Moving Forward with New Running Goals

After hitting a running low, it’s time to bounce back.

The other day when I was on my easy run, I passed by my friend, Sean, who was walking his dog. I didn’t see him – he was maybe 30 metres behind me – so he yelled.

I think I heard, “Go, Ted!” I waved back and kept going.

Five or so minutes later, Sean – the guy who pushed me into doing an Ironman a couple years ago – appeared running beside me. After I said a three-letter acronym that starts with a W and ends with an F, we laughed about my pace.

“So you had time to go home, take the dog back, get running clothes on, and catch up to me?” I said.

“Yeah, had a meal and read a novel, too,” he joked.

We laughed and talked about how our training was going. I was updating him on my re-calibration, how much I loved my new plan for starting over, and how I was happy to see the incremental progress that I’m making from week-to-week. He filled me in on his new 5 a.m. runs—how he loves the stillness of the morning. We didn’t talk about my marathon DNF.

Eventually, we looped back around to memories of race day and how amazing it felt to complete such a grand goal.

“Nothing like it,” I said.

“Made all the work worth it, right?” Sean said.

I agreed. But I also told him what I hated – that every time I have a big goal, I’m stressed about the pressure I feel to meet it. Yet every time I don’t have a big goal, I feel like a caged cat, anxious to get out and chase something else.

With nothing large looming in my running future, I’m not going to give into temptation. This is the exact opposite of what I usually do. (Especially when it comes to a great corned beef.)

I don’t want to declare a goal with an all-caps shout. Instead, I want to whisper it, I want to pursue it, and I want to train to get to a place I’ve never been before. To do that, my plan is to go back to basics – to PB a 5K sometime in 2017 (current PB: 29:34). I’d like to do it early in the year, but will give myself cushion to keep working for it if I don’t.
I’m currently using my cocktail of cross-training (varied runs, strength, and swimming) to establish my base, but will then move into a more speed-specific plan. And I’m looking forward to racing.

I’m not going to obsess about it, and I’m not going to make any grand gestures about.

My plan is to work for it, hurt for it and mostly keep quiet about it.

But my plan is also to get it.

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