Should just finishing be enough?

My self-discipline has always been a blessing and a curse. My parents taught me the importance of following through on commitments and while I absolutely hated it when I was 10 years old taking piano lessons, I truly appreciate it now.

Unless something terrible happens, I know I will follow through on this marathon goal. Even though in the middle of those long runs I always start wondering why I am putting myself through the torture, I always remember when I finish the run.

Talking with my husband a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I wouldn’t be putting a time pressure on myself for the marathon. Simply finishing was my goal. He thought that was outrageous. He believes I need a time goal to push me, that almost anyone can walk a marathon.

I am still torn. My driven, competitive nature compels me to push for a time goal. However, I believe that is how I hurt my foot during the Austin 10/20. I set a time goal and even though I started feeling pain, I wouldn’t stop because I couldn’t stand the thought of missing my time goal. Also, since I have been tracking my runs with Map My Run, I feel PRESSURE! The enjoyment I used to feel during running is slowly disappearing.

Sunday I went for a run without my garmin or my phone. I have no idea how long it took me. It was the most enjoyable run I’ve had in several weeks.

But I know that I just can’t help my little self! I will set a time goal for this marathon and it will help me push through and not give up. I just need to be more cognizant of what my limits are and train properly. I do not want to risk injury. And I also need to remember the importance of the “easy runs” every once in a while.

Commit yourself to a dream… Nobody who tries to do something great but fails is a total failure. Why? Because he can always rest assured that he succeeded in life’s most important battle–he defeated the fear of trying.-Robert H. Schuller



  1. I’m the exact same way. I have to have a goal and I HATE not reaching it, and then if I don’t reach it, I spend a day mad at myself for not pushing harder. But, like your picture says, I completely think that without those goals we wouldn’t be the best we could be, and what fun is that? And I was not a fan of my piano lessons either.

  2. I too run without any electronics from time to time. Makes me feel free. And I don’t think its silly to just want to finish. That is also my goal for my first half marathon this year (and will be when I do run my first marathon). By doing so, I will establish my first PR. Granted I would like to finish under 3 hours, but I know there will be many opportunities in my future to beat my PR or have time oriented goals. Just take it one day at a time 🙂 as long as you are putting in the work, thats what counts!

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