TOM'S STRETCH GOAL FOR 2019
In 2019, our Hawthorn team all decided that we would aim to complete a physical goal that was way beyond our capabilities from that current point in time. The goal had to be something that both scared and excited us at the same time. A goal that was pushing us physically and mentally. We have called this our "Stretch Goal
1. What is your Stretch Goal and why have you chosen this?
My Stretch Goal is to Run my first 100km Ultra Marathon. The event is the Javelina Jundred and it is the Arizona desert in late October. I decided to take on this challenge as I was able to watch my wife Alex train for and complete her first Ironman triathlon in Cairns 2018. The dedication and commitment to her training was inspiring and as I watched her cross the finish line I started to think of fitness challenges that I could work towards with a greater sense of purpose. In my fitness career I am constantly wanting to be improving year on year with my own physical accomplishments and this will be my biggest leap yet.
2. What are you going to do to ensure happens to achieve this goal and what does your training look like?
Most important part for this coming to fruition is that I have a coach and a trainer (Alex) that I am working with to get ready. Keeping yourself accountable is hard and I know that I can't do it alone. Training started 4 months ago for this and the support and accountability from a coach is going to be key for the remainder of the year. The accountability means that I am getting my training done each week and receiving feedback on my performance regularly. It's amazing what answering to someone can do for progress. I will do more training this year than I have in any other year and I am looking forward to the process.
3. What scares you the most about your goal?
Running 100kms to start!!! The very thought of it makes my tummy churn and then I feel the need to go for a run straight away to be better prepared (then I remember just follow the plan). 100kms is a very long distance, add in the fact that it is in the desert with no shade and it becomes that much harder. I had to sign my registration waiver understanding that there may be coyotes, rattle snakes and other wild animals on the course. Just because 100kms wasn't hard enough there had to be a further element of danger present. The elevation of the course goes up 2400 feet and I have to run that mountain 3 times! Enough said with what scares me.
4. What are you most excited for?
The Javelina Jundred is known for its "party" like atmosphere at all of the aid stations, as well as the start and finish area. I am excited to cross the finish line knowing what I have accomplished and then being surrounded by a high energy celebration. Plus you get finishers beer which I imagine will be the best tasting beer I have ever had.
5. What difference is this going to make to you after you have achieved this goal?
Completing this challenge will have several outcomes for me… I for one will be the fittest I have ever been. But more so than the physical challenge this will test my mental toughness! Building resilience with my training will transfer to other aspects of my life and will only help me in the long run (no pun intended). This will give me further creditability in endurance running, as a PT and as a coach. Plus I will have a new favourite finishers medal!
6. Do you have any tips/tricks for someone who is thinking about pushing their own comfort zone with health and fitness?
Getting outside of your comfort zone is only going to make you grow as a person and any sacrifice will often have great rewards to those that "stick it out". I think as a society we have become accustomed to instant gratification and when we don't get it we stop, give up or pivot to something else. Often if we stay the course and make regular improvements week after week they add up to great long term results that many people don't reach. The other tip would be have a strong reason as to why you want to do it and make sure you have a solid support network of family, friends and coach/s. Times will get tough and you will be tested, its important you have people for support and guidance and you can remember the reason why you started on the journey.