It's occurred to me that my running mentality seems to have changed a bit this year.
At one time, I really wanted to break 4:00 in the marathon. I'd of course still like to do this at some point, but it hasn't really been a big enough thing to me lately to really try to train the right way to do it.
It hit me recently... I think my expectations have altered. It's not that I did so intentionally, but somewhere along the way my expectations for myself have gradually changed.
I still want to improve and challenge myself, but I managed to achieve a lot of excellent PRs in 2010 and am satisfied with that. I can always try to go back and break them whenever I'm ready.
I think that I've reached a point where I want to challenge myself, but I also think that having fun while accomplishing something like a distance training run or a distance race is what I need right now. Like, I want to challenge myself in new ways. I think this is why I've enjoyed doing things like relay races and running multiple distance races in a short period of time... it's a different kind of challenge, and it's also a bit more laid back since I'm not so focused on time goals. It's also why I signed up for the Warrior Dash. I think I want running to be something I'm doing to stay healthy and have fun. I'm not really interested in setting specific time goals right now.
Does this mean I'll never go after the 4:00 marathon? Nope. Does it mean I'm not going to try to run the best I can in Chicago? Nope. But it does mean that for now I'm not setting expectations for myself with regards to race times.
I've been enjoying just getting the miles in and running with a couple of different groups. Running has crossed over into being even more social for me than it usually has been. I want to run this fall and just enjoy it for the sake of running and racing and the community that you encounter on the run.
I've also got a fun opportunity to get involved with some local races as race day staff, so it's kind of fun to shift my focus a bit on making sure I'm helping other runners have a positive race experience.
I'm still very excited about the races I have on the calendar. I've just realized that my mentality about training for them and running them has changed a bit... and for now, I kinda like it.