SWOT – Lone Gull 10K

No Lone Gull 10K this morning.  I ended up running a little too much yesterday, which is not a bad thing because I knew that running today was most likely not going to happen.  The reason for this is I wanted to “Set myself up for success”.  Yes, it is cheesy but it’s a good thing to do when getting into a new hobby or really anything for that matter.

To me, setting yourself up for success is basically like conducting a SWOT analysis and applying it to an upcoming event, race, or situation and then acting on it.  For those of you not familiar with SWOT, it is Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats.  I was first introduced to a SWOT analysis my Junior Year of College through one of my coaches.  Each player had to conduct a personal basketball SWOT.  I have also seen this type of analysis used in the business setting when developing a project plan or debating the likelihood of winning a proposal.  SWOT allows you to step back, evaluate the situation and see the key players or challenges that present themselves with a particular issue.

Let’s use the Lone Gull 10K as an example.  A little background, the LG10K is in Gloucester, MA and I found it online last weekend.  As I am getting into this whole running thing, it seemed like a great idea especially because Gloucester is supposed to be gorgeous.  The complication was that Holy Cross Football was playing at Harvard Saturday night (the night before the race).  I had already promised friends we were going and I am conscious of my need to stick with plans that I have made to be with my friends now that I’ve moved out of the apartment.  Okay so here is the SWOT:

Strengths:  I have been running consistently for the last 5 weeks.  Averaging about 15-18 miles per week.  This past week I logged a 6.5 miler, along with 2 shorter runs in addition to other cardio and training.  Logistically speaking, I was not afraid that I wouldn’t be able to finish this race.

Weaknesses:  Not familiar with the race, racing by myself (which last weekend wasn’t such a problem), and yesterday, Saturday, I ran 7.2 miles mostly uphill –not even sure how that is possible!).  I was also planning on being out late on Saturday with pizza and beer as my nutrition :-)

Opportunities:  I could run my second ever 10K race.  Potential to beat my time of 56 minutes.  Meet new people and enjoy the racing atmosphere.  Last but certainly not least, a feeling of accomplishment. This, I have determined, is my reason for running.  There is validation in saying I just ran 6.4 miles.

Threats:  This is major– I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of sleep or be properly hydrated for the race because of tailgating, drinking and having fun at the HC game.   Not having these proper elements in place wouldn’t exactly set me up for success and discouragement is not what I want in this point in my running career.  This is not to say I will not challenge myself, or if I do not beat my previous time I would consider it a fail.  It is more recognizing where I am and where I need to be.  My goal is to run the Philadelphia Half Marathon on November 21st.   And I want to be healthy and happy going into the race.

So instead of doing the race, I plan on heading to the high school track and doing some wind sprints.  I do wish I was at the race right now, it is absolutely beautiful here, but I’m okay with it.  I had a great run through my new town yesterday that will suffice as my long run of the week and my friends and I really enjoyed ourselves at the tailgate last night.  So although I don’t have a cool shirt or second race in 2 weekends under my belt, I’m okay with it.  I came back to my values of:

– making an effort with friends and family

-running and being active

-training for Philadelphia Half

-supporting HC

Have you ever used SWOT to make decisions or plan events?  What’s an example?

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