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Exploring the WHYs

Whenever I coach a new client, one of the first things we look at after clarifying their goal is their motivation; their reasons WHY they want to achieve their goal. Well, this week I’ve had to look at my goals and my whys in regards to doing ‘La Course du Soleil’ which is a half marathon from Nice to Monaco … this coming Sunday!! It’s labelled as one of the nicest (and sunniest) half marathon in Europe!

I’ve met a group of runners while running with the Lululemon Cannes Run Club. What better way to meet people than to get out and do the things I love to do like swimming, biking and running! Some of the runners I met are part of a Menton running club (near the Italian border) yet live and train in Nice, and then we met in Cannes! Talk about ‘getting around’! Several of them are doing the Course du Soleil this weekend and we got talking about what an amazing run it is. The route in scenic, not to hilly and a nice friendly atmosphere. Even though I have not trained or prepared to run a half marathon, I am familiar with the distance (having done a few before!) and I recently did a 10km.

Saying that, I needed to take a step back from the excitement of actually taking part in the run and think about my goals and my whys.

My goal, having done no specific half-marathon preparation, will be first and foremost to enjoy the experience. I want to enjoy the atmosphere and enjoy the route because what better way of seeing some sights from Nice to Monaco than doing the run. Of course, taking the train or bus would not be the same experience! I also want to complete the distance and be more than comfortable in my running. Knowing what my 10k pace is, I need to go at a slower pace to be able to complete the distance! I have a certain pace in mind and will have to see how that feels on the day. In regards to a finishing time, any thoughts of what time I will finish are tucked away at the back of my mind. Or at least that is what I am trying to convince myself!

My whys … well, I could give an off-handed reply of ‘why not?!?’ Yet seriously, my whys are because I think it will be fun! I know I can do it; I can put one foot in front of the other and I know I am capable of doing that distance. I often say that running, as with many other performances, follows the 80/20 rule. That is, 80% mental effort and 20% physical! So, I’ll be putting that into practice and certainly flexing those mental muscles!

Another reason ‘why’ is appreciating where I’ve come from. Last year was my first year back to any sort of ‘serious’ competitive events (not that I took it that seriously, really!) after a few years of being ill or injured. It feels great to finally be able to do the things I love, and I am getting stronger, fitter and faster all the time. Also, as I am covering the distance and admiring the scenery, I will grateful for and acknowledge some of the challenges I encountered to get me to where I am today. Being grateful of my abilities and grateful for where I am today of ‘living the dream’ will be strong enough reasons to help me to cross the finish line with a smile on my face!

On a final note, thinking about your goals, where might you have several additional goals surrounding and supporting your big goal? In regards to your ‘whys’, have you thought about them recently? What are your reasons for going after that goal and wanting to achieve it? Do these reasons act like a giant magnet pulling you towards your goal? If not, what has to happen to make them bigger, stronger and more powerful for you?

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