From Sakyong Mipham's Running with the Mind of Meditation, four symbolic phases of running (or any other long-term enterprise?):
A bit silly perhaps, but in Chapter 28 of Mipham's book, "Beyond Hope and Fear", some wisdom about letting go of expectations and avoiding goals:
Throughout life it is inevitable that we will experience both pain and pleasure. Learning how to handle them leads to harmony and happiness. ...
... In both running ad meditation, one needs focus, determination, and a goal. At the same time, that determination and goal can become a disease. We become ambitious and are therefore plagued by hope and fear, which destabilizes our training and practice. Thus the garuda phase is letting go of hope and fear—not as a technique to achieve our goal, but as a genuine recognition that hope and fear stifle our potential and infringe deeply on our mental well-being. They tighten our mind and limit our possibilities. It is just a vicious cycle in which hope is driven by fear, and fear is driven by hope. We cannot allow ourselves to have big dreams because we are plagued by our fears. To break out of this cycle, we must release ourselves from such small-mindedness by relaxing into an even bigger space.
(cf. Without Effort, Analysis, or Expectation (2010-08-04), Expect Nothing (2012-02-20), Expectations vs. Possibilities (2013-08-13), Processes not Goals (2014-02-20), Giving Up Hope (2014-09-01), Aspiration, not Expectation (2014-12-12), ...) - ^z - 2015-02-04