Goals are good. They help a lot to maintain you in steady progress and keeps you accountable. For normal people, goals are awesome!
Then, there's runners.
It seems that, as a group, we are an obsessive bunch. For us (notice I'm including myself) goals can be a double edge sword and if we are not careful, they will cut us. Case in point: my runs last week.
It was supposed to be a recovery week. Each run was shorter than usual but, the weekly mileage total was pretty much the same so that meant more running days. I was all for an "easy week" but my body apparently had other ideas. My body decided to call last week "speed week". And boy was it. Not only did I break my best 4 mile time - twice - but also my best 3 mile time. It was weird running miles in the 13 and 14 minute range but I was feeling great. Also, I was on the verge of breaking my monthly mileage record.
Then, my mother-in-law came to visit.
Now, now. I'm not gonna blame my MiL for what happened. It was just a coincidence. We were supposed to go visit her but she had some business in our area so at the last minute they decided to come. I had it all planned out. We go do what we have to do, have lunch, then after they go, I do my final run of the week (5 miles) late in the afternoon and I reach my magic number for the month (80 miles) Well, we took her to where they had to go and its taking way longer than I thought but I at the time I did not notice. Then we go to "lunch" (Sizzler) and things got a little out of hand as they usually do at a buffet. Man was I full! That's when I notice its 4:30 pm.
We got home, my wife's family left and all I'm thinking about is: "If I don't do this run, I will not reach 80 miles this month. No way." My body however just wanted to get on the bed and whither there like bad lettuce forever. "It would be unwise to even try to run like this." I thought.
So I went running. Stupid, I know.
During the whole run, especially the first two miles, the meal I had just consumed was adamant in letting me know that it did not want to join me on this run and was more than happy to stay at whatever corner or sidewalk I was willing to "leave" (see how that rhymes with heave?) it at.
By some unholy miracle, I made it through 4 miles of this insanity before I finally gave up. I was so sick, I decided not to run yesterday which ended my race to 80 miles in July. The good news? I broke the record anyway. My best month was 73 miles (April) and I made it to 75. Even though I did not reach 80, I managed something.
In celebration, here is some Runner's World motivation from the Remy's World column.