Goals and intellectual scavenging

Warning! This post is about internal musings not a run! No photos (Well I might sneak one or two in)

Last week I read this post on the excellent ultrarunning blog by James Stewart which got me thinking about not just how I run but why.  As the winner of the Rocky Raccoon 100 in Texas last month I think its definitely worth a read from someone who’s “done it” and a great jumping off point if you want to get started but have doubts.

I checked with James and he was happy for me to basically scavenge his post in order to present my thoughts – well I said reference but i’m using it as a template. Theft is the highest form of flattery or something.

James uses 4 tips to set his goals.  When reading these it made me wonder why I’m running. I kinda know but its not something thats straight in my head. My eventual goal is one that i hope to complete this year – an ultra. The one I have planned is a 32 miler along the Cornish coastal path in August

Which means I will have gone from unfit non-runner who literally couldnt run a tenth of a mile without dying to running an ultra in two years. Thats my goal.

OK I have a goal after all – I just didnt really realise I had arranegd this part without knowing.

  1. James says “Firstly, I determine why it is important enough to be a personal goal.”  Well I have this cracked too. I’m not doing it for bragging rights or as an end it really kind of boils down to a promise I made to a small dying dog two years ago ….
Soakys favourite thing ever – Destroying wood – Sticks, branches, logs, firewood – anything would get chewed to destruction.

After 16 years I knew losing her would be a huge wrench so I promised her I wouldnt mope about and would do something to get outside and keep my head clear. I still dont know why I picked running but it seemed a good way of continuing to visit the beach where we spent so many happy hours chewing wood.

As I improved fitness-wise the goal of an ultra just slowly worked its way into my head as the miles ticked by – You gotta have something to think about!

2. So next up James says ““Soon” and “One day” and “I’ll need to do that” and allthatshittypassivelanguage needs to be eradicated from your vocabulary.”

You gotta pick a date – Well I have that! I actually signed up when injured in a moment of cabin fever induced madness last year but this years date is perfect!

3. James says “Then, I tell people about it”  Ok so this one is a little trickier.  Most of my friends feign an interest in what I’m doing but don’t really comprehend it. I’m fine with that, it’s my journey not thers anyway and I like having it.  My parents are incredibly cool about it, they read the blog and enjoy my progress and I know they are rooting for me in whatever I do.  So the other peeople who get the sharing are you guys – I find writing the blog does two things – It helps me log my training records and photos so there are always reference points. It also gets me communicating with other like minded people. I have 128 followers now – who knew!  And some of you I feel I know really well just through the blog.  Your support is incredible, I get advice and a sense of community which is important as I am most definitely an anti-social runner out on the trails!

4. James – “In the words of MC Hammer (and many much better rappers) I then break it down.”  break things down into smaller manageable chunks.   This I’ve already done naturally without even knowing it.  I’ve seen myself go from nothing, 1 mile, 2, 3 etc  I remember when 8 was a huge deal, 13, 15 and now 20.  I know I can keep adding and pushing a little bit til I get there.  I have one big race in a few weeks – The Preseli Beast which is 24 miles of fell running which is going to be a huge test as its going to be a lot of steeeeeeeep climbing over a distance Ive not covered yet. I’ll give it my best and remember its just a bitesize step – Just a huge chewy painful bite.

Just as they say pick your fights carefully then pick your goals carefully – but pick them. Get off yo ass and pick them!

As I said at the start of this post (and well done if you waded this far) many thanks to James for his motivational post which got me putting all this into words. And again congrats on the Rocky Racoon win – I guess youre an elite now!

Oh and one more photo!




Author: Gareth

Running coastal trails in South Wales and working on a healthier body and mind

17 thoughts on “Goals and intellectual scavenging”

    1. Thanks! Its been an odd few years when you turn everything upsidedown good things can fall out! Youve been a great help and support along the way as one of my first readers and advice givers!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love this! My biggest struggle right now is to motivate myself to exercise besides running. I love the running bit but understand that I also need to complement with other forms of muscle building training (in order to stay injury free?). What I’m trying to say is that I can apply the ‘template’ above to my running, but I still find the ‘supporting’ activities hard to get around to…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Ahhh then we exist in the same complementary exercise vacuum! I know what you mean – I need to stretch more, improve my core etc …. but its not as fun as being outside running. Time to consider how to gradually build this in …. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Please do share if you find a good method :). I’m thinking of adding just one comp. at the time, and gradually build up to a program. At least I’ve managed to get some foam rolling going, though I guess that hardly counts as exercising…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the musings and of course the homage to the beautiful beach running slayer of all wooden things. She would be proud, or possibly just chew on some random branch washed in with the tide. I agree with the importance of goals and sharing them, hence my own silly blog…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! dude no blog is silly if its ispiring you or others to do things you love – And you certainly do – You can tell from your writing that you love it. Keep doing what you do (eating fish and meowing – I know its you Koko!)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OH Gareth, what a heartfelt post! I kinda feel sad and have no idea why… Its a celebration!
    You have been an inspiration to me…
    LOVE your spirit… and the fact that, I think, like me… you just do it… when you feel like it, for as long as you feel like it and because you love it. Difference is, I let the lines blur recently!
    I think I may go through this ‘template’ and see whats going on in my head and in my heart… whoa, it could be scary! 🙂
    Thank you for sharing xxx and just keep being who YOU are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its good if its scary. Thinking is an underrated exercise. The lines blur for everyone at some time so dont worry just keep on doing the happy things and remember nothings perfect or permenant but it doesnt stop you trying for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ll do great, man. I jumped on late and never got to see Soaky, but she looks like a sweet pup. In my experience, the ultra scene is just right for dog lovers. And humans with big hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When you break it all down like that, it appears you’ve done everything right, without even realizing it. Congratulations on your successes, wishing you much luck for your upcoming beast of a race (AND your continued ultra training), and bless that sweet little face in the doggles.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this post. Very inspiring! I’m still resting my injury, but I’m very nearly there and having to be careful of the temptation to just start before fully recovered. I can’t wait to get out running with my pup too. He’s only 5 months but I think he would have loved soaky. He loves chewing every bit of wood too. 🙂


  7. Mmmm thought provoking musings. For me the ‘why’ is long term not short term, to keep my weight down feel fitter and healthier. So sometimes it’s hard to be motivated to get out for that run right now. Obviously 1 run doesn’t make you instantly fitter or thinner you only get the results if you stick at it. Then there’s the enjoyment of being outdoors, a fair weather phenomenon hence me being somewhat of a fair weather runner. I enjoy reading other people’s blogs for the lovely places they run, thinking that I might run there one day😊 So keep up the blog and the pics, and I’ll try to get fit enough to run along the coast! I don’t have a dog, but one day when I don’t have to go to work I might😊


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