Setting the Next Goal
2019 was a very good year for me. I hit all of my goals and PR’d almost every one of my races. 2020 was set up to be an excellent year with even loftier goals than the previous. But when the Coronavirus pandemic halted all in-person races in 2020, I had to reevaluate my goals. Was this a year to rest? Was this a year to abandon my goals? Was this a sign that perhaps, at the age of 60, I should change my active lifestyle and put less physical stress on my body? After a wonderful phone call with my coach, it became very clear…NOTHING HAD CHANGED! My drive was intact, my desire to become the best athlete that I could be was intact, and I was physically in amazing shape. I realized that racing against others, crossing a hard finish line, and receiving a medal were the least important motivators to me. It was time to set new goals that were commensurate with the current times.
My coach and I developed a set of “challenges” to keep me motivated and training hard. As a result, I had my best ever (and I mean EVER) 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon times in 2020. I had my best 20 min cycling power, achieved “Half-Everesting” status by riding my bike continuously for over 15,800 ft of climbing, and I swam the longest I ever swam in one session. I participated in many virtual running races and medaled in several. I raced several “Virtual Ironman” races and actually qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, an in-person race this September in St. George, Utah by placing at the top of the podium for these races. 2020 turned out to be a very good year for me…an important year…a pivotal year!
I felt more connected to my athletic friends, my Hyland’s teammates, and the endurance sports community as a whole. We were all experiencing novel ideals for endurance athletes and our constant communication became of paramount importance. 2020 was a year of goal setting, then crushing those goals only to make room for new ones!
So, what’s next? In 2021, I am invigorated, excited and ready for a new phase. I realize that although I am nearing 61 years old, I have a lot of energy, many goals, and tremendous motivation left in me. I want to continue to improve. It is more about being the very best athlete that I can be rather than about beating others in a race or grabbing another medal (although, to be honest, those are fantastic and great motivators in themselves!)
I have several new goals for 2021 and 2022. I want to run faster than I ever have before. I want to continue toward my quest of completing all Six Major Marathons of the World (I have done five and only need Tokyo to complete. My Tokyo race was cancelled in 2020 and I recently learned that my 2021 Tokyo Marathon was cancelled yet again. I am now deferred to 2023. Assuming the race goes off in 2023, it will have taken me 6 years to get in and complete it, but it will definitely be well worth the wait.)
I plan on continuing my quest to top the Ironman podium! I raced the Ironman 70.3 Des Moines in June and placed 4th (the 70.3 podium has 5 rungs) so I am well on my way. I want to get back into bike racing and have been looking at several available races to enter.
One of my greatest challenges is to select the proper races (running, cycling, triathlon) so that they can build on one another rather than being a detriment to my performance in subsequent races.
What are my concrete goals? Here they are:
- To break 1:30:00 in a half marathon
- To break 3:00:00 in a full marathon
- To podium in an Ironman 70.3 race
- To qualify for Ironman 70.3 World Championship…again!
- To qualify for Boston Marathon again (I have qualified the last 6 years. I want to continue that streak!)
- To continue to find love and joy in training and racing.
- To continue mentoring others to find love and joy in training and racing.
- To be a good and supportive teammate.
- To be the best that I can be and know that that is enough!!
By Jeffrey Krebs, Hyland’s Ambassador and Triathlete