For those of you have been living under a rock or out exploring space for the past two weeks, the Chicago Cubs just captured their first World Series title in 108 years. Back in February, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was quoted to have said to the team, ‘Embrace the Target’. The team carried that mantra with them throughout what is undeniably the best season in baseball history. But is it? According to Reuben Fischer-Baum, this year’s Cubs team ranks 70th amongst baseball’s historically most dominant teams. 70th??? Wow. I guess you don’t have to be the best to be the best. Maybe this team is not the best team ever, but they are definitely the best team this year. They set a goal and fought for it all year, especially during the World Series itself, coming back from a 3-1 Cleveland lead, and then in the seventh game, letting a 5-1 lead slip to a 6-6 tie, and still pulling out a win in extra innings. After a rain delay.
When I signed up for my first marathon, I had no goals in mind, except, of course, to finish. I had no running experience, so I had no set expectations on time. At the pre-race expo I met up with a pacer, and after talking with him about my lack of running experience, I set a goal of finishing in 5:25. I made that time my target, and I embraced it. I stood side-by-side with my amazing pacer (who happened to be running his 259th marathon that year) and somehow came through the finish line at 5:24:58. Embrace the Target.
Now that I have a number of races under my belt, I have set some running goals. You can check them out here. I like setting goals for myself. Making them public keeps me committed. The first goal on my list was to earn the Chicagoland Triple Crown award, and I am proud to say I have achieved that goal. To earn this award, I needed to run the Fox Valley Half Marathon on September 18th, the Chicago Marathon on October 9th, and the Naperville Half Marathon on October 23rd. I seriously considered whether I should do this, because by the time I learned about this award, I had already registered for a half marathon on October 22nd. That meant I would have to run back-to-back half marathons on October 22nd and 23rd. I decided to go for it. Heck, if I can complete a full marathon in one day, I can certainly complete two half marathons in two days! And indeed I did, with finish times within two minutes of each other. And the bonus? Having run those back-to-back halfs helped me achieve my second goal of becoming a Half Fanatic.
I ran that second half marathon the day after the Cubs clinched the National League Championship Series title, earning them a spot in the World Series. So many cheers from the crowd as I ran the course representing my beloved team. This has been a great year for Cubs baseball, and a great year for me as I close out my 2016 race season. I’ll continue to set new goals, big and small alike, as I continue to develop as a runner. And don’t forget, you can follow my progress by signing up for exclusive e-mail updates on the upper right corner of this page or on the home page (scroll down to just below the latest post to sign up), as well as follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Do you like to set goals for yourself? How does setting goals keep you on track for achieving your dreams? Do you have goals you’re too afraid to share? I say go for it! EMBRACE THE TARGET!