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Steve Wagner / Forum Communications Co., Published December 09 2012

Wagner: Setting goals helps maintain focus

Bemidji, Minn. - About this time every year, I like to take a few moments to reflect on the past year and, more importantly, set goals for the coming year.

Heading into 2012, my hope was to do something extraordinary. On the “to do” list was placing within my age group in a desert trail series, completing an ultramarathon and a journey across the Grand Canyon – a 42-mile journey from rim to rim to rim.

An injury sustained in a February trail run, though, changed the complexity and outlook for the year. Coincidently, my plans and goals continued to shift starting in the summer, and those have since shaped my plans for 2013.

Goals – when we base on common sense, reality and our strengths – keep us motivated and focused. Without goals, we don’t train as well as we should, which means we don’t race as well as we want. There’s a direct correlation between training and preparation to race outcomes.

Without focused and specific training, we’re not likely to get the results we want.

So my goals for next year are focused on these principles of performance: better nutrition, with more of my diet focused on eating natural and unprocessed foods; building strengths while eliminating weaknesses through specific workouts designed to build speed and endurance; and becoming a better runner through strength training, cross training and core exercises.

Run 4 Change

It’s impossible to participate in all the great races and events organized to help others, create awareness and raise funds to help others.

But there’s one that will be at the top of my list next year.

Run 4 Change, set April 6 at Fargo’s Scheels Arena, aims to change people’s attitudes about drinking and driving. The event – offering a 10K, 5K and 1K – has been organized in memory of a former co-worker, Allison Deutscher, and her family. She and her husband, Aaron, daughter Brielle, and yet unborn child were killed this past summer when a drunken driver hit them head-on after traveling the wrong way on Interstate 94.

To learn more and keep posted on event details, visit online atwww.facebook.com/NDRUN4CHANGE.

Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer Editor Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email atswagner@bemidjipioneer.com.