Monday, December 23, 2013

A Man Without Goals Is No Kind of Man

The four (or so) of you who are regular readers may (or may not) have noticed that I went about a month between posts.

My bad.

Admittedly, I was busy, what with two weddings over Thanksgiving and a recent vacation to Disney World. But, hey, it’s 2013, so I very well could have set up a couple auto-publish posts, right?

Travel notwithstanding, I got hit with a nice case of writer’s block. I know why, too. I’m not training for anything. I have a spring marathon all but lined up, and I am probably going to do a 5K in the first week of 2014, but hasn’t been a race circled with a black marker on my calendar to keep me moving.

Part of this is by design, given, you know, the aforementioned travel. Working a second job in retail this time of year doesn’t help, either. Nor do repeat sets of shoveling the driveway. Still, I should be hittin’ the road at least three times a week. If nothing else, it keeps me sane.

I’ve written before about setting goals and using them as motivation in tough times (“tough” being a relative term here). I’ve been a bit of a hypocrite, though. At the moment, I am a man without goals.

The obvious question here: Why? Maybe running 13.1 miles three weeks after running 26.2 left me a bit burned out. Maybe my schedule sucks. Maybe the weather sucks. Maybe I just didn’t feel like it.

There are elements of truth in all four answers. The first three are pretty obvious. As for the fourth: I was ready, for the first time in months, after carefully recording each workout, to just run for the hell of it.

You know what? It didn’t work. I apparently need the level of accountability that comes with tracking each mile, each interval and each split. When I didn’t have access to a computer (read: Didn’t feel like booting it up), I scribbled my distance and time on a slip of paper. Without a goal, I have no real way of knowing if those distances and times are anywhere near the mark, either.

Could a coach help? Sure. What about joining a running club? That, too. Ultimately, though, the motivation’s gotta come from within -- and for me at least, that motivation won’t come without a goal.

So maybe I’ll finally sign up for that marathon, and maybe I’ll get my butt in gear to make sure I break 20 minutes in that 5K on Jan. 5. Either way, I will let the four (or so) of you know.