The Goal

Goals. What is the point of having a goal if it is going to be easy? Anybody can accomplish the entirely possible. It is the seemingly impossible that presents a goal worth striving for. I have never run a marathon before. I have run in the 20 mile range on occasions but have never branched out to the 26.2 mile barrier. Part of this was as a promise to my wife that I would get myself a doctor and get a physical before I ran or trained for any marathons. Part of this was probably due to my inability to focus at times.
For the last five or six days I have taken a bit of a break from running. I did a little vacation with the family and rode some water slides and roller coasters. I have let the legs rest up and heal up a bit. I have also done a little thinking. It should surprise no one that I am highly distractible (and am perhaps afflicted with ADHD…but whatever.) In the past I have celebrated my disorderly conduct by trying to glorify my lack of goals or ambition. It hasn’t been entirely detrimental. I have achieved a lot and certainly haven’t been lazy about my uncertain abilities. I have just lacked the focus to REALLY follow through on a specific goal other than to run a whole lot because I like it. What was I talking about? Oh yeah…thinking. Anyway, I was thinking about maybe focusing in on a running goal.
I started thinking about running goals. I started thinking about the things people have told me that I have found impressive. I really love running the middle distance events and I like the philosophical nature of the ultras but my brain keeps circling around 26.2. I thought about where I was in my running life and what a reasonable marathon goal would be. My first thought was to shoot for a Boston Qualifying time. This is no easy feat. For my age group, I would need to run a 3:15. That would definitely be an impressive accomplishment. It would certainly land me in an elite group to have even qualified for what is probably the most storied foot race in the world. I thought about the possibilities. Would I be able to put together a marathon in that kind of time? My answer to myself was YES. Bad answer…should an ultimate goal really be felt to be a relatively sure thing? I say “felt to be” because I really have no idea how fast I can run a marathon right now and, therefore, have even less idea where I will be once I have trained for one. However, the unknown is neither here nor there…I want a goal where there is not a feeling of surety. I want a goal that will push me to the edge of limits. I want a goal that I feel will put me into the upper echelon of marathoners. I WANT THE THREE HOUR MARATHON.
I don’t know if I can meet this goal. I don’t even know if I have what it takes to get a Qualifying Time for Boston. I do know that it will be difficult and that it will require months of training. I do know that, regardless of whether or not this goal is met, I will have a good time trying to get there and I will be a stronger runner at the end of it all.
I believe that I have picked my marathon. It is about a year away so I have plenty of time to train/think/run/bonk/win/lose/ruminate/pontificate and so on about it. I have put the ball in motion on the doctor front and have booked an actual appointment to have a meeting with one of the local docs. And now I have made my Goal Mission Statement. All that is left to do is run.

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1 Response to The Goal

  1. 51feetunder says:

    so…what’s the goal race? Do you have a plan? I have one if you need it.

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