Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reviewing My Running Goals

My cleanse is done and beyond the obvious physical benefits, I feel I have also had some clarity of mind.

I've always had a bad habit of jumping into something with both feet. Or running before I could walk. <Insert a number of possible running colloquialisms here.> I've always loved running but I have a major motivation issue. If I don't feel or see instant gratification I tend to become less motivated. I love my three running medals that I achieved last year but I haven't been motivated to run like I was last year. (See hit a wall blog a few months back.)

I've been trying to dissect and analyze the reasons why - at least my psych degree is coming in handy for something. I had a good session with myself this past weekend. Luckily it was completely internal and my id, ego, and super ego fought a good battle amongst each other. Here's what I've figured out:

a) I simply cannot run the long distances my partner and his friends run. For now.
  •  Trying to keep up with them is crushing my feelings of accomplishment and demotivating me entirely too much. Not their fault in the least; my own for thinking that I could jump into 12 hour and 50 km races too soon.
b) Very few people start out running with goals greater than 25 km.
  • The more I read up and actually talk to runners about their accomplishments, the more I've realized that I need to be humble, start small and work my way up in length of races.
c)  I'll be far more motivated if I start with smaller distances.
  • If my goals are shorter distances then I can gradually improve my times; thus I am motivated to run more.
  • Once my times improve and I feel comfortable with my distances and times I can move on to longer runs and races.
Really, this is the route I should I have taken from the beginning. I'd probably be farther ahead than I am now. But live and learn.

So new goals (sort of). I will run 10 kms in 50 mins or less before moving onto a half-marathon. I will find 10 kms races and train for those. Once I feel I have successfully met my goals in 10 km races, I will move onto half-marathons (21 kms). And so on until I get to a full marathon distance (approximately 42 kms). Once I have settled into that, then I can look at ultra distances. Once I'm training for half-marathons and full marathons I should be able to keep up to my ultra friends when they are training.

There you have it. I am a humble runner who has chosen to take this one kilometer at a time. I have to feel successful before I can move on. It may take me years to get to the ultra running distances but when you set your goals too high and they seem unattainable and out of reach, the desire to meet them becomes a deterrent rather than an incentive.

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