My CI last year was a 50K in October. I ended up with a stress fracture in July and by the time I healed I didn't have time to finish training for the 50K. Bummer. SO I thought about making my 2014 CI the same race, but it seems a little lame. Also, there's been a voice in the back of my head (probably Eric's!) telling me that I haven't truly declared a Cool Impossible. See, the whole time I was planning my 50K training, I didn't have doubts of finishing. I'm a finisher- come hell or high water, I finish something I start. In the 9th grade I stupidly decided to play basketball. My coach, probably based on pity, let me on the team. I am a horrible basketball player. I played a total of 2 minutes the WHOLE SEASON!! Needless to say, I cried most nights on my way home, frustrated that I sucked so bad and it seemed no matter how hard I tried and how much I practiced I couldn't get any better. It tore my mother up to watch me go through this and for the first time ever, she gave me permission to quit. Of course, I stubbornly refused to quit and stuck it out until the end. But I learned a lot about myself that season. That no matter how much something sucked, I could finish something I started.  My first week long backpacking trip was the same- I had brought an ill-fitting pair of boots and 2 days in I sat down on the trail, in tears, swearing that I couldn't hike another step in those boots. My dad said if we could make it to the next road crossing, he'd call my mom to come pick us up. I refused to go home early. I took my boots off, put my Chacos on, and finished the trip. I estimate I hiked about 100 miles in those sandals!

Sorry, I think I've veered a bit from my original thought...It has taken me until today to wrap my head around what a true CI is. And it scares the hell out of me. I don't like to be outside of my comfort zone. But I get it- that's Eric's point. We grow when we do something we thought we couldn't.

It gives me butterflies in my stomach now when I think about my CI. Because I know I need to choose something that will challenge me. I will definitely do at least one 50K in 2014, but I no longer see it as my CI. I'm nervously researching 50-milers near me (in NC). I can't even believe I just typed that, because when I first told people I was going to run a 50K, people would hear me wrong and say, "50 miles!!!" And I'd say, "No, 50 kilometers...50 miles would be crazy!" Ha! By a weird coincidence I read a quote yesterday that said, "If people think you're crazy you might be on the verge of greatness." So how does that work if I think I'm crazy?

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Comment by Lori Enlow on December 4, 2013 at 11:31am
If you had nothing to consider what would you LOVE to be able to do this year? Let go of what you think you can do and grab hols of what you WANT to do!
Comment by Karen Blackert on December 4, 2013 at 11:10am

I have only recently discovered my passion for trail running. In the last few days I have been very drawn to half-marathon trail races, so I'm thinking it will become part of my CI. Thing is... I know my CI needs to be specific, measurable, and challenging. Just completing a half-marathon trail race isn't a good CI for me. It seems the next step would be determining a goal time or placing. Now that scares me to death! I've never been a very fast runner and up until now I've been happy just plodding along. But after reading Eric's book, I feel like I could improve my speed. I'm just not sure what kind of goal I want. I mean, I've got to want it, right? Isn't that part of what makes something a good CI? Am I stressing too much over this?

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