Sunday, January 18, 2015

For Running's Sake, kind of

I like to set goals.  Whether it is how many Oreos I can eat at once (only 2. Ugh.), if I can sit on the toilet for 10 minutes without my legs going numb (50% of the time), or whether I can hold out after the 37th time my son asks for another piece of candy (usually, no)......goals are important.

The same goes for my running. My running has always been a way to achieve some other type of goal.  A means to an end. First it was lose 50 pounds. Then it was run a marathon. Run faster, quality for Boston, a marathon in every state...finally coalescing with breaking 3 hours. Even if only to be able to have a fifth second beer and still stay healthy, running was there to help me along.  To be clear, I enjoy it a LOT, but there have always been goals to be met where by running was the vehicle. A very painful, sweaty, code brown threatening vehicle. Like when I lost my virginity! 

In a recent post, always my philosophical compass, Jamoosh at Das Mixture opined about the old days of running just for fun. As I was reading a story about him jumping over a curb (which only he could squeeze a blog post out of ) I wondered aloud if I should take off my Garmin and rip off my bra and throw it in the air, literally throwing data to the wind.  Would I enjoy running as much if it was no longer a means to an end?  Would the end somehow justify the means by taking up some other sport enabling me to stay healthy?

Honestly? I don't think so. I think if I were to stop setting goals and just "run" I would instead "eat myself into a stooper" and become one of those guys that yells at the TV news. I need the goals. I need the nagging in the back of my head, "Adam, what are you doing today to run a PR?" That isn't to say that every one of my runs or other activities has to be a non stopped action packed interval session, but overtime my personality is such that I need to crescendo to a few key points throughout the year. 

To that end, my crescendos this year will hopefully be to: break 3 hours in the marathon, 17:30 in the 5K, and run 2250 miles.  Probably in decreasing difficulty, I'm not sure that I can do the first one without the 2nd two, and I probably can't do any of those without the last one. Either way, I'm going to enjoy the journey not only as a means to an end, but also as a way to run for running sake a little bit more. Who knows, maybe I'll find a big curb to write a blog post about! 

8 comments:

Pam @ herbieontherun.com said...

I suck at running for the sake of running. I used to run to get better and faster, but I think I've pretty much given up on that. lol That's why I just started this whole running for charity thing! And the calories burned are just icing on the cake.

fueledbylolz.com said...

I think for me I need a goal or a running purpose. I just can't run or train to run...then I get injured. It happens every time. I would think that breaking 17:30 is harder than breaking 3 hours but 5ks scare the junk out of me so what do I know.

paullamb said...

I must have goals. Currently, my goal is to run 1,000 miles in the year. (That's a big distance for me.) For the last two years I've managed to do it by October, and then my monthly numbers drop. I've hit my goal and thus don't run as much. It's not that I need to set a bigger goal (maybe someday) but that I can see from this that I must have some goal.

Sue's Ramblings said...

I've been running without any goal race in mind for the past year and it's been great because I could connect with so many people (faster, slower, casual runners etc). I know this doesn't work for most people but it did for me. And Adam, go hit sub-3 this year!

Jamoosh said...

I can appreciate that you and I are completely different when it comes to running. But the endgame is the same: We are out there on a variety of surfaces in weather that is good, bad or indifferent, and we are running!

One Crazy Penguin said...

I can't do running just to run. My only exception is during the winter and we magically get gifted a 55* day. Then I am happy to run for fun.

Elaine said...

Are you serious? You started running to lose weight? You are so thin and speedy, it's hard to believe you haven't been running since, oh, about 8 years old. Would love to hear that story sometime!

ltlindian said...

My legs get numb when I sit on the toilet too! why is that? I'll assume it has to do with blood flow or lack thereof.

And I can't imagine you 50lbs heavier either. Weird. Guess I started following you after you were a skinny runner dude.