Sabotage

It takes a certain amount of tenacity to be a runner. Running, especially distance running, is a mental as well as a physical game.
There are some amazing stories about people who overcome great challenges to run.
I am not one of those people; this is not one of those stories.
The only thing I have to overcome is my own tendency to self sabotage.
But I am very good at self sabotage.

March is usually when I start to run more, to go from the sporadic whenever-the-weather-allows running of winter to regularly running three to four times a week. This year I did a 5K early in the month and then wanted to spend the rest of March on the couch buried in blankets with a mug of ice cream…and maybe another of coffee…and definitely a third of vodka…and some pizza…or maybe pizza rolls….
And while I didn’t totally give into those urges I did make a lot of excuses not to run.
Two weeks ago my post winter/pre spring inertia was at it’s peak. I wasn’t working and didn’t have much going on that week, yet I only ran one time the entire (Thursday to Thursday) week.
Each day I told myself I should run, tried to convince myself that I wanted to run…and then I didn’t.
Coincidentally the whole week I was in a slightly bad, irritated mood.
These are the times I really should be running but find it hard to get myself out there and do it. I know a run will make me feel better, more calm, more focused, happier but I still resist.
See, self-sabotage.

By Thursday I had had it with myself.
Enough of this ridiculous self-induced crabbiness, it was time to break out of the haze of laziness and go for a run….but I just didn’t have time that day.
No, really, I had stuff going on and legitimately did not have time.
I did, however, make a plan and set some goals to get myself back on track. 
Right now I’m just aiming to get in at least ten miles a week. See, I told you, not very inspirational.
I’m just striving for consistency for starters.

I decided my weeks would go from Friday morning to Friday morning to kind of match my week on/week off work schedule. On my non-working weeks this really shouldn’t be a problem. On my work weeks I’ll have to put some effort into meeting even this small goal. It’s one of downsides of working third shift.
Last week, a work week, I met my goal….but just barely.
I ran that Friday morning and then Tuesday evening. Wednesday evening I really wanted to run. It was sunny and warm. I really wanted to run.
But I was averaging five hours of sleep a day for the 6th day in a row. I was just too tired.
So instead I resolved to run right after work Thursday morning. For some additional motivation I decided I’d go to my favorite State Park.
I used to go to this park at least twice a week for a couple years. I run faster there, even when I’m tired, and still end up feeling refreshed and renewed.
Running there is like coming home after a long trip; it had been quite a while.
When Thursday morning rolled around it was NOT warm and sunny. It was 33 and overcast with a chance of rain. A few weeks ago thirty-three would’ve been warm. When it was sixty degrees and sunny just days ago thirty-three is cold.
On top of that I had sunny & warm in my head when I grabbed running gear the night before. Instead of my usual cool weather layers, hat, gloves, & whatnot I had long shorts, a long sleeve tee, & my unlined water resistant jacket.
At this point my resolve was waivering.
I told myself I could go home, put on warm clothes, and run around there but I knew that wouldn’t happen.
I thought about going to the store first and buying a pair of sweatpants but I’d likely end up wandering around the store until I was out of time.
Then I said No to the excuses and overcame my usual self-sabotaging tendencies.
I told myself to suck it up & run.
And I did.
And it was ….cold and almost miserable.
Less than half a mile in the paved path suddenly looked like this: 

image

Holy icy running, Batman!

Just after the mile & a half mark it started to drizzle.
But I did it, four miles of it.
Somehow it still ended up being a little faster & a little more satisfying than my usual run.
There’s nothing quite like coming home. 

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About nights7

A metamorphosis in progress...always.

3 thoughts on “Sabotage

  1. Well. You might be good at self-sabotage, but I think you should cut yourself a little slack – that path looks cold and slippery. You don’t have the easiest conditions to run in! That said, yes, it’s really easy to do. I’ve just changed jobs and my routine is all over the place and I had to force myself outside last night. In the end, I think the best advice I’ve read is just ‘tell yourself you only have to run for 15 minutes. Then at 15 mins you can either quit and at least you have 15 mins done, or more likely once you’re there you’ll want to carry on anyway’.
    (And if you do only have 15 mins, it’s a chance to work on your speed.)

    It’s not always easy though – I was useless at the beginning of the year.
    Out of interest, do you have a GPS watch? I know you got new running gear for Xmas… I got a watch, and I’ve started using strava.com to track my runs. Not sure why but I love it – it’s really nice to see where you’ve run on a map etc and just keep a record if what you’re doing. Let me know if you’re on there or you join – I only know one other person, and it would be nice to see someone else 🙂

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    • nights7 says:

      I find if I can get my running clothes on I’ll go…as long as I didn’t procrastinate to the point that I run out of time.

      I don’t have a GPS watch, I use an ap on my phone to track/ map my runs. I’ll look & see if strava would work with my phone.

      Like

  2. […] Now that the extreme cold, feet of accumulated snow, and sheets of ice covering everything are fading away for another year, it is time to get back into some form of regular running and set some goals. March is like running New Year’s and I’m making some resolutions. […]

    Like

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