Sunday, October 31, 2010

Goal-less Running

Like so many others, my racing season is over. Since the first 5 Peaks in April, at Golden Ears , I've been running with a race in mind. From Iron Knee in May to the summer's 5 Peaks series, and a culmination in August with Stormy 50 and Trans Rockies, in Colorado. Following all that racing and a couple of annoying overuse injuries, I vowed to back off racing and distance. Since August 27th I haven't run anything more than 15 km - a couple races, but mostly just running without a focus or a goal in mind. No big deal, right? Or so I thought.

"Run Now" is my mantra on so many occasions, but this morning, while climbing a new route up Grouse, I had an epiphany that some recent restlessness, and lack of present-minded running, came from having no racing goals. I'd been racing and training so much it had become a way of living. About three quarters of the way up it came to me that I was enjoying myself immensely and hadn't thought about my running plans for the coming year. I was so focused on "Running Now" that I was able to just be there. When I say I had been restless, I mean that I had been looking for various races to do and something to focus on, like my next race, or yoga, or some type of gym routine. It was just an undetermined internal nagging I felt. In hindsight, the question arises, do we need a reason to run other than the enjoyment of moving freely, being outside under tree cover, or the meditative concentration it takes to run a technical trail?

This mornings run brought me to a place where I could just run without future thoughts and from that emerged my goal...or a reaffirmation of my blog namesake and mantra, RUN NOW. The fall is such a beautiful time to run or race, it's crazy to feel discontent when I arrive back home. I love that a run/hike up Grouse with friends is what brought me back to what I needed. Like many runners and racers, I am incredibly goal oriented, but fall is a time for variety and enjoyment, not racing and pushing. And that's okay.

So...when all goals are achieved, t's are crossed, i's are dotted, lists are checked, it only makes sense to just Run Now.


  1. The absence of structure often leads to new ideas and more fun... Enjoy!


  2. I'm on the Eat and Drink Now program. But oh yeah, I'm Runnin' Now.