Trip pics coming soon but in the meantime, some goal talk.
In the past few months as this injury has dragged on, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my goals and what I hope to accomplish running. I’ve been back and forth. Part of me wants to see how fast I can get at pretty much every distance, although the two that appeal to me the most are 5k and the marathon. For 5k, dreams of 17:xx dance in my head and I still feel pretty confident I could get under the 3 hour mark in the marathon with a good training cycle. I’m not sure why those two distances. They are incredibly different although both uniquely painful. The 5k is a short intense burning pain while the marathon is a longer drawn out build up. I find them both difficult and rewarding.
The other part of me, though, has different ideas altogether. This side of me doesn’t care about Garmins and splits and track work outs. This side of me longs to feel the pure unbridled joy I feel running down the trails. It misses the amazing views, the challenging terrain, the nature, the quiet, the peace. And at this point, I’ve decided I would rather put aside those time goals (possibly forever, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger) and focus on what makes me happy. So in the next few weeks, when I’m cleared to return to running, it will be with the goal to make trail running and racing my primary focus. Because that first side of me needs something to focus on, some goal, I have a pretty big trail racing goal but for now will focus on returning to running safely.
I’ve been thinking about goals a lot lately. I’m not the type of person who is satisfied to just finish a race, sometimes I wish I was, but pushing myself is part of the appeal of running to me. I want my goals to be on the edge of possible for my ability. I don’t want them to be unreasonable goals that I can never hope to attain, but I don’t want them to be a given either. I never doubted that I could qualify for Boston if I could manage to stay healthy and motivated, but I do wonder if I can run a sub 3 marathon. I think I could, but I’m not positive and that’s how I like it. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and find out what I’m made of. My brother told me at one point that he thinks my ideal race is shorter than the marathon, that I could be a pretty fast 5k’er. What I’ve realized lately is that I don’t care. And finally Dick Hoyt makes sense to me. He was once asked if he would ever race without his son to see how fast he could go, his answer was no. He just didn’t care. It didn’t make sense to me when I read it a few years ago, who doesn’t want to know how fast they can go?? But now it does. I’m never going to be an elite runner and I’m fine with that. So why spend so much time doing training I don’t enjoy? Maybe I could get pretty fast at 5k but for now, why bother? I’ll follow where running takes me. And right now, the thought of spending hours on the track doing 400 and 800 repeats just doesn’t appeal to me. Not that I’ll never do a track workout, but it’s not where I want to focus the majority of my energy. The thought of doing 20+ miles up a mountain makes my heart beat faster. This website makes me giddy. I’m itching to put my trail shoes back on.
The thought of hitting the trails again this fall makes me absolutely ecstatic.
But for now, I’m still in the boot and trying to make the best of it. Tomorrow I’m heading to the gym for spin class, my first since school got out! I plan to stay in the saddle and keep my resistance down but it’ll be great to get back in the gym. Even though I’m not running, it’s time to start working toward my goals, so lots of core work coming up for me. Bring it!