Runners tend to be goal-oriented. We sign up for a race, plan for it, train for it, and show up for it, and before we’ve had a chance to add our shiny new medals to our overloaded medal racks, we already are signing up for another one.
When you’re a new runner, it’s natural to keep setting new goals as you build your endurance and fall in love with running. While many people dive right in to half marathons, I started with 5ks, moved up to 10ks, and then found my favorite race distance in 10 milers. Getting comfortable with each race distance was an accomplishment that left me ready to conquer the next one. (I maxed out at the half marathon distance, but always feel that they are 5K too long!)
My 5K PR To Beat The Deadline
Who’s Accomplishment Is It?
Chasing after bigger and better accomplishments becomes more risky when the goals aren’t really your own. If you join a running group or make new running friends, you may find yourself get sucked into chasing their goals. Or maybe you catch FOMO from Facebook and sign up for a big race just so you don’t miss out.
I think there’s a fine line between healthy motivation and unhealthy peer pressure, and it’s hard to tell which side of that line you’re falling on when you’re making epic plans with friends. I ran the RagnarDC relay because my friend wanted to do it, and ended up having more fun than she did, but I’m not sure I’d feel the same way after joining her for a mud run.
Don’t I look like I’m having fun?
Is The Accomplishment Worth It?
Chasing after bigger and better accomplishments also can be risky if you are so committed to your training plan that you ignore warning signs of injury and over-training. This is a big weakness of mine, because I am such a rule-follower at heart. If my training plan says to run x distance at y pace, that’s what I will do, even if I feel a tweak in my knee when I kick up the pace. That 5K PR was a strain on my legs, which were just getting back in running shape after my summer “off” with a broken foot. Luckily I didn’t do any lasting harm, but I had to ease up on my training for the Army Ten Miler.
Of course, you can get injured or have a disappointing race experience even if you do everything “right,” and that’s another thing that keeps runners signing up for races. Whether it’s the same race next year or the same distance on another day, another race brings the promise of a “do-over”–and another medal to add to our overloaded medal racks. 😉
Today’s Wednesday Word is accomplish.
What will you accomplish next?