Since I’ve taking up running I have discovered that I do well with having goals with my exercises, in particular for running. Back when I started out from scratch it was about consistency; staying true to doing at least three runs a week.
Swiftly this evolved into chasing times on distances. One of my proudest moments was breaking the 10K on sub-60. Not bad for an overweight bastard with more than a decade of decandence in the bag!
By then I considered myself more of a runner and less of a jogger, which meant I was ready for a race. So I wanted to finish a race – my first was a 10K, and I was 43 seconds shy from sub-50! Guess what that motivated? Yes, sub-50 on 10K…
Back in racing, I extended the distances. At first I thought a Half-marathon race was just about right for me, but I was in luck. Some colleagues decided to motivate me to go for a full Marathon, so I skipped the Half and jumped straight to the 42195 meters race.
This was to take place almost a year ahead of me, so I had plenty of time to prepare. And I did. I extended distances gradually, always concerned to stay injure-free. I entered a smaller 11K trail race 3 months earlier (and broke into 10K Sub-50!), just to get the feeling of running in a crowd. I started with interval training – mostly the 10:20:30-method – even though I hated the guts out of those boring, exhausting intervals. But it all paid off. I did it.
That Marathon race was big but not huge, some 3000 people along a single course track. I still don’t feel comfortable racing the really crowded, big races, like the Lidingöloppet or the major city races. I rather do fewer, and less populated ones. In fact, I think I’m starting to prefer trail-races off the tarmac roads, and not even races – just long runs, in or out of company.
As my first Marathon satisfied my race nerves, I began thinking in terms of volume. My first volume goal I created for that year was to run at least 500K in 365 days. This was far too cautious and I ended up having to adjust this goal twice, succeeding to do a total of 1701K during 2014.
Which brings me to my current goals for 2015.
I run because I want to be around to see my grandchildren grow up, and be part of their lives. I run because it makes me feel good, it builds my self-esteem and character. I run because it the simplest, most effective way to stay fit. I run because I can. I run for others who can’t.
The goals I have are there to help me go on my journey.
Right now they are:
- Run at least 2015 kilometers during year 2015
- Run one ultra-marathon distance (>50K)
- Run a handful of races (that means up to five)
- Run at PB on 10K and Half-marathon distances
- Run without getting injured
If I (virtually) run more than 2015 kilometers from my current home town Bjärred, I end up in my other home town down in Spain, Peñiscola! That’s rad!
If nothing else, this is a great motivation for me. I wish for an injure-free and healthy year so I can come that far. Once down there I have some other goals: the Valencia Half- or full Marathon, trail running in the Sierra Irta mountains etc. but that’s another story.
Goal 1 is quite ambitious for me – slightly out of my comfortzone, but not impossible. It’s just a 15 percent increase, so doing +2015 during a year should be OK, provided I can stay healthy, and find the time between obligations at work, and keeping my family and friends in focus.
Goal 2 is less ambitious. I’m mentally prepared and I have a body capable of doing it. The issue is to find a suitable time, as the +40K distances so far has meant a health-dip for a couple of weeks (if not a month) afterwards.
Goal 3 is very easy. I’ve already signed up for one race (the Österlen Ekotrail), and have 3-4 others in mind, e.g. the HBGM relay, the Stävie Trail, the Hornsjön Runt, the Midnattsloppet i Malmö, and possibly Wings of Hope.
Goal 4 means I have to start doing interval-training again. I dislike it, so it may prove more difficult than at first sight.
Goal 5 is the odd one. I must be humble and realize I have much to learn, even though I think I have decent technique to get me by without injuries, and think I have started to understand what my body tells me when I’m running. I’m thinking about getting help from a friend to record some laps at a track on video, as well as finding a coach or PT specializing in running. Whatever the case, I’ll do my best to not get injured!
As for sickness and disease, I can’t do much about it more than follow the Ebola protocol that my bacteria- and sickness-phobic wife has established at home.
At the end of 2015, I see myself reading through the post with a smile while shaking my head! No, not in a condescending way – because I look genuinely happy and think: ”I can’t believe I did it. I fucking did it!”