What Are Your Goals?

Golden Gate Bridge at nightI started my run at around 5pm, so the sun was beginning to go down. It was pretty darn cool out. Chilly, you might say.

Since my left lower leg has been tight, I warmed up my calves and tibialis muscles a little bit more before starting up, and then eased into the run, going slow at first and shaking things out.

Felt good. I'm not sure I'll be running tomorrow, but we'll see how my legs feel.

With the cool weather taking care of any overheating issues, I felt like I had all the cardio in the world. I could have maintained my pace for at least another couple miles.

Running seems to be a negotiation between your cardio, your skeletal muscles and your mind. As with any trio, one party is frequently in discord with the rest, and the strong have to either give in to the weak or try to coax them into playing along.

The cardio element really only gets me when I'm either starting up after a long layoff or when I'm overheating. If I can't dissipate heat quickly enough, I get exhausted.

When my cardio is there, the next thing to start complaining is the skeletal muscles. My hip has occasionally gotten wonky, but it's usually lower leg issues that arise. Shin splints or some type of tibial muscle fatigue and pain.

If my cardio is good and my muscles are adequately conditioned, then it's my brain's turn to be the weak link; every now and again, it starts thinking about quitting.

I'm no great runner. My goals are not to qualify for Boston or win first place medals in my age group. Ultimately, I'm doing this for two reasons:
1. To fend off my genetic predisposition for heart issues.
2. To look awesome naked.

I think these are understandable goals. Right?

So, if I keep working, and keep element of the Triumvirate (cardio, muscles, mind) healthy and supportive of each other, hopefully I'll train farther and farther, get better and better, and achieve my goals.

What about you? Why are you running? What are your goals?

Photo courtesy Go Card USA on Flickr.

2 Brilliant Remarks:

  1. Amy Guth said...

    Great post...

    Well, I want to run a race in all 50 states, just to say I did it, but the deeper motivators at hand are: I'm also partially running to stave off the family history of, well, everything. But, more than that, I'd have to say that running and setting step-at-a-time goals (so not any one goal seems insurmountable, but a smooth, logical progression) keeps my head in the game; I've yet to come across an issue or frustration that a good run couldn't sort out.

    Er, and okay I'll admit it, at my first marathon, a run for a while with a guy who on that day was running his 50th race and celebrating his 85th birthday. 85th?!? The guy looked 60! If running can be a fountain of youth like that, sign me up well into my 90s.

  2. Güüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüüth!

    You know, I've yet to really exploit the head-straightening aspect of running. A lot of folks enjoy the "centering" quality of it, and I guess I do passively, but I haven't actively used it to sort stuff like you do.


    I definitely used to do that at the boxing gym--a good session with the heavy bag can really help straighten you out.

    Me gusto--it's something to explore. I reckon I'll be a little more mindful of that this year.

    As for the Ponce de León aspect, I can dig that. Running a marathon on your 85th birthday is an amazing feat. Maybe your 50th state race can be on *your* 85th birthday? Sorta bring it full-circle to your inspiring first marathon cohort.