What motivates me? Goals!

For at least four days after running the Sunburst Marathon I was feeling pretty sore. I was able to walk okay, but the thought of running had me wincing in pain. I should have used that opportunity to work my upper body, but I guess I have also been feeling a bit lazy.

I am definitely one of those people who needs a goal to get myself motivated. I wish I could say the feeling of being healthy is motivation enough. But if I am being honest with myself, I know I would do the minimum required to not end up obese if it weren’t for an upcoming race or event that I have to get in shape for. I wish that I were motivated to do all I can to be in the best shape possible. That said, I know I am not a fast runner. I’ll never entertain the possibility of qualifying for Boston, or finishing a race anywhere near the front of the pack. But no matter what pace I run, running 26.2 miles requires some level of commitment. Setting a PR takes it to the next level in terms of making the most of every training run and sticking with a program religiously.

I’m sure some people probably looked at my time and laughed that I was so proud of it, and especially at the fact it was a personal best for me. And that’s ok. One of the things I love about running is that you can make it a competitive sport and only compete against yourself. I don’t care who won the race or the time it took him or her to do it. All I know is I started the race with a personal challenge, and I won the challenge. I worked hard to achieve it and it felt good when that work paid off.

Now that that goal is complete, I need a new goal. I thought about finding a fall marathon but I think I’d like to do a couple of shorter races, especially with it being summer and camping season. The thought of 15+ mile runs in the summer heat, after nights of sitting out by a campfire until late in the night doesn’t sound too appealing. But setting a PR for the half marathon sounds more doable, and challenging enough to keep me motivated.

Brian and I started making plans over the weekend for a repeat of last November’s trip to the Keys. I started looking for possible races to do when we are down there, but am not coming up with anything that works with our itinerary. If anyone knows of a race in the Keys the last week of November, let me know. Or a race the week of Thanksgiving in the St. Augustine area.

Ideally, I’d like to do at least one race by the end of the summer, then another in the fall, whether it’s a destination race that coincides with our travel plans or a local race. I’d like at least one of those races to be a half marathon. But more immediately, I have the Dirty Girl in less than three weeks. It’s a 5k, but it’s one of those mud obstacle courses, so I need to do some strength training. Sooooo … Lazy time is over. Time to get to work!

Anyone else have trouble getting motivated without a race or other goal to work toward? For those who have no trouble, how do you stay motivated?

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About travelerontherun

I am a chronic adventurer who loves to see and experience new places. What I really love most is experiencing those places after parking my RV and lacing up my running shoes.
This entry was posted in exercise, Fitness, health, Marathon training, Running, traveling, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What motivates me? Goals!

  1. Laina says:

    I’ve done both – signed up for and completed races, and kept myself motivated without any races on the horizon at all. In fact, since I am extremely non-competitive, a race on the horizon doesn’t motivate me anymore than my regular desire to run for my health and fitness. I see a race as “a new time and place to do my regular run”. But then, I don’t run to get faster or anything, I run because I need to get it done so I can manage my weight and keep the pain levels down.
    Wow, I’m a crappy athlete! 😉

  2. I don’t think that makes you a crappy athlete at all!! I wish I had your dedication to health and fitness!!

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