On Having Too Many Goals (and being injured whilst trying to achieve them)

I'm a goal-orientated person.
I've never really seen this as a bad thing.
It's the kind of thing you say in job interviews to show you're driven and passionate and determined.
It's good to have goals, right?
Goals give you something to aim for.
Something to work towards.

Here is a small selection of my current goals
- complete Insanity
- run a 5K in under half an hour
- beat my Stockport 10K time from last year
- run a 10K in under an hour
- run another half marathon
- run a half marathon in under 2:30
- run a marathon before I'm 30
- read at least 30 books this year
- cook a new meal once a month
- stop biting my nails
- visit 5 new places this year
- build my strength with consistent strength training
- practice speed work once a week
- run park run every Saturday

I mentioned in my last post that I hurt my foot.
It's looking increasingly likely that I have a stress fracture caused by Insanity.
Walking on it in Whitby didn't help and a week after I first noticed the pain, it hurts even more.
Only rest seems to help it.
Rest I don't have time for.

I also mentioned in my last post that I only have a week of Insanity left and then I've signed up for the Stockport 10K in less than 4 weeks.
While I struggled through Insanity on Tuesday, on Wednesday I couldn't even make it through the warm up.
It doesn't look likely I'm going to finish my last week of Insanity.
And it definitely doesn't look like I'll be running this race.

Last night, after a lovely meal out with Phil and his sister, I started to cry.
I have to finish Insanity.
I have to run this race.
I have to beat my time from last year.
I can't be injured, I have too much to I need to do.

It spiraled.

Suddenly it was, I'm getting worse at running. 
I haven't run a 10K faster than 1 hour 10 in almost a year.
I haven't run a 5K in under 32:30 since last October.
It took me 3 hours to run a half marathon.
I'm awful at running.
I'm awful at everything.

Then Phil pointed out the thing that was staring me in the face.
I had too many goals.
Did I want to finish Insanity or beat my 10K time?
While I started Insanity to help my running, it's unlikely I will beat my 10K time with only a few runs before the race after over two months off.
Do I want to run another half marathon, or run a 10K in under an hour?
Do I want to run a 10K in under an hour or a 5K in under half an hour?
I can't do all of these things at once.
Running long distances in my half marathon training took me away from speed training.
I taught my body to run long and slow, not short and fast.
I can't train for both these types of running at once.

I need a focus.

There are always going to be roadblocks.
Not being able to finish Insanity is killing me after 8 weeks of hard work.
But I know I can't push myself through this last week without making my foot even worse.
Which could damage my foot long term and put me out for even longer.

I'm sad.
I've missed running so much and I've loved Insanity.
Truth is, I wanted the Insanity tshirt. I wanted the before and after photos.
I wanted to have done it and proved I could do it.
And I know I could and I know missing one week shouldn't matter when I've done eight weeks.
But I didn't achieve my goal.

The Stockport 10K is my race.
My favourite race.
My hometown.
The first race I ever ran.
My first 10K.

But I can't do it with a fractured foot.

I've got a doctors appointment next week which will probably result in a referral.
Then I don't know what comes next.
But I know if it is a stress fracture I could be out for weeks.
6-8 weeks.

But you can plan all you like.
Have all the goals you want.
But like all the cooks spoiling the broth, you can't focus on multiple goals at once.

Running is my passion and my love and I've missed it these past few months.
But hopefully if I give it a break now, I'll have the rest of my life to run.

My goals shouldn't leave me disappointed and overwhelmed and frustrated.
They should keep me motivated and inspired.
I shouldn't feel like I'm constantly letting myself down.

It's great to have goals, it's great to strive for better, for more, for faster.
But not at the expense of health, of happiness, of mental health.

I've posted before the quote "you can do anything but not everything."
And never has it been more relevant.
I can't work towards those goals without being disappointed.
Worse, disappointed in myself.

As I moaned last night about my slow running, Phil reminded me of all the people who don't run at all.
I'm already beating them.

My goals are tbc...


  1. Phil hit the nail on the head. Your only goal now should be getting better. And then, when you're better, pick another goal. And get going... x

  2. So sorry about your foot. I started c25k because of you and how honest you were about it. Running was always something I wanted to do but never thought I could, I was determined to finish c25k to prove I could do it and thought that would be the end of it. I actually LOVE running now and I'll be doing my first 10k in the spring.
    Whenever you're about to get down on yourself just remember you've inspired people(like me) to try something they never thought they could do, and I think sometimes that's even more important than reaching our goals.
    Hang in there!

  3. Chin up love, or should I say foot up. Rest yourself. I pulled a muscle in my back about a year ago and after a week of rest I went back into working out hard core, pushing myself to catch up from a full week of doing nothing, bad call. I ripped the tendons in my back and was out for even longer and I feel only now am I getting my fitness back. 6 weeks is nothing in the grand scale of things, dont push and risk it taking longer. You can always do insanity again, the dvds dont expire ;)

  4. great post!



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