Despite my racing style, (slow, steady, deliberate, conservative, consistent) I tend to be the guy known for extremes in other areas of life. Typically this manifests itself in all-or-nothing tendencies such as running huge miles versus not at all, eating perfectly versus eating like crap, or reading constantly versus never picking up a book. To some extent these behaviors merely mimic my emotional make-up… and I hate that. So, I have set the broad and general goal to be in control of my negative (and positive) emotions more often, and to not let circumstances and fatigue dictate my emotional stability. Whoa, getting deep here. Sorry. Simply stated, the goal is to iron out my day-to-day life enough to where it more closely resembles the way I race; steady, consistent, conservative, in control, positive, focused, and ready for challenges. In short, I aim to be a more consistent person in every endeavor and have decided to use the discipline of running to teach myself more about consistency and stability in the rest of my life. That brings me to today: day 253.
Throughout the years, running has been a near-daily activity for me and a constant in my life, but after reading a great post by Joe Grant in which he wrote about his year-long daily running streak, I decided that 2012 was going to be my year to take a stab at ‘streaking’ as well. Joe set his criteria at 1 mile or 15 minutes per day as his minimum, which does not sound like much, but if you think about the agony you are in the day after a 100 mile race, this seems like a reasonable minimum to strive for each and every day for 365 consecutive days. I opted to set my minimum at 30 minutes or 2 miles per day. So far, so good. I have maintained the streak with only a few days of agony, but in general I feel better off for continuing the steady, deliberate, and consistent running, while not giving up training. (In short, instead of taking a day off per 7 – 10 days, I now have one minimum 30-minute run per 10 – 14 days.) I have not attained my goal of running every day for a year yet, but I have run every day since December 26, 2011. (253 total days, as of this morning!) I’ve learned more about being an early-morning person, building time-management skills, setting boundaries, crafting the abliltiy to say no, deciding on priorities, completing tasks, and how to achieve mental clarity. I am learning more about myself through ‘every-day’ running and generally feel as though these benefits are ‘worming’ their way into the rest (and dramatically more important) parts of my life such work, projects, idea development, and being a husband, father, and community member. Not there yet, but inching along.
What does this have to do with anything? Well, as many of you know, I have become a pathetically sporadic blogger. The opposite of consistent. It used to be that back in 2008 and 2009 I would write a post about 60 times per year. Now? About 10. Yikes… That is a dramatic fall-off in production that primarily represents a shifting in my priorities and time freedom, but it also puts the spotlight squarely on my inability to follow-through on some things. In short, this lack of writing (which I really do enjoy) is a reflection of my all-or-nothing tendency. As such, I have made the commitment to write at least 1 blog post per week for the next 16 months. This post is the beginning of that commitment. Whoa, this is heavy stuff… I can’t believe I’m stating a goal like this publicly, but there it is. My intention is to have a weekly recap post up by Monday evening of every week. The ancillary idea being that by writing a weekly recap post, I will stay more connected to writing and will thus generate more ‘commentary-type’ posts on a consistent basis as well. The one negative to this 16 month commitment? This means that I will enter the growing community of ultrarunners who feel it necessary to write about each and every day of mundane training. I can assure you that my daily training is not sexy and is delightfully underwhelming, especially when compared to dudes like Anton. Equally true is the guarantee that my posts will not have the artistic flare and creativity of Joe Grant’s site, or the detail and structure of Nick Clark’s blog. I will occasionally have pictures and videos to post, but generally speaking, you can expect only words. Standard format you ask? Likely I will have a brief paragraph with an overview of the week, followed by a day-to-day accounting of training, followed typically with a paragraph about what I’ve been reading, learning, watching, listening to, or thinking about. Pretty boring, I know… but hey… I gotta start somewhere again.
Thanks for reading. Here’s to consistency. DC