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Evaulation of goals and upcoming races

So this weekend I was on the go-go-go the whole weekend. I started it off with a great Thursday evening run which got me out of my running rut. Friday morning I overslept :( and couldn’t do my long run that morning before leaving for San Diego for work for the AFC Expo on Friday and Saturday. We left at 9:30 am and got to San Diego right at 12 when the Expo started. Met some great people and finally left the expo at 7:15 pm. We ended up eating at one of the best places I’ve ever eaten at, more on that tomorrow, and hit the hay at 9:30. Had a horrible nights sleep since our hotel room was next to the elevator. All night long. Ding. Ding. Ding. We woke up at 8 am and headed over to the expo with a delicious trip to Starbucks and worked until 5:00 pm and then started the lovely 2 hour drive home. Got home at 7:15 pm, ate dinner, watched Jersey Shore and went to bed at 9 pm, to wake up at 4:00 am to head back to work the OC Fair 5k.

To say the least, my weekend was not really a weekend. Sometimes I look forward to working during the week and sitting at my desk all day one day so I can get caught up on all my emails and just sit for a while.

So after working 8 hours Sunday morning at the Fair 5k, I traveled home, sat for a while and ate lunch. It was actually very warm out so I waited for a while to start my long run. I started at 4:30 pm and made it 10 miles before I was just pouring in sweat and thirsty. I even wore my fuel belt and my water bottles were bone dry. I got picked up by a friend on the side of the road. It wasn’t discouraging, but I am just so busy that it’s hard to make training my priority right no, which is exactly what I said it needed to be on Thursday if you want to reach your goals.

From now until December, my life is going to be completely crazy. I have events basically every weekend. I love it but it does hinder my training a lot. This morning I walked the dogs for a mile and a half and really thought about my goals, my life and the upcoming races I hope to run in. I was hoping to possibly try to qualify for Boston in Camarillo in October. I realized that even thought I want to qualify, right now, I’m not going to have the time to make this a realistic goal. I thought about all the training runs I’ve had and how I feel great, but I’m not at the speed that I want to be or need to be. I also know that I run for me and that’s the bottom line.

It’s hard to realize that right now I don’t  WANT to qualify for Boston enough to put in the training that it will take to get me there, nor do I have the time to put in the training.

I have talked to many other runners about this but I have a theory that if you ran competitively previously in high school or college, it’s harder for you to train now to “compete” if you are running for pleasure. I feel a lot of the ‘training’ that I would be doing, would be exactly what I did in high school. It’s interesting to hear so many other people who have the same background as I do say many of the same things about how the feeling of “running for fun” is exactly that. Running for fun. If I start training like I used to, it would become work, like how it was then and I’ve already done that whole thing. It took me a long time to be okay with just ‘running’ for fun. I like racing, I like running but I’m not running like I used to in high school. Where I trained year round and ran competitively and constantly was criticizing myself and pushing myself to the limit. It’s an interesting thought that I consider that I’ve already ‘ran that hard’ and ‘raced’ in my life and now it’s just for fun for me.

Bottom line: Do I want to go to Boston? Yes. Do I want to go right now? Do I REALLY WANT IT? No. Which makes me believe it’s not my time to qualify. I’m just being honest with myself, it stings a little but it’s honest.

I want to have an awesome race in Camarillo. My goal is go to sub-4 again. I want to have fun and have an awesome race in Malibu again. I want to enjoy some half marathons and have fun running. I want to be able to go out and run and enjoy it. Which I’m doing  now.

I have a 20 miler this weekend and I know I’ll get it done since we don’t have an event on Saturday, but with vacation next week and North Carolina in two weeks, and then work getting more and more crazy as our ‘busy’ season is just starting, I know my rigid training would be the first thing to suffer. It’s like setting myself up for failure, but I want to enjoy running like I am now. So I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing.

So that’s what I thought about on my walk with the dogs this morning at 6:30 am. Who knew?! :)


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  • Reply Nobel4Lit (A Case of the Runs)

    That’s okay!

    The sucky thing about us runners is that we are drawn to this sport due to our strong motivation to succeed, compete, and progressively raise the bar on ourselves. So many of us get this delusion that qualifying for Boston is what we should do, what we should sacrifice for, and defines the success of our running.

    But, really? I thought the point of running was to have fun, discipline/challenge ourselves, see new places, and keep physically fit. Running should not get in the way of our time with others, bring us chronic pain, or clash with our jobs.

    In our quests to be “extraordinary,” we’d sure be losing sight of being able to create balance in our lives by becoming obsessed about an arbitrary 3:40 marathon.

    That’s just my two cents…

    August 16, 2010 at 10:43 am
  • Reply Shannon

    Hey, who says you can’t qualify some other year?! Have fun and enjoy running (and life) for now and think about the BQ later!

    August 16, 2010 at 10:50 am
  • Reply Alisa

    It’s so important to have realistic expectations of goals. If you’re not being true to what you know you have time for etc then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You’ll have your BQ race and training cycle in the future. I keep trying to remember that we’re young and have time in our life for lots of stuff.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:01 am
  • Reply Tara

    I am glad you’re running for you and that’s all that matters! Running should never feel like a burden or “work”. Love ya Kooie! ♥♥♥

    August 16, 2010 at 11:02 am
  • Reply Coolie McCool

    Geez Danica, you sound busy!! I hope that you are making enough time to socialize with people outside of work. Just a quick training tip that I find useful. When going on my long runs I have my roomate put a white gummy bear in one of my training water bottles. I never know which one it is (like russian roulette) so its always a surprise! They are quite tasty and give me the energy boost needed to finish strong.

    Let us know if you try it and how it works out!!

    Waiting on pins and needles,

    Coolie McCool

    August 16, 2010 at 11:39 am
  • Reply Erin

    Hey girl! Like others have said, who says you can’t qualify some other year/time?! You totally will, ’cause you’re BA ;) It’s hard for me to pin-point what my years’ goals will be at any given time, so I often never articulate them. But here’s the thing: I never once even considered the idea of qualifying for Boston when I ran the Cleveland marathon in April (having trained at 8-9 min/mile paces), but something magical happened that day and I BQ’d. Total surprise. So I guess what I’m saying is maybe you don’t have to put the pressure on to “train for a BQ” and maybe you’ll just feel great that day, run happy/healthy/consistent and finish with a PR, or even a BQ. That being said, I suppose training runs have to be somewhat realistic, but you’re a dedicated runner and have an awesome spirit… so ya never know! :)

    Sorry for the novel! Happy running!

    August 16, 2010 at 11:41 am
  • Reply Jennifer

    Don’t worry. I think that for anything that is that hard and exciting at the same time, you have to be ready for it. I am sure that the time will come. Good luck and just take each day as it comes.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm
  • Reply Katie A.

    I love your honesty. I’m right there with ya. Goals are important but being able to see what you trully NEED is a big grown up thing that I swear never gets easier. Your BQ will come. I know that for a fact. And who knows, you may surprise yourself!
    I HOPE you come to Healdsburg!!!

    August 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm
  • Reply Krista

    You will have your time at Boston – I believe it, so do you. You will come to a point where you will want it enough. It’s OK if it’s not right now. Nobody will be mad at you if you don’t! :)

    August 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply J

    I think you have a good handle on your training and a good sense of what works for you! I really feel the same way. Sometimes it just hard to fit everything in, and why push it when it may not be the right time to BQ. When the time is right I am sure it will all come together!

    August 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm
  • Reply Pam

    Don’t feel bad about not feeling the need to qualify for Boston, better to know that than to end up training for Boston but not wanting to be there.

    I was wondering if you ever completed a tri or thought about it? It might be a good change in training. You still get to run, you can incorporate the swimming you have been doing and you get to do some biking. Might be a thought once work settles down. That and it might be nice to focus on something a bit different than work. Just a wanted to throw that out there. I have never done a tri because I am not much of a swimmer or biker, but thought you might enjoy trying it out.

    August 16, 2010 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Carolina Girl

    Sounds like you are doing the right thing and making the best decisions for you! I love the random thoughts that go through my head during a run/walk. It’s peaceful sometimes! Good luck on that 20 miler!

    Also, I put your hair straightening video on my blog today. Hope that’s ok! =)

    August 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm
  • Reply joerunfordom

    Danica – as always your perspective is so spot on. When it’s time for you to “find Boston” it will find you as well. It is amazing, and I have no doubt you will toe that line in Hopkinton, MA – but like everything else about you that I have come to know and love – you’ll do it on your terms. Congrats with the training you are doing great.

    I wanted to stop by to let you know that we lost Dom yesterday. You were there for me at the very beginning – and I wanted to thank you for all of your great support.

    It’s pretty tough right now – but I know he’d want us to keep pushing – so I plan on doing exactly that. I owe him at least that much.

    Best to you from Austin – I’ll be heading out East Wednesday for services etc. – hope we catch up soon.


    August 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm
  • Reply David

    i’m disappointed we haven’t seen them beat that beat up much in MIA! i’ll be there in 4 weeks so i’ll be sure to make up for what those crazies aren’t doing ;)

    as for the rest of your revelation, i hate to sound cliche…but keep your head up and keep on truckin. it will work out somehow…you may even get some sweet luck and the whole Camarillo course will magically become downhill and you’ll qualify with ease! you never know… that’s what’s interesting about running–some days you wake up and have phenomenal runs! so yeah, “keep your head up” and “great things will happen for ya.” haha

    *sending good luck westward your direction*

    August 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm
  • Reply David

    oh wow–i just noticed i followed up Joe’s comment :/ sorry for your loss

    August 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply christina cadden

    You have great goals and you know what you want! You will know when the time is right!

    August 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    I completely understand where you’re at right now. Boston will ALWAYS be there whenever you get ready! Boston and an Ironman are both on my someday list, but I think now I’ve officially moved them back to my “someday after having kids” list, so it’s way on the back burner for a while.

    Where will you be in NC? (You’ve probably already told us, but I’ve been reading sporadically lately.)

    August 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    i swear you are my runner soulmate! i couldnt agree more right now!! we should pick a race next year and try to qualify together!!! how awesome would that be?!?

    my url changed from to — just so you know!

    August 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Librarian on the Run

    Good idea not to set yourself up for disappointment when you know that you don’t have the time to train. A happy Chic Runner is better than a tired, stressed out, and burned out Chic Runner!

    August 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm
  • Reply Average A

    Great post — honest, real, not sugar-coated. Sounds like you’re really growing & enjoying running while being true to yourself, which is what this sport is about. :)


    August 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm
  • Reply Billy

    you’ll get there my dear. when, not if.

    and who knows…maybe one day I’ll give a shit enough to try too. maybe.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:52 pm
  • Reply Vera

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I want to qualify for Boston too, but I want to accomplish a few other goals first (and enjoy doing it). Boston is a lot of pressure to put on yourself – and you’ve got so much to look forward to this year. :-)

    August 17, 2010 at 6:41 am
  • Reply aron

    i bet this realization is going to have some great impacts on your training… sometimes once you take the pressure off things just click again. you are a smart girl to recognize this and do something about it… it’s pretty much out of your hands with the amount of work you have been doing so good for you for making sure to keep your running fun! you are still going to have a GREAT marathon :)

    August 17, 2010 at 9:01 am
  • Reply Rachel

    It so empowering to remember the true reasons why we run. thanks for this. You might even find that this realization releases some kind of stress on results and you might see some positive effects.

    I mean, I think you’re 1/2 PR was on a run that you ‘didn’t train’ for and were out to have fun. :)

    so, yay!

    August 17, 2010 at 9:37 am
  • Reply kristina@goodnweirdr

    THANK YOU for this post. Sometimes I forget that I can just run races for the fun of it and not always be thinking about having a pr. I’ve been working my tail off to BQ at my race this fall but as I enter the final stage, I’m having major motivation troubles.

    August 17, 2010 at 11:00 am
  • Reply a case of the blahs! « Queer Vegan Runner

    […] RnR Half Marathon pace goal at this point (but feeling much about that having read Danica’s re-evaluation of her goals, not that I’m anywhere near BQ). But if I can run and train consistently for the next 67 days […]

    August 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm
  • Reply Stuart

    Catching up…yes you really got to want it. It will be there for you when you do!

    And I get the running in school thing although I was field and not track!

    August 22, 2010 at 9:23 am
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