Do we always need goals?

I never wanted to run. I hated all sports equally.
Then, a few years ago, I started running, very very slowly, just to mess up with my cardiologist’s plans.
I liked it.

I never wanted to race. Why would I?
In 2006, I was forced into a half marathon.
I became addicted. That was the day.

I never wanted to race a marathon. Those long runs were scary, and I didn’t want to spend so much time training.
I did the New York City Marathon in 2008, I cursed like a sailor for the first 10 minutes after crossing the finish line.
Two hours later, I was figuring out how many more races I’d to do to qualify for next years’ NYCM.

I never ever thought I’d get to run Boston.
I was very surprised when I qualified, during the 2009 NYCM, injured and all.
I ran my funnest and smartest marathon in Boston that year.

I never thought I’d want to run anything further than 26.2. That sounds just about brutal.
Then the slower pace, the trails, the camaraderie of the all-night runs bug bit me.
So I run my first ultra marathon and a couple more.

Then I wanted to get a bit faster. I thought reaching 70% in age grading would do it.
I did that last year.
I am sure I will be happy with these if I start getting old and slow tomorrow.

Well, what now? Do I even need to have goals?
A part of me feels like I need them. I like structure, goals, objectives, I like achieving them.
Another part is very happy to be running free and content with what I have done so far.

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15 thoughts on “Do we always need goals?

  1. Goals keep us motivated! If I don’t have goals I just get lazy. Today my goals are only based on PRs. I know that in few years my goals will include running ultra marathons. I know someday in the future I will not be able to run faster and all my PRs will be frozen. Then I believe the goals will change. They won’t be to run faster or longer any more. I don’t know which my goals are going to be in the future. When I get ther I figure it out. Maybe the goal will be to finish a race with dignity, to help slower runners breaking PRs, and so on…

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    • Yes, I think so too, but on the other hand, I am not sure what my goals could be now. PRing is nice, but running to PR is boring for me, I want my running to be fun and I don’t want any unnecessary pressures… I don’t know, I guess I still have a lot to figure out!

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      • I don’t like pressures too. I’m also want my running to be fun. For this reason I select just a few races in the year to run really fast. In the other races I like to enjoy my trip (when it is outside my city) and my friends. I also like to support people to get their PRs. My PR in half marathons is 1:32:50. Once I travel almost 800km to help a very good friend of mine completing a half marathon in 2 hours. It was not so easy to run that slow. It was not comfortable, but It was very very nice – there was no pressure at all. Hope you discover fresh and new goals to keep you
        motivated.

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  2. Great post. Goals change, but there will always be something out there to motivate us. I am wrestling with this quandary myself now after getting to Boston, running an ultra, and setting 10-year PRs at every distance. Some races are for fun, but some will still have time goals, for whatever shape we are in at the time. Because working hard to achieve a goal is fun!

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    • Yes, I want to find something but on the other hand I think I could be quite happy with how far I’ve come (talk about low standards!!!!!). I have short term goals, whatever race is ahead but I wonder if I need a long term goal, besides longevity!

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  3. For me, if I do not have a goal, my lazy ass is in bed too long to get up and run and too tired when I get home to run. Then I keep eating like I’m running and next thing I know, I’ve gained 10lbs.

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  4. Pingback: Complete Lack of Motivation | runningandthecity

  5. Pingback: 2013. A LOT of stuff. Amazing Year! | runningandthecity

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