Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Motivational issues following goal achievement in a goal orientated runner

Firstly a short back story. I attempted the Bob Graham Round when living in London in 2006, it was perhaps the least prepared and most ill fated BG attempt in history. I was an accountant, had never run further than 13 miles and bored in the office one afternoon a plan was hatched for myself and 3 colleagues to have a crack at the Bob Graham, 2.5 miles an hour for 24 hours can't be that hard if we can stay awake right? Wrong. L1 woefully behind schedule with various ailments and injuries besetting the 4 team members we retreated to Keswick in awe of what we had failed to achieve.

September 2010 and my wife, Fiona Blackett joins DFR, I come along to see what it is all about and find that i'm not a bad fell runner. I decide that the Bob Graham is worth another go and from that point to the early hours of April 1st 2012 every step I ran was in pursuit of that objective. Of being the hero I had been in awe of in 2006.

I completed the round at 0536 on 1st April 2012 in a time of 23:36, not quick, but I never had ambition to run a quick BG, just to get round in less than the allotted 24 hours. You can read about my round in my previous post.

I now have no ambition. No goals. No reason to run?

Next weekend I have no plans. I don't have to go out and run all day. I might climb if the weather is good. I might run if I fancy it, but I don't have to. I haven't had a weekend like that for over a year. What am I to do with my time if I don't have goals?

Option A – construct some goals.

I would like to finish in the top 10 of an English Fell Running Championships race next year.

There. That's a goal and it is a SMART goal – my performance manager at work will be pleased. Problem is that I have a whole year to get quick enough for that, no need to get quick now. Perhaps a more important point is that this is a constructed goal, something I have said just for the sake of something to say, thinking that if I say it out loud it might become true. I know that I wouldn't be satisfied having got into the top 10. I would be pissed off that I wasn't in the top 5. So what's the point?

Option B – financially commit to some goals.

Enter a couple of mountain marathons, that sort of thing. I have bought a Terra Nova tent which will never see active service outside of a MM, so I had better get myself in gear and enter one. Problem here is that I entered and enjoyed mountain marathons before I was fit, so what's the point in slogging myself in training up loads of hills to finish a few places higher. It's not achievable for me to win these events at the moment so why should I try?

Option C – drift.

Get fat, get slow, go out for a run when I fancy it, do a few races and get beaten by people whom I used to beat, that might get me going again. Only one way to find out. Now, where's the remote control.....

Hold on a second. Perhaps this is all rubbish, a self constructed problem put together for the purposes of filling a bit of web space, but I was asked to write something and these were the first words that came out.

One thing I have neglected to mention thus far, is that in July I have entered as a team of three to run the Lakeland 100 race. This is something i'm not sure how I feel about at the moment, being awake for 24 hours was hard and running 100 miles will take longer than that. I'm not sure I want to do it. But I have committed to my team members to run it, and as a team we have discussed the goal of being the quickest team of 3 around the course so I will do my training and I will be fit to complete the race this July.

I honestly wasn't sure how that previous paragraph was going to end when I started it. I hesitated for a good few minutes before starting to write it, nervous of what the ending would be. Nervous of letting down my team mates.

It helps me to discuss things, even if it is with myself. Now, where did I leave my fell shoes!

1 comment:

  1. Late last year/Earlier this year I was thinking of what to motivate me too keep plugging away. I plumped for aiming to finish top-5 in some big fell races (Well Carl Bell managed it after only 18months fell racing) and get selected for World Orienteering Champs 2015 in Scotland. I know these are, whilst not impossible, are highly highly improbable. Hopefully I'll get close to these (i.e. pull of some scalps in Fell and O, become a more 'solid elite' and not the 'punter elite' I am at the moment in O) but I'm not worried about meeting these targets as the whole point of them is to help me improve my running and orienteering. Although I was drunk when I initially came up with these.

    RabMM is Northern England Based in Early October: http://www.darkandwhite.co.uk/challenge-events-outdoor-activities.asp?race_id=366