Running without goals
Monday is a rest day. It is pretty much a given after a weekend of a long run and a recovery run.
Last week was different.
I haven’t been able to get focused on a race, a time goal, or a running goal in general for months. I have been apathetically running and haven’t been able to shake it.
My coach has worked with what I give him: for my apathy -but want to keep running- we are working on basics and running for fun. I have done a lot of fun runs lately.
Last week I looked at my training schedule and it was more of the same: fun runs, no stress, easy mental state, no pressure runs. I thought that by now I should be ”getting it;” I should know how to run for fun. I thought of Malcolm Gladwell‘s book The Outliers and his comment about how it takes 10,000 hours to learn a new skill.
I have run for over 5 years, but always with a sense of pressure or expectation motivating me. I realized that to run for fun it was going to take me some of those 10,000 hours.
Last weekend I met with my patient coach and he asked how I was feeling about running. I felt a little unsettled after our conversation; it was like I hadn’t quite resolved something in my mind. When I got home I mentioned to my husband that my planned marathon race in the fall was up in the air, that perhaps a half marathon “for fun” would be a better option for me now. He laughed and commented that when I’m not sure what I want, all I’ll get is fun runs.
I ran on Monday — it was scheduled. While I was excited about running on an expected rest day, I spent most of the run freaking out. It felt like crap.
On Tuesday we ran a track workout and I redeemed myself. On Wednesday my mind still felt happy on my fifth consecutive day of running. I had my best run in weeks: faster, more at ease, and with a smile on my face. As my coach suggested, I ran with my heart, not with my legs.
I may see a goal forming on the horizon.
Have you ever felt aimless and then found your stride? What changed? What helped to motivate you to move forward?