I am a very goal-oriented person. I don’t beat myself up too badly if I don’t reach a goal, but I kind of need a goal in order to stay motivated. Even my job is set up this way… we track our guest count & sales for lunch & dinner every day and compare each day’s numbers against that same day from the previous year. While our overall goal is to beat those numbers for a whole month at a time, having that daily goal amps me up for each day that I work.
As far as running is concerned, I can’t just go out and run. I mean, I can, but I won’t get very far. If I don’t have a set distance or time in my head, I am wont to give up far too early. And, if I don’t have the goal of a race ahead of me, I have a hard time keeping myself motivated to get out and pound the pavement. If I don’t have an upcoming goal, the second I get outside and start moving I feel great… but it is the getting outside part that is difficult. If I have that upcoming race, I can hardly wait to get my shoes on! At least, that’s how it has been thus far.
I plan on running a 10k later this season, but my next race is a 5k in December. I’ve only done one 5k and it was when I was still relatively new to anything over 2 miles. I ran it in 29:11, which is a 9:25 mile. I was stoked that I did it in under 30 minutes. The last race I ran was the 1Day Relay in October. (Side: I just now realized I never did a recap of that race. Oops! If you’d like to read how our team’s day was (AWESOME) check out some of my teammate’s recaps: Active Eggplant, Food and Fun on the Run, The Wannabe Athlete.) My first leg was 3.63 miles, which I ran in 32:43 (9:01/mile pace) and my second leg was 4.13 miles, a mile of which was over a bridge in 25 mph wind, which I ran in 38:42 (9:22/mile pace). So, obviously at this point I can keep up a faster pace for longer than 3 miles.
What I am trying to get at (very long-windedly) here is that I am not super motivated to get out and “train” for this upcoming 5k. I feel like I know I can run the distance and I know I can run the pace to better my time, so I’m not feeling like I really need to push myself. I mean, this morning, I ran 5k in the wind with a crappy jogging stroller in 29 minutes. This lack of motivation doesn’t make me any less excited to run that race, but it does make it harder for me to get my butt out the door.
I think what I need to do is find that 10k that I want to run and sign up for it. I think that will push me to start on a more regimented training schedule again. I haven’t run farther than 4.5 miles yet, so knowing that I need to push for 6 will be an awesome goal.
Do you ever have trouble finding motivation? Or are you better off when you just get out there and do your thing?