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Training With A Goal

Thursday, February 23, 2012

When I started exercising and eating well, I had one goal - lose weight. This has been a good motivator for me for 3 years, but it's kind of a never-ending type of goal. I will eventually get to my goal weight, but even then there is maintenance. I've made healthy changes to my lifestyle that I know will last for the rest of my life, but some days the "lose weight" goal just isn't enough.

I always looked at exercise as something I had to do. Burn calories, work my muscles, get my endorphin fix - and I usually enjoy it. By now, I am a complete exercise junkie and can't imagine my life without it. But, when you have no specific physical goals, choosing an exercise is really open. What do I feel like doing? How long do I feel like doing it? It leaves room for slack days and lighter workouts, which is fine - in moderation.

Yesterday, I went for a short run (4 miles). It was a very pleasant day for February, but it was windy, I was tired, the route I chose started out with a mile long climb up a huge hill. There were a lot of reasons (excuses) for me to just stay home. I needed more time to study, it was my only time to myself pretty much al week, the house is a mess, etc.

I went for a run. Not because I really wanted to, but because I am training for a goal. When a marathon is looming in the not-so-distant future, every workout is planned in advance. Everything I do must serve some purpose in getting me prepared for this massive task. The food I eat becomes fuel for these workouts and nothing more. Losing weight right now would be nice - and make me slightly faster - but it's not the focus. Everything is about the marathon.

I struggled with that short run. I did not want to be out there, and it took a while for my mind to calm down and enjoy it. The first moment I really enjoyed was reaching the top of the huge hill at mile 1 and seeing the gorgeous view. You can see the whole town, including the river and a large farm with the mountains in the background, and it was beautiful.

Even after that I struggled. After building a little distance, I have found that it takes me longer to warm up and get into that "I could go forever" place. It takes about 3 miles, so until then every step was a question - "Why am I doing this?"

The answer - to run a marathon.

Anyone who runs knows you have good days and bad days, and the distance isn't the only factor. I ran 10 miles on Saturday, pushed my speed on the hills, and got back 5 minutes before my goal. And, I felt great the whole time. I was focused. I kept pushing, and I enjoyed it.

Yesterday's run should have been easy. A quick, little jaunt out in the sunshine. But, it was one of the worst I've had in awhile. Maybe it was stress, not enough sleep, water, food - who knows? The point is that I'll do it even when it's not ideal because I have a goal.

And, when I finish that marathon, it will have been totally worth it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Definitely a reminder of how we've got to take a little 'bad' with most of the 'good' that life gives us and continue to be persistent. emoticon for your post!
    2186 days ago
    That is some great insight. Good luck with your marathon training! Wow, what an impressive goal!
    2188 days ago
    Your run sounds kinda like life in general - some days are good, some great, some horrid, and some so-so. It's looking at the big picture that counts. WTG for getting out there when you really didn't want to. You'll make that goal!
    2188 days ago
    SRBROWN2's blog lead me to yours...I am happy to have found it. I need a more concrete goal myself, it cannot be running due to a previous injury, but you've got me thinking....

    2188 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    I've been looking into maybe signing up for a triathlon for this exact reason...
    2188 days ago
    Thank you for posting this. I have been slacking lately. I've been putting other things in front of exercising and eating right. I've allowed my emotions to affect my decisions in regards to this journey. Weight loss isn't the goal that's going to push my through. So, now I must find a goal that will push me. So, thanks again, for posting this.

    2189 days ago
    It's like you crawled into my head! I must always have a certain, specific goal or my workout suffer. In december I ran a half marathon, yesterday I ran three miles and felt like I was going to die! It's so crazy how runs can change from day to day. Keep rockin your marathon training!
    2189 days ago
    I cannot even begin to explain how much I needed this. I needed it SO MUCH. I've just begun running. I hate running. I've never really done it because I'd get two minutes in and feel like I was going to die and then quit.

    Just yesterday I ran my first continuous mile. On the treadmill so I know it doesn't count as much but it was the first time it's ever happened. Today I did it again and I upped the incline.

    It wasn't fast. It wasn't long. (TWSS?) But I did it. And I'm so glad to see that YOU continue to do it. It helps me actually believe that I can get to your level of running/fitness/happiness!!
    2189 days ago
    For me to feel like I'm moving forward I have to have a goal in mind... thanks so much for sharing!!!
    2189 days ago
  • APED7969
    Some of my shortest runs are my worst too! The goal makes it all worthwhile :-)
    2189 days ago
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