Monday, October 3, 2016

Race Goals versus Projects

The first running book I ever read was Jeff Galloway's Book on Running where he introduced the idea of an evolution that runners go through, from beginner through competitive stages, to latter stages where racing against time or others isn't nearly as important.

At the time I read his book, I was quite taken with improving my race performances and working hard to do the best I potentially could in that respect, so I couldn't imagine a day when I would not care as intensely. But now, some years later, I admit that race goals don't motivate me like they used to. However for me, the simple purity of getting out there for the sake of it doesn't always fully give me enough motivation to run as much as I feel good doing either.

I need goals, but I don't always want them to be confined to the narrow realm of races. Happily, trail running offers a wide range of options for alternative types of goals and projects. For example completing a new trail or network of trails, fastest known times, running streaks, running vacations, volunteering at a race or even race directing, to name just a few.

This fall I've created a running project called Trail Trek for Judy for Myeloma Canada, in honour of my mother who passed away last October. For me it is a very different type of goal altogether because of the fundraising element, but it allows me to use my running in a way that resonates emotionally while doing something of use, and that feels good right now.

I may get excited about some race goals again soon, but in the meantime there are plenty of options as different interests, moods, or life stages come and go and we evolve as, hopefully lifelong, runners.

A project-within-a-project: discovering new trails while training for TTJ


Jarn (Teags) said...

I get it. I'm not as accomplished as a runner as you, but I'm really struggling with motivation to race. And run in general unfortunately. Planning on Dion Frontenac though which I'm actually looking forward to!!!! Good luck with Trail Trek, it's such a great cause.

Cindy said...

Sometimes the removal of high performance PR is truly a blessing, running just to run is truly the best! We have enough pressures in life as it is to add more in something that we do to relax! But I totally understand the need for a goal, I also need a project to keep me moving forward. I love yours and will be following your progress! Enjoy this beautiful journey.

Sara Montgomery said...

Thanks Jarn and Cindy!