Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Goals and shifting focus

Finding myself these days at a rather odd fork in the road with my running.

On one side of the fork is a tiny glimmer of hope of the things that are to come which my heart aches for, things that with quite a bit of work and self-belief are out there just waiting for me to take on.

Then there is that other side of the fork, the side that is the road less traveled for me where expectations don't exist and the pace is more of a go with the flow kinda thing.

I'm no stranger to setting big hairy goals for myself and setting my sights well outside of my comfort zone. But for me things never seem to pan out remotely close to where I anticipated they would lead, and the achievement (or lack thereof) those GIANT relentless pursuits never seem to bring the desired outcome.

It doesn't take much time before they annihilate hope and turn me down a road where I just find the need to become further and further removed from logic wrapping myself up in myself.

And that is not an attractive quality.

Goals have the ability to build people up, motivate them towards a brighter future, and radiate positivity onto everything they touch.

But they can also give a false sense of security and can make a seeing man blind.

Goals have the power to make you feel like you're on track to all thats well and good, yet lead you astray from your true path in life missing out on some truly sweet sweet moments.

I more times than not fall into the latter of the two categories.
Especially when it comes to running.

That being said, I've decided to try something different this year:

there will be no goal races.
there will be no goal finish times.
there will be no mileage or workout expectations.
there will continue to be no plan.
and there really will be no goals.

I'm just gonna to keep doing my thang. Bending when life tells me to bend and forfeiting expectation of where I feel I should be headed. Just live my life for once and not become a slave to my running goals.

Hopefully that opens the window for more runs like these,

And if it doesn't, I'm okay with that.

Cause I'm taking the road less traveled this time around anyways.


  1. Ooh, sounds like your new attitude is making things happen for you! Good luck with your new non-goal goal. :)

  2. Great run Britt! I am there this year. I think. :) Not putting pressure on myself is a good thing with great results. I have a nebulous goal of a 50k just to finish, we'll see if I survive! If I feel up to speed work after that, I will do it. If not, I will keep to the trails. Here's to wherever the road takes you!! May it bring fulfillment.

  3. Amazing great run! I hope you have a whole year full of great runs like that, if notjust have fun. I love the new attitude.

  4. Awesome! Sometimes we need to just run for fun:)

  5. Good job girl. You will realize how much you truly love the sport when you dont put so much pressure and worldly expectations on yourself to complete.

    Enjoy it = )


  6. PS. I ran my first marathon december 2011 and qualified for boston this year. I gave it up because I knew I was putting it before God and letting it consume my whole being and dictate my life. I run almost everyday without my watch and no race goals and I feel weightless.


  7. This is awesome. I completely agree about goals sometimes making a person blind. I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised at what you achieve without goals. The reason you have been able to reach your goals is because you are strong and driven-goals don't make you that way, YOU make you that way. It will be neat to see what opportunities you'll be able to spot now :)

  8. I love this! I love that you are moving forward with such freedom! I am such a "planner" person and I live for training plans and workout plans. But in December I did not have a plan, I just did whatever run or workout I felt like and I rocked it! I think sometimes that's when we do our best work when there isn't any pressure. Good luck!

  9. It was nice to read this post and know someone else is on the same path as me! I recently came to the same conclusion. Well said.

  10. Beautiful post. I can get too caught up in goals and chasing down PRs, but you gave me a gentle reminder that running should be fun and enjoyable. If I make it too much about getting a PR, then I can lose sight of what is important. Your sentence, "Just live my life for once and not become a slave to my running goals" really struck a chord with me. Of course, I still want PRs, but if I obsess over it then it becomes something else.

  11. I'm definitely in the chasing time goal phase but I know it wont last forever. I'm also kind of looking forward to just running, no silly tapers or even dumber recovery periods to contend with ;) Enjoy your year of 'no goals', time to have fun and refocus on why you run. Now go find your joy :)

  12. just noticed your watch!!! did you get a new version of a garmin? i'm in the market and would be interested in your opinion on your watch!