Bucket List Running Goals and Motivation

Most people that regularly follow my blog know that I had a big goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states and I ran state number 50 in New Mexico last November. What you probably don’t know is since then I’ve been slacking off quite a bit when it comes to my running. Since my half marathon in November I’ve run a couple of races, Catching Fireflies 5k- My First Night Race! in May and Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in April but that’s it. I was supposed to run a race in February but it was postponed until next February.

The major reason I haven’t run that many races or started working on another big goal for myself is my daughter has been going through a serious health situation. It’s not cancer or anything like that but a chronic condition she’s had since she was 9. She’s under the supervision of some incredible doctors and we hope she’ll be through the worst of it soon and her life will greatly improve by the time she goes back to high school in late August.

It’s been extremely stressful for me as her mother, and I’ve had to take her to multiple doctor visits and stay in the hospital with her around the clock multiple times sometimes for more than a week at a time. Of course it’s been even harder for her. She’s supposed to be having fun with her friends and just enjoying life as a teenager, not being in and out of the hospital for months on end.

I realize you may have seen the title and thought I was going to announce a big bucket list running goal, but I’m not. While I did say at the beginning of the year that I would like to start running a half marathon in all of the Canadian provinces in my running resolutions post in January (Running Resolutions and My Word for 2022), that’s not going to happen any time soon. When I wrote that, I thought it would be possible to run a couple of half marathons in Canada this year but since then things have changed and there’s no way that will happen. Maybe next year.

Taken on a run with my daughter back in 2020

In hindsight now I can see when I had the goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states, that definitely gave me motivation to run. I know not everyone needs a big goal to keep them motivated but for me it certainly helps. Even running local races hasn’t been possible for me since late spring. I just haven’t had the time to devote to training for much of a race other than possibly a 5k. Plus, once the summer heat and humidity kicked in here in late May, there were less and less races so my options dwindled.

Although it took me 21 years to complete my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states, I never doubted it would happen. It was always about the journey for me anyway. I’ve never been the type of person to run a race just to check off a box (not that there’s anything wrong with that; to each his/her own). But I always wanted to spend at least a few days, preferably more in every state to get an idea about what the state was like, or at least the part or parts of the state I was in, try the local foods, and talk to the local people.

Even though bucket list running goals are a huge motivator for me, it’s OK that I’m not working on any big running goals now. It’s OK that my motivation to run has dwindled. And it’s OK that my overall running has slacked probably more than it has in over 20 years. Obviously my daughter comes first before anything else.

Honestly, it’s not like I’m not motivated, either. That’s not truly stating how I feel. I would love to be able to train for half marathons and travel to run them. The timing just isn’t right for me at the moment to be able to do that. It’s more like my motivation to run local short distance races has waned a bit. But then again, I never was motivated to run local short races other than the 5k I ran in May, so that’s nothing new.

I have no doubt things will improve with my daughter and once that happens, I can jump back into things. Well, I should probably ease back into things and not overdo it. Still, I know this isn’t permanent and eventually I’ll be able to start on my bucket list goal of running a half marathon in all of the Canadian provinces. Until then, I’m going to continue running when I can and be content with that.

What about you? Have you had a bucket list running goal you’ve had to put on hold for something other than covid? Do you have a bucket list running goal/s or does that not appeal to you and you’d rather just see what races pop up?

Happy running!


Author: runningtotravel

I'm a long distance runner with a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states in the US. I also love to travel so I travel to other places when I'm not running races. Half the fun is planning where I'm going to go next!

16 thoughts on “Bucket List Running Goals and Motivation”

  1. I hope things go well for your daughter. It’s important for you to be there for her.

    I get it. Some runners can run and not race. I’m not one of them. I need to have races scheduled to be motivated to do those long runs.

    I’ve only put a goal on hold due to injury. Broken ankle in 2012. I was supposed to run NJ marathon with friends. It took me 7 years to get the courage to run a marathon.

    Racing will be there once your daughter is healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Darlene. Since I posted this we got some news that will push things back even further, so not the news we were hoping for but we’ll get there eventually!
      I didn’t know that about your ankle and everything that happened with that. I’ve heard ankle injuries are really hard to come back from. Glad yours is doing well now!


  2. Your daughter needs you so this is totally understandable. I know it’s hard on so many different levels, though.

    I was over 50 by the time I decided to run halfs in 50 states, so I always knew there was a fair possibility I wouldn’t complete the goal. Between Pandemic & family obligations it’s been on hold for 3+ years now.

    Like you I also wanted to truly explore most of the places I go to. I’m not quite half done. So realistically the possibility of finishing is even slimmer now. I haven’t given up though! I am hopeful that I might run a half in the late fall, but also realize it may not happen.

    As I always say to people, running will always be there for you. You’ll know when the time is right. I’m sorry the news for your daughter wasn’t more positive. I hope that things can even out for her before school starts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry your daughter is going through a rough patch with her illness. I do hope she has a speedy recovery and a great school year coming up.
    As for racing, it’s funny because just this afternoon the husband said we should do a duathlon or tri sometime soon (it’s been a few years). We’ll see…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Considering everything that has been going on, I would NOT say that you have been slacking. Sometimes in life (as you very well know), we have to reprioritize things. I’m wishing your daughter strength through this rough patch.

    Let’s check out your questions:
    Have you had a bucket list running goal you’ve had to put on hold for something other than covid? Nothing major aside my own running injuries.

    Do you have a bucket list running goal/s or does that not appeal to you and you’d rather just see what races pop up?
    In the past (ie before moving back to Virginia) my running bucket list was running NYRR 9+1 races so I could have guaranteed entry into NYC Marathon. Oh wait, I used to have a goal of running at least one international half and full marathon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I appreciate that.
      So you’ve met all of your bucket list goals, right? That’s really something to be proud of. Now that you live in Virginia and you’ve run in other countries, have you come up with any new goals or are you just going to see how things play out for now? I know moving is a big thing so it’s completely understandable if you’re still trying to unpack and get settled in. Or if you don’t set any more bucket list goals, there’s nothing wrong with that either of course. You’ve already accomplished so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Positive energy to your daughter for healing and you to maintain the energy to keep supporting her!

    I think after this fall my racing will be on the back burner as I focus on coaching my best hurdler through his senior season. I missed two indoor meets last year and told him his competitions are priority over my races. That’s not to say I won’t race, but it’ll only be if they don’t conflict with his meets. We really want to work to get him to the state championship meet in the spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tracy. We could both use all of the positive energy we can get!
      That’s truly admirable of you to put your hurdler’s needs first. It just shows what a great coach you are. Your team is lucky to have you!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: