The other day I got all caught up in setting running goals for myself for the rest of the year. After the goals were set, I found myself starting to worry about how I was going to reach them. Wondering if there would be time to sufficiently prepare for them all. My goals were to run a 5k in under 20 minutes, to run a half marathon in 1:25 minutes and qualify for and run in the Boston marathon in 2014. At first, I thought that setting and meeting these goals would make me a more serious runner. In fact, I thought that to be the "serious" runner I want to be that I needed these goals.
However, while I was running the other morning I realized that first of all, I was thinking about how to shift my training to meet my 5k goal. Then I began thinking about the right approach to a 1:25 half while training to qualify for Boston in a full marathon a month later. That is when I realized that the ancillary goals were starting to consume my focus and quite possibly interfere with the big goal. I also realized that the ancillary goals would quite possibly manifest without focusing on them through the course of preparing and pursuing the real goal.
So, after some reflection I realized that while it would be nice to have a sub 20 minute 5k in my list of achievements it really isn't something that I care about in terms of running. Even the half marathon in 1:25 isn't really something that I care about. I have run a half marathon 3 times now and I have run each faster than the last. My goals no longer need to be restrained to distances I have already covered and times that my natural progression show I will hit anyway. I need to shift my focus to bigger things. What I really want in terms of running is to run Boston in 2014.
So now I have one goal that I can totally focus on and the difference is that by dropping the goals for a 5k and a half marathon I no longer need to feel like I have to worry about them. I don't have to worry about finding a 5k at the right time. Even if I do find the perfect 5k to run in, I don't need to worry about shifting focus to prepare for it. The same goes for the half marathon goal. While, I intend to run at least one more half before my target race, I don't need to worry about it and more importantly, I won't have to interrupt my marathon training to focus on hitting a goal in that half marathon.