I love setting goals. I have a 30 before 30 list (which isn’t complete, but it’s a note I frequently open on my phone), I’m setting monthly resolutions this year, and I love to think about my future.
I also love to run (hence the name of the blog…). I’ve run one marathon and I’m training for my second with hopes of running my third this fall.
So why won’t I set a concrete marathon goal for myself? Why not say 10 marathons before 30?
Because I have no idea where I’ll be by the time I’m 30. I’m loving marathons right now, but I also know I have the brittlest (is that a word?) of shins. And I know that I’m itching to crack other times. Sub-1:40 in a half and sub-20 in a 5K jump to mind immediately. I also love yoga. I feel like I should get into lifting. Maybe I’ll want to do a triathlon someday. Someday very far in the future because I am terrified of bikes, but I digress.
The point is, I don’t want to burn out again. I remember what it feels like to hate running. And it sucked. For a core part of my identity (and yes, I do consider “a runner” to be one of the first ways to define myself) to be challenged in that way was scary. In college, the break from running was all I needed to come back to it, but I would rather not go through that again.
And maybe this is a little melodramatic, and maybe I could say “10 before 30” as a 22 year old and change my mind by 25. But when it comes to running, I like to keep the door wide open. Who knows? Maybe I’ll end up running 20 marathons before 30. Or maybe I’ll stop at 2.
As long as I’m running for me, though, and as long as it’s fun, I’m happy. And that’s why I’m not ready to commit to long term number goals. We’ll just see where my sneaks take me.