I woke up one morning at the end of 2018 realizing that my running goals probably weren’t going to be what I had envisioned a few months ago. I needed to listen to my body and mind, and have a slightly different focus. So for 2019, my goals are still running-related…I will be running, but with less emphasis on racing, especially the marathon distance. A few weeks ago, I listened to my favorite podcast Running Rogue, a maintenance plan episode, which happened to drop right after my fall marathon. They said you shouldn’t go from marathon to marathon to marathon, and ideally, there should be 6 to 12 months, or even longer, between big goal races. In between those big goal races, you still want to have a maintenance base running plan which does still include quality and long runs, but with far more flexibility.
At the time I didn’t really want to hear that, because I do love training for races. Since then, I have come to the conclusion that an ebb and flow between big races really is best for my body. My body is screaming for a change in routine. Instead of focusing on another marathon, or even a spring half marathon, I want to focus on strength, which ultimately IS a running goal. I have learned that I can’t have one without the other, yet maintaining strength when training for a half, and especially a full marathon, is difficult. Focusing on a running maintenance plan, while I heal and strengthen for another big goal race, IS a running goal. Meeting running goals, in all their shapes and forms, is a journey over time, over years, and not necessarily linear, but full of obstacles, curves, and even sitting on the sidelines for a bit. Being a competitive person can make those changes hard, when really we want to be running and racing and getting faster much of the time. There is far more to running than racing, and being healthy and strong makes running and racing enjoyable and doable for the long haul. Isn’t that what all runners want? To be running when we are in our 70s or even 80s? Or beyond?
And that is essentially my running goal for at least the first part of 2019–running goals that don’t look like running goals. Can you relate? What are your running goals in disguise?