When I ran my first marathon, I didn’t really have any long term goals other than to run my first marathon. My main motivation for running was to lose weight and gain fitness for tennis. A lot has changed since then – my sport of choice has long since changed from tennis to distance running (being an obsessive compulsive personality that likes to go off by himself gels perfectly with the solitary hours on the road that are the hallmark of the psychopath marathoner). And I have made a lot of changes in regards to my nutrition. But I still have goals dammit, primarily three at this point, which I am listing below:
(1) Achieve/Maintain a high level of fitness
The first thing on the list I hold in a different league than the next two. It is the most fundamental part of the whole running thing for me and is really more of a lifestyle paradigm than a goal achievement. By attaining a high level of fitness through distance running the rest of the things in my life become easier. Plus I will hopefully live a longer and more fruitful life, enabling me to annoy the people I love much longer than if I was sedentary.
(2) Running a marathon in every state
This is one of those stupid yet kind of cool things that serial marathoners do. Putting this on the list at least ensures that I have a long term outlook, since my time and monetary resources don’t lend themselves to me banging out all 50 states in a year. It also happens to be a very cool way to see other locations and sample some of the races that runners across the country brag about. So far I am up to 23 marathons in 12 states so I still have a long way to go.
(3) Qualify for the Boston Marathon
This is the loftiest goal by far. I am not gifted with natural born speed, and my fastest marathon to date still leaves me about 20 minutes from my Boston qualifying time. However, with some training tweaks and nutritional changes I don’t think it’s completely off the table for me either. The historical significance this race holds coupled with the national sentiment of recent events makes it worthy of a stretch goal.