I had played around with the idea of not pinning on a bib at all in 2018. The last few years I’ve spent way too much time preparing for and worrying about this race or that, focusing on the miles I need to run and the workouts I need to crush to reach some goal or another. Too much pressure.
I wanted 2018 to be about nothing more than getting healthy, getting strong, reshaping my body and my habits, and enjoying running. I spent way to much time in 2017 feeling hurt and pretty much hating running. I want to change that in 2018.
My physical therapist had other ideas.
Last Thursday I had my last session (for now) with the physical therapist. While I was finishing my last set of single leg deadlifts we started to talk about what was next. My knees are feeling pretty good right now and I’ve made significant progress, so we determined I can do whatever I need for physical therapy on my own. Then he asked if I had a goal race.
“Actually, I was thinking about not running any races next year.”
“Um, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
I was a little surprised he felt that way, but it actually makes a lot of sense, now that we discussed it a bit. He thinks it will be easier for me to stay motivated to do the work I need to do to get healthy and get running on the regular if I have a race on the schedule. Something to look forward to.
He’s right. That’s just how my brain works.
So I went home that day and signed up for the Portland Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5K.
Actually, it’s entirely possible I sign up to run something before Mother’s Day. That’s five months away and unless things blow up in my face, I should be plenty capable of running a 5K before that.
I will not, however, allow myself to set any goals for this, or any race this year. I do think it is important to have some milestones to reach in this journey, and pinning on a bib and running a race is a milestone, but running a certain time can’t be my focus right now.
My focus needs to be on mastering the changes I’m making to my stride, to continuing to doing my physical therapy exercises and adding even more strength work to my routine. My focus needs to be on actually making the changes to my diet that I talk about to death, and my focus needs to be on losing the 20 extra pounds I’ve been carrying around since reaching the weight-loss plateau I’ve been at for the last three years or so.
I’m excited to get back into the routine of running and to feeling that race-day, starting-line vibe. I’m even more excited to feel good, to feel healthy and strong, when I do toe the starting line.
That goal of not racing in 2018 was probably unrealistic anyway. At least now it is not my fault that I’m not reaching a goal I set for myself.