new goal = no goal

15 Sep

I had planned to run a super fast 5k PR this fall.  Over the summer, I took some time, made a plan, and even did a couple weeks worth of speed work and attempted some long runs again.  I had a plan for strength training, too. 


But the more I followed my plan, the less satisfied I was.  Running was lame.  I didn’t want to do it.  Every run was a chore, something I had to do based on my plan.  I wasn’t running because I wanted to run.  I was running because I was supposed to run.  This was a feeling that had followed me through the end of marathon training.  I think it was part of why the last 6 miles of the marathon, I ran/walked–I could’ve RUN a much faster time.  But I most certainly would not have enjoyed it as much as I did.  I had anticipated being ready this fall to get back into a training cyle, to work on a plan.  But my mind and body are telling me no, not right now.


So I’m giving up the plan.  I’m letting go of the “shoulds” and “should nots.”  I run Tuesdays with our Trail Trots group, Thursdays with MedVed, and one weekend day for as long as I want…sometimes I do an extra run during the week.  Every morning I get up and work out (not going to work til later is pretty cool because it means I can do some strength training pre-work).  There is no set schedule, though.  And running is slowly becoming fun again. 


When I’m 50, 60, and 70 years old, I still want to be running.  So I am learning to listen to my body–when it hurts, I stop; when it’s not fun, I stop; when it’s frustrating, I stop.  I like to think that these week, 2-week, and month-long breaks give my mind and body the rest they need to come back stronger and more ready for the next challenge.  And right now, that next challenge has nothing to do with running anyway (I hope)…


So much about running is a metaphor for the rest of life.  When you HAVE to do something, it usually sucks.  When you do something because you want to, suddenly it’s fun.  So I am running for fun right now, not for a PR or a marathon or a specific race.  Saturday, I had a lovely run through Dryer Road Park.  I wish every run could be like that.  More and more, I find such amazing peacefulness on the trails, out for easy runs, just hanging out with friends, or sometimes by myself.  So the new goal is to have no goal, and to be content in that.  For a type-A personality like mine, that can be kind of difficult to sustain.  But I am ready for the challenge and to reap the benefits of a more relaxed outlook. 🙂


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