Posts Tagged ‘rachel carson trail’

As promised, my “much-awaited” return to blogging comes on the dawn of a new year.  And following along with a cliched New Years theme, I’m going to talk resolutions.

Long story short: I HATE new years resolutions.  They tend to be easily forgotten, and rarely do they follow the SMART system of setting goals and objectives.  A good goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.  My goal for this year (really the next six months) is all that and more.

For the past 14 years on the Saturday closest to the Summer solstice, hikers and trail runners have attempted to conquer a Pittsburgh area trail known as the Rachel Carson Trail.  The Rachel Carson Trail is a 34 mile path through the suburbs of Pittsburgh, less a bonafide trail, moreso a hodge podge of established hiking trails, utility right-of-ways, roads, and more.  The Challenge, as the event is called, offers people the opportunity to try and conquer the entire distance of the trail in one day, from sun up to sun down on the longest day of the year.

The thing is that it’s called the Rachel Carson Challenge, rather than a trail run or ultramarathon for very specific reasons.  On the challenge, you are not competing against other participants (although some certainly run the entire trail) you are instead competing against the trail.  Can you make it?

My mother and I tried the challenge in 2005 on a whim.  I was fifteen.  While I had the invincibility of a teenager, I did not have the complete and utter balls to the wall spirit that I have now.  I went 15 miles before whimping out.  Such will NOT be the case this year.

So why would I, a slightly overweight college student choose this as my goal?  Because it’s SMART.  It is both specific and measurable, I need to work my way to the point of being able to finish this event, an event with a specific distance and time goal on a specific date.  Is it achievable and realistic?  Certainly.  While physical fitness is a huge part of this event, willpower is just as important, and I WANT to do this.  Finally, it is timely, with approximately 6 months to get myself ready, it will be not too much, not too little.

How does one stay accountable to goals?  You make it public.  How many times have you told yourself “I’m going to do this today…” and never did?  It’s because you didn’t have a support network to keep you honest.  The WORLD is now my support network.  As such, I’m going to make regular updates as I get ready.  Knowing that there are dozens, yes, DOZENS of people sitting at their computers wondering “how is this kid going to do it” will be a huge motivator for me, no joke.  This fits in nicely with the WordPress “Post-a-Week 2011 Challenge.”  I’m going to start blogging again on a more regular basis, with my goal being once a week.  Some posts will be about my preparation for the challenge, others will be more along the lines of what you’re used to if you’ve read my blog.

With that being said, I’m done.  I look forward to having blogging back as a way to express myself, and hopefully you enjoy reading it.


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