January 7, 2022

Another year of running!!

I will say this right off the bat– this year I did not reach my running goal. Instead, this year I ran just shy of 200 miles, 183 miles to be exact– and I’m proud of every run and every mile. 

Remember Michie Smash’s golden rule of success with running: BE PROUD OF EVERY RUN!

Putting ourselves down for not completing a goal is not the point of making the goal. Goals are supposed to drive us to be better. Even in failure, we are driven to be better– we are driven to succeed next time. We figure out what went wrong, continue with the went rights. The journey towards future success sometimes starts with the failure of the now.


Goal 1– 555 miles in year

Score: 183 miles complete /555 goal

Goal 2- take 30 seconds off fastest mile

Score: See comment.

Not tested. Michie ended the year with a time certainly slower than previous year, unsure if mile possible without intervals.


Now, in reviewing all of this, I now notice that my goal was over 500 miles, WHICH WAS A REACH TO SAY THE LEAST. I made the goal of 555 miles coming off the high of completing 500 miles in December 2020. I made this new higher goal when rugby was still not happening, and school was half in person, half not. Many factors changed in the year since I made the goal.

When rugby started backup this past 2021 year, it became difficult to factor in rest days, both physically and mentally. It became difficult to run distance when I had rugby matches to recover for and from.

The reason we reflect on goals is to notice what went right and what went wrong.

The first step is of course the noticing. The next step is what you do with it.


For my running journey, I have had a team of rugby players, runners, teachers, friends, and some family members join the running life with me. The Albany Knickerbockers Run Club 2021 Miles of Fun goal was 10,000 miles, and we fell at about half there too.

Again, failure isn’t as fun as winning, but that’s a hell of a lot more miles than I tracked running with friends pre quarantine life.

The reason team goals work better than individual goals alone are plentiful. First of all, you have a team of people to back you. You have a team of people to push you, to pick up the slack, and to keep each other’s momentum. You also get a team of people to be proud of if you can’t get there yourself. For example, I may not have gotten my year goal but other people certainly did and this goal, at least, got them started.

You get to celebrate the victories of your teammates because even if you couldn’t get there yourself, you helped someone else to get there.


So again what do we learn or take away from that which is technically a failure? 

Well first off, as a group of people we ran 5000 miles. Again FIVE THOUSAND MILES! 

In this life, if you try your hardest, you have to be proud of what you did do rather than be hard on yourself for what you didn’t. Athletes can’t live that way. You have to push through the failures and learn from what you did well. You have to do that whole lot again and then focus next on all the things you didn’t do last time. 

As a group of people we proved that goals always push you in the right direction even if you don’t get there the first time. We proved as a team you can do more. And as runners, we proved that we can and will be proud of every run of that’s the mindset we choose.

I refused to be upset that I didn’t reach a goal that was very difficult. I’m proud that I played a full season of rugby (even though my body is certainly trying to tell me to stop, but that’s a different story!) I’m proud I have such support and such a great community especially in this running club. This club has been the embodiment of just support and no pressure. I appreciate everyone’s patience as the year got away from me, but again– we succeed when we look for the good in ourselves and others, not the faults.


Now, here’s the thing I learned about year 2 of running: just like I learned about year 2 of CrossFit and year 2 of rugby and year 2 of baseball… every single sport is the same, in this way. 

When you first start you are so amped– like in a relationship, this is the honeymoon period.

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You want to be good and you want to learn and you want to be first string and get better! RAPIDLY! We put everything in that we have, maybe putting off other things too much, at times.

To do that on a well established team or a well established CrossFit box, or gym, or anything you want to be a part of– you have to really push in the beginning just to get your feet wet. 

Then let’s be real, you get cocky. There’s no other way to put it. You start thinking that it’s easy and you don’t need to do the work to keep it. You get used to the relationship, but you stop doing the work. You expect to play. You expect to start or be able to finish. You expect to get it without the work. That just isn’t how it works even when you do learn to work smarter and not harder. 

It’s especially easy to get cocky when your body starts shifting and things feel better. As a yo yo dieter, this has happened often. When I hit a goal, the pressure releases and I get off the good habit train which puts me back on the gain train. It took me a long time to see that my body was shifting and things were becoming difficult again, which always comes with weight gain. My biggest problem was I got out of the habit of running because after my 500 mile my body was so broken down from December that it needed a lot of rest– then I let it go for too long. Then it stopped almost all together, except for runs I went on casually or socially. 


My cousin Shara always tells me it’s not about doing a lot at once, it’s about doing a little but consistently.

She says it’s better to do 20 minutes of a work out every day and/ or 2 miles a day than run yourself ragged doing a marathon day’s worth of training, which eventually will get you hurt and out of the running–all puns intended. 

This is really the key to starting any good habit– consistent little steps.  

You can’t start being a Rockstar without having a garage band just as you can’t start running marathons without pushing and crawling your ass through the first few runs. 


Now as a person who’s been injured x to the umpteenth times, balance isn’t something that I’m always great at. I have certainly been one to start too much, go too hard, and injure myself from the jump. So this is where I choose to attempt a shift right now–

I am attempting to enjoy running for what it is and for the beauty of it; but also not to push myself until I’m in pain, and then be out for a month.


“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” -David Allen

The practice schedule of coming back to rugby, as well as being full time back in person while still in a pandemic, of course, it became difficult for me to keep up with all the things at once. I had taken on too many goals with not enough time and energy in the day to complete them all. 

That’s the thing about goals: when you make them too high, they feel unattainable. Then you feel like you get behind and you feel pressured, which could lead to stopping, and losing track of the goal all together. 


The race that started it all finally happened– the rescheduled Helderberg to Hudson 13.1 half marathon with some run clubbers.

I’m proud to still call myself a runner because 183 miles while focusing on a plethora of other things is still not a terrible thing and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. 

I know now, as I continue to grow and change as an athlete, that running is something I will always enjoy! I also respect that my body needs rest. 

My body especially needs rest when I’m letting “the youth” twenty somethings on my rugby team take all their angst and aggression out by clobbering me. Getting tackled just isn’t what it used to be (spoken in my oldest lady voice possible,) queue the sad little violin for me being an “old lady” as far as the rugby world is concerned.

the youth

Now as far as my run club! I’m so impressed and proud that so many people committed time and effort to pushing themselves. The pure act of committing to write down a goal and work towards it is the first step towards growth. 


TOP 3 KNICKS MEMBERS (miles complete/goal) 

Sarah Funk 862.365/650  

Allyssa “AP” Fahrenkopf 676/500

Mick Conway 366.2/650 

GOAL COMPLETION (miles complete/goal)

Bridget Smith 263.07/250 

TOP FRIENDS OF THE KNICKS (miles complete/goal)

Justin Schiebel 523.2/500 

Erin Erickson 500+/500 

Gage Woomer 393.29/700 

So much love and congratulations to everyone!

Thanks for bettering yourself as a runner and athlete with me. Whether you ran your goal, read along, cheered us on, had to shift back to walking, or only got yourself out there with friends– BE PROUD– because you’re better than you were before. 

Michie Smashing Thoughts -Coming Soon (in 2022)

  • 2022 Goals and Focus!
  • Continuation of Solo Dates Journey Memoir
  • Long Distance Things 2: How to Schedule for Success

1/7/21 Cheers to this run, one year ago today, with the best life teammate around. One year of running around town with you and I couldn’t be happier.