I am a goal-oriented person. I need something on the horizon to keep me moving and motivated. Whether it is a race, a new distance, a new trail run - something to keep me excited so I get myself out the door. I've spent a lot of time thinking about what my goals are for 2012. Should they be distance? PR's? Coming back from foot surgery, I'm not sure if there are going to be PR's in the cards - especially not for the early part of the year. I want to take a bit of pressure off for a bit and not worry so much about time. It's so easy to feel the pressure of performing well. Comparing yourself to what you did the previous year, comparing yourself to what others are doing - you can get lost in all the comparing and forget why you are out there.
This year, I've decided that my goal is to make each workout to count. So each one will have a purpose. For running and cardio those purposes are: speed, tempo, distance, time and...FUN! As I look at training plans and schedules it is starting to stress me out. This run needs to be done at this speed, and I need to be on my feet for so many hours on this day, blah, blah, blah. I can do all of that, as long as I get to keep my fun runs. Some folks and training plans might call these junk miles. Those runs where you go out without any purposes, you don't work on your speed, maybe you zone out and just let your mind wander. You simply head out because your body wants to run. I love running trails and long distances. I want to head out to Forest Park or the Gorge and run until my body decides that it can't go anymore. These runs may not get me a PR in Boston, or a half-marathon PR at Race for the Roses, but what they will do is feed my soul and keep me sane. Training plans be damned.