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Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

So I’m really bad at setting non-goals or taking a break from running. Like really bad.

When I don’t have a PR or a new real goal I kind of get lost, some people really revel in that idea of not having a schedule but I just can’t do that. Even when I take time off I still have a schedule and have some rough goals for my runs. When I go for a “fun run” unless I’m running with a friend or group, I still have a mental goal of some level.

I need to schedule, I need a target and if I don’t then I feel like I’m not moving forward and then why am I running? I know it’s not bad and I recognize that it means that I’m always driving and looking to improve my running and things like that but that’s a bit tiring.

Right now I’m in a weird nebulous place. I don’t have a race on my radar where I have a real goal which leaves me in a weird place. My next big race is the Dopey Challenge in January and then after that I have the Sedona Marathon in February (which I’m stoked for and you should totally join me for and save 20% with code BibRave2017) which while soon and are definitely races I wanted to run successfully, I don’t have specific time goals for them so I’m not feelig pressured to push my runs. I’m still working towards my 28 half marathons by the time I turn 28 but again, I don’t have time goals for those races. I’m running my 27th half tomorrow and I’m feeling pretty relaxed and we’ll see how it goes. My next BIG race is the Boston Marathon all the way out in April, all the way on the other side of winter.

So how do I stay focused enough to 1) get through my races happy and healthy and 2) maintain the work I’m done this year so I’m not starting at square 1 when Boston training kicks off?

So the first thing is trying to not take my training plan too seriously. For me, I can’t not have a schedule. If I don’t then every run just turned into an easy run and that’s not a bad thing but it’s also not beneficial and I’m just doing a lot of throw away miles. it also means that I don’t need to feel bad if a 7 mile tempo run turns into something else. I can enjoy the days that I do run hard and can feel okay about the runs that are more focused on self-care. It’s all about managing expectations when you’re trying not to have expectations.

The next thing I’m trying to do is not put pressure on myself. I don’t have a race right now on the horizon that I have a real goal for which is fun but can also leave me drifting. I have the Dopey Challenge which is going to be social and fun I’m going to take it pretty easy most of the day and then I have Sedona which is gonna be beautiful and a lot of #BibRavePros are going to be there. That’s the next six months for me. Boston Marathon training will kickoff soon which will help me focus again but I still have another month until that time. So a lot of what’s happening now is maintaining my a fitting my stamina so that I’m ready to go into my focused training.

Thanks Ry Ry, I'll do that!

Thanks Ry Ry, I’ll do that!

The third thing I’m trying to keep in mind is that winter is coming and the more I can do now that is fun and outdoors the better because it’s going to be a cabin fever season here in Colorado very soon. So while running is probably the main thing that takes me outside I need to remember that it’s time for hiking and hanging out with my boyfriend and my dog and just enjoying the fall because we’ve had a very beautiful fall here in Colorado. Normally fall is really, really quickly but we’ve actually had leaves on trees for a long time which is really nice. And what that means is I need to make space for other things and not stressing about getting in perfectly executed runs. It’s just a matter of balancing it a little bit more and remind myself that I don’t have a goal race and to enjoy the downtime.

So I’m not really sure where I’m ending up, but thanks for coming along for the read.

How do you stay “appropriately focused” during times when you don’t have a crazy stretch goal in front of you? Leave me a comment!

1 thought on “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop”

  1. I’m right in this holding pattern. My next race is the Bolder Boulder, so I don’t have a fall or winter race to use as motivation. I set a goal to keep slowly increasing my mileage while still strength training, and I had a virtual run to help me stay focused. Now that I completed that, I’m thinking "now what?"

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