I ran my first race in the fall of 2008. I had my number pinned to my back. Lots of lessons learned, miles run, and over 20 races – it’s late 2015 and I have no race on the horizon.
Typically, I am one that needs the carrot, and sometimes, the stick, to get me up and out the door. Usually I have half marathon or 10K in my future and my runs are a means to completing a certain distance or hitting a goal time. Now my runs are a means to….what exactly?
Let’s start first with why I don’t have a race on the calendar. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to train for another half right now, it’s that I’m learning what I can fit on my plate and what may need to take a back seat. Currently I have a full workload, side business, and I’m planning a wedding. I have more travel on my schedule in the next 6 months than I have had in the last two years. While I am thankful for all of these things, they do limit my ability to add in a solid training plan. In essence, I’m learning to say “no”.
If you’re anything like me, you also like the idea of being super woman/man. Doing it all and kicking butt while doing so! Well, turns out, I’m human – and I’ll take a wild stab at it that you are too. I’m learning to be ok with that.
So, if there’s not a race on the calendar, what am I running for? There’s only one thing on that list and it’s “me”. Selfish huh?
As you’ve probably read over the years on this blog, running is my safe haven. Whether I’m clocking faster times or taking walk breaks, the steps help me decompress, let off some steam, re-evaluate, and reboot.
So what have I learned about motivation since deciding not to have pick a race anytime soon?
HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED WITHOUT RUNNING A RACE
1. I need a plan! Sorry, but it’s true. There have been weeks where I have no idea what my ultimate goal is and guess what? The runs don’t happen. You can still set goals without a race. Do you want to focus on distance? I’ve read that running 8 to 10 miles every other week will allow you to keep a solid base of distance while not training for a race. Do you want to focus on speed? Write out a few interval workouts and place them on the calendar.
2. Workout buddies rock. I still love working out with Devin in the morning, and I miss my running buddy Colleen, but I’m on the hunt for a group that will at least guarantee some weekly mileage. It’s hard to go ghost on multiple people than it is with yourself.
3. Shake it up. New clothes, new shoes, a new running route, or a completely new set of scenery. Recently, Devin and I went to Chicago. The Lakefront path was enough to get me out the door for a quick trot with the rest of the city. We loved it.
4. Remind yourself of the long term goal. Even with a race, the long term goal wasn’t the finish line. It was health. Huffing and puffing for a few minutes each day gives us a good foundation for the energy needed to live a full and vibrant life.
How do you feel about not running a race in the near future? Has there ever been a time you’ve taken a break from the race scene?