This is a long story, but I did it! I found my fitness goal!
As I was trudging along the bike path this glorious October morning, I found myself re-evaluating the motivation behind running.
Originally I had decided to run music-free so as to take in all of the autumn happenings, leaves changing and geese calling and squirrels squirrel-ing. My brain, without the shackles of poppy music beats to hold it back, silenced autumn sights and sounds with my own thoughts.
…should I call myself a runner?…this is more like jogging…hey, it’s better than nothing…but is it?…why haven’t I improved in a while?…lengthen your stride…ooh bunny!…
Yeah. I know that I should fall back on a positive mantra when I start in on the negativity. Unfortunately, if I do not bring out the “you go girl” soon enough, every positive thought is turned into a slightly negative one.
…you’ve got this!…no, I don’t, I feel like I’m going to die…no you don’t! You’re not bleeding or puking! Keep going!…What’s the point? I could probably walk faster…
I might have a motivation problem. And I know why. I’ve been breaking a cardinal rule of exercising: I’ve been goal-less.
In April, I ran my second half-marathon. For training, I had been running 7-10 miles for five days a week for three months. After the half-marathon, I felt free. I had been released from the burden of training. I had run the joy right out of running.
But I need running. I have to do it. Whenever I make a list of things that I enjoy doing (as someone who wishes to change jobs, I do this a lot), running is on the list. I AM a runner. And runners need goals. If I’m not going to actively train for a particular race, then I need to find another aspect to train.
My new goal, I solidified in my brain to quiet its taunts of my almost 10-minute miles, is to be able to run a 5k in less than 26 minutes, which is somewhere around 8:30-minute miles.
I got this.