the good work runner friends!




New Year, New Goals!

Dec 30
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in Advice, Preparations, Reflections, Writing

Every January, I set new goals. It’s not that I don’t set goals throughout the rest of the year as well; it’s just that January represents a time when goal-setting is in the air. I like to take advantage of the opportunity to “reset” my energy, and I do it with a great deal of intention each year.

I rarely make New Year’s resolutions, per se, because I see a difference between a resolution and a goal. A resolution is a new resolve–a determination to BE something different in the new year. I find resolutions daunting. “To be more organized,” for example, is a resolution (which I’ve set for myself many times, to tell you the truth). “To lose weight” or “to start exercising” are also resolutions. A bit vague, even though they are action oriented.

I don’t have anything against resolves (in fact, I like them and think they are important), but I do think they’re tough to complete because they aren’t measurable. To get something done, one needs to know what success looks like and have a deadline.

A goal is a specific determination to DO or to FINISH something. The completion of a goal is easy to assess if you make your benchmarks specific and obtainable. I’ll say more about this in a moment.

At the beginning of 2012, I set a few goals for myself: I wanted to find someone to help me market my business by the end of September; I wanted to run marathons in at least two States by the end of the year; and I wanted to issue a challenge to friends to run their first full or half marathon and to follow along with their progress. I also wanted to complete my new book, Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions. All of these got done. (What didn’t get done? Well, I don’t know if I’m any more organized than I was the year before!)

In 2013, I have a handful of goals I’m excited about, too: I’m planning to train to shave off at least a half hour from my best marathon time (4:53); I’m going to double my twitter followers in service to my business (follow me at https://twitter.com/camiostman); and I’m going to publish an anthology of women writers writing about writing! I also plan to start two group coaching courses and run them repeatedly throughout the year and to complete (by September)the writing of a novel that I’ve been working on for more than a decade. It’s a big list, but I promise you I’ll get through it!

How, you ask? Keep reading.

Let’s talk about your goals, now. I’d love to support you in reaching your goals, catching your second wind, and living an abundant, happy life this year, so let me share with you the end-of-the-year process that gets me to my goal setting and, more importantly, my goal achieving. You can do it with me this year.

The first week of every January, I spend some time writing about the previous year and crafting my goals for the next. Below are the questions I use for journaling this process. Why not give them a try now?

1. What are all the things from 2012 I’m proud of? What did I get done? (Write down everything that comes to mind, big and small!)

2. What did I learn in 2012 that I’d like to remember for 2013?

3. What do I want to accomplish in 2013? (Write down everything that comes to mind, big and small!)

4. Which of the above items are most important to me? (Circle up to five, but no more.)

5. What steps do I need to take in order to complete each of these? What are my deadlines for each of these steps? (I make a spreadsheet with the months of the year across the top and the goal along the left-hand side. Then I fill it in with benchmark objectives I plan to reach. Check out a printable version of the table here: 2013 Goal Planner.)

6. How will I celebrate or mark the completion of each step toward progress?

7. Who/what do I need to support me in this goal?

As you can see, this is a simple process. But it works! It works because the focus is not on changing anything essential about yourself. There is nothing shaming or condemning about these questions. There is no need to go back and look at your failures or to decide there is anything problematic or pathological about you. The key is breaking down the goal into bite-sized, achievable steps.

If you have a specific goal you’d like to work toward but feel stuck as you go through this process, why not give me a call and let me walk through it with you. I’m offering free half-hour consultations through January and February to help people identify their goals and objectives for 2013.

Happy New Year, Second Wind-ers! I look forward to hearing from you on facebook, twitter, or email throughout the year as you report on your successes and wins!