Sisters in Sport–When (surprise) Success Isn’t a Measurable Goal

Back in October, Believe I Am challenged a group of women fitness enthusiasts (coined, the #sistersinsport) to start thinking outside the box. In the way they approached training, how they tracked their work, and what they thought they could accomplish.

I was in the heat of CIM training – had just hit my first peak week, full of confidence and big dreams. I loved how the BIA journal got me to sit down and not only admit to my goals, but gave me a blueprint for how to tackle them. There were number goals (BQ, <20 5k, 1:35 half) as well as mental game goals (“trust”, “believe”, “be fearless”) and I was all sorts of hell bent on knocking them all out by the end of the year.


still a petal left on how to be “above average” – suggestions?

Unfortunately, while I was sitting on my peak week throne all high on hills and long run ass-kicking, I was tipping on the precipice of what turned into a year-ending injury.

As such, most of my journal is filled with frustrations, confusion, and stubborn determination towards overcoming my tib strain. I have to admit, at first I closed off and didn’t want to write about it, and when I did it was a bipolar mix of four-letter words and stubborn optimism, talking myself off the ledge and convincing myself it wasn’t a big deal.


injury+altitude = slight over-dramatics

But I had a lot of eye-opening moments during that up-and-down road to (attempted) recovery. No, I didn’t accomplish any of the goals in my numbers flower. BUT, this experience did teach me some valuable lessons about being honest with myself, adjusting, and lifting my eyes further ahead than just the next run.

Mistakes(/setbacks) are only such if you don’t learn from them.

With the start of a new year – based more on my return to running after Zero Month than the actual calendar – I’ve got a new outlook. A new appreciation for the sport. A new respect for my body and its needs. A fresh look at what I want to achieve.


hopefully, or else I’m destined to be keeled over at stoplights on 3 mile runs forever…

This year I vow to tackle the JOURNEY (so hippie-sounding, I know), using workouts as stepping stones, races as check-ins, and goals as my compass. I’ll accept and adjust to the ebbs and flows as they come – soaking momentum from the good runs and learning from the bad. I won’t threaten to throw myself into the ocean if I miss splits or have to bail on a run. I’ll listen to my body, stop comparing myself to others, and trust the process. I’ll learn to enjoy running and training more, in my own “non-happy runner” ways.

And I’ll kick all my goals’ asses in the process.


legit advice from the pros – Lo & Ro

“Releasing the pressure and letting the energy flow…” You always know just what to say, journal.

Here’s to a Free, Fast & Fun 2013!

Sarah OUaL


14 thoughts on “Sisters in Sport–When (surprise) Success Isn’t a Measurable Goal

  1. I just received a BIA journal for Christmas.. I am looking forward to organizing my dreams, achieving my goals and learning something new along the way. Thumbing through it, I can see how it will help me and not just on the surface. You seem to find it useful as well. I wish you joy (every more hippie.. hippe on shrooms) in you journey! :)


  2. I understand the many issues/frustrations when dealing with an injury, since I faced back to back injuries and was out of running for FIVE MONTHS!!! The way I used my journal for the last 3 months was to make small goals for myself during my injury recovery process and I’m finally on a walk/run program! Another thing that helped me alot (other than RICE + compression socks) was Rock Tape. When I was cleared to start doing some activity again (low impact and light strength training) I started using it and ITS HELPED SO MUCH! I am still using it now (not sure when to wean off) since I am just getting back into the swing of things and I’m super paranoid about another injury.

    I have no doubt you will be able to use your journal like I did in the time to come to recover from your injury and hit the ground running again this year!

    If you are interested, this is my Rock Tape Review:


  3. Yes, so hippie sounding, and yes, I’m so in love with your goal to “tackle the journey”. Honestly, I think that’s the best way to make all your running dreams fall into place! Can’t wait til we meet up in person again!!


  4. That journal looks like something I need to add to my collection….
    I agree that there is nothing, NOTHING more frustrating than being sidelined due to a nagging injury. I’ve been there and I hate it like no other… It’s hard to keep perspective during those times (basically I just implode, haha!) This was a great post. #love


  5. i really like the idea of taking 2013 on as a journey. Chin, chin – here’s to lots of running, tears, sweat and fun and all the highs and lows that in the end, make us the crazy runners we are :)


  6. You are on the same page as I am in the Believe I am Journal (perfect for starting off the new year Free, Fast, and Fun)… And on the same wavelength as far as your mental outlook on running is. FINALLY learning to let go and not beat yourself up about a missed run or training session. It takes a lot to let go… I found this excerpt in a book I was given on my birthday, The Runner’s Book of Daily Inspiration by Kevin Nelson. I hope it helps the way it did me! :)

    “Life is stressful enough without adding another stress to it. So, don’t beat yourself up about your running.”


  7. I am sure an injury would be awful after all that you have accomplished but you seem to have a great outlook on everything now. Just one day at a time!!


  8. I bought myself a BIA journal as an early Christmas present, and I love it so far! I’ve totally de-tech-ified (!) my recording of my training since it was all becoming too much internet. I’m really happy having it all out on paper (I was just using a notebook earlier! The BIA journal is so much cuter).



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