Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  running

Adjust A Goal

Adjust a Goal

On July 1st, without saying much to anyone but Kris, I started a push to run a marathon in November. But as I detailed out the first of September, I had to hit one major benchmark before I would even start that marathon.

Some background: I will be 66 before the race starts. I have bad knees from my years in sports. And I was far overweight on July 1st.

Benchmark: To protect my knees, I needed to be under 180 pounds to start the race. I would be better served to be around 170, but I was willing to go at 180. On July 1st I weighed over 215. So needed to drop 35 pounds in four months.

Another piece of information you all need about me to understand all this. I knew that I would do my best to finish if I started, which meant that if I started too heavy, more than likely I would hurt my knees by pushing too hard. I can push through a vast amount of pain.

I did not and cannot now hit the weight goal. I am just at 190 pounds, down around 25 pounds since the first of July.

That is a total win, dropping 25 pounds, but not close enough to run a marathon in two weeks.

So this goal has completely succeeded in helping me lose 25 pounds in four months and I have learned how to eat healthy. I’ll take that. And I am in a ton better shape as well from all the miles of exercise.

So bottom line, not doing the marathon this year.

Resetting for November 2017 to run the marathon, which is a much saner goal.

So new goals.

Part One… Lose five pounds per month until I hit 170 pounds, twenty more pounds from where I am now. (I am 6 feet tall so that will be a healthy weight. Doctor is monitoring that and more than likely I will be off a high blood pressure med by dropping that last weight. He is very happy with what I am doing.)

Part Two… Through the winter, as I lose the weight, I will be ramping up the walking and some running distance, but will go carefully because of the knees.

Part Three… In March at 170 pounds I will join a running group Kris has found for me here and will start the sane training for the marathon with trained help who know how to get a 67 year old person ready to run 26 miles. (I will be 67 when I run the race next November.)

Part Four… I am setting a goal to not only run the marathon, but win my age bracket. (They actually pay money for the top three finishers in each age bracket. That’s a challenge I can enjoy. And the winning time last year in my age bracket is something I think I can hit.) So I will not only be working on training, but time. That will help keep me focused.

So as time goes on here I will continue the updates on the running progress. I want to thank everyone for your kind words and support on this. Dropping 25 pounds and getting in shape has really helped me.

Now forward to a new goal, drop another twenty pounds and get trained correctly. Stay tuned. Could be interesting, if nothing else just to see how a person with a short-term mind can hold a goal for one full year. (grin)


Kickstarter Update

Got more of the surveys out, including all the workshop surveys out. So we are about halfway through the surveys now and gaining on it. More will go out tomorrow.


Anthology Workshop

If you are signed up for the anthology workshop here on the coast in late February, watch your e-mail for a letter from me starting up the group list. Yes, it really is that time, since everyone will be writing in early December, just over a month away. I should have all invites out by Wednesday.


November Online Workshops Start in One Week!!

Click the workshop tab above for description and sign-up or go to

Class #41… Nov 1st … Author Voice
Class #42… Nov 1st … Point of View
Class #43… Nov 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #44… Nov 1st … Ideas
Class #45… Nov 1st … Character Development
Class #46… Nov 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… Nov 2nd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #48… Nov 2nd … Cliffhangers
Class #49… Nov 2nd … Pacing Your Novel
Class #50… Nov 2nd …Expectations (Writing on the Rails)

Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.

If you are wondering what order would be best to take some of these workshops, we have done a curriculum for the workshops. You can see that at


Totals For Year 4, Month 3, Day 24

Writing in Public blog streak… Day 1,131

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 00 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 00 words 

— Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count:6,100 words

— E-mail: 31 e-mails.  Approx. 2,100 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 390 e-mails. Approx. 24,900 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers


— Year of Short Fiction Goal: 120 stories (July 1st to June 30th). Stories finished to date: 8 stories.

— Yearly Novel Goal: 12 Novels. Novels finished to date: 2 novels.


You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Thanks for your support.


  • Rick Grant

    Can I just say how impressed I am by the sanity and clarity of thought you have displayed in changing your running goal.

    As a runner who has gone through a similar decline and then laborious rebuild of body and running ability I applaud your very great good sense. Far too many people, myself included, have set various goals in all areas of life and then charged ahead without analyzing and monitoring their progress. The result, a failed goal and diminished self worth.

    I think that these changes you are making have now ensured that you will achieve your ultimate, rescheduled goal. It seems inevitable now given your self-awareness of the process.

    You don’t mention it in these posts, but I am assuming that you will be running some 5/10K and possibly at least one Half-marathon before the big one next year? Short races are a really great training aid.

    I take away the realization that one should always be on top of goals and the progression to them in order to wring the best out of the process; be it running, writing, or any other long term goal.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Rick. Appreciated. And you are spot on about being on top of the goals and progression to the goals. That’s exactly right and so many writers don’t adjust as they go along with a goal and then take the failure personally. I take the success along the way and adjust. A ton more fun that way. Thanks again. Great advice.

  • Lena

    Thanks for the post. It’s a great example of how to “fail to success” in action, as other have said. Thanks for sharing in public on your blog so we can all learn and benefit. So often I’m afraid to set big goals because I beat myself up if things don’t go as planned. I need a much better and kinder way to treat myself that allows for readjusting.

    Congrats on the weight loss and the health gains!