Sunday, July 20, 2014

Running Commitment Update

by Bert Carson
On May 12th I made a commitment, renewal might be a better word, to my running.  Basically the commitment was, from that day until the end of the year I wouldn't miss a single running day.

That means, I committed to myself to run every scheduled running day for the rest of the year - NO EXCEPTIONS.  You should know two things about that commitment.  First, I run three days, take one day off, then repeat.  That's the ideal.  However, from Jan 1st thru May 11th, I had only run 34 times.  In nineteen weeks, I should have run 114 times.  I was 80 miles short of the ideal.  Running had become an endangered activity for me.  That's why I made what seemed to me a radical commitment.

I made every run for the next week.  The numbers were: Total miles run 22.8 at an average pace of 15 minutes and 50 seconds per mile.  None of the miles were easy, nor was there much fun involved.

Today, I will make my 87th run of the year.  I haven't missed a single day and unless I die between now and December 31st, I won't.  This week I ran 32 miles (which includes a thunderstorm shortened run) at an average pace of 14:45 per mile.  I've increased my weekly mileage by roughly 30% while lowering the pace over a minute per mile.  But I've done something much more important than that.  I've shifted my running attitude - missing a scheduled run is no longer an option.

When I made the commitment, I was prepared to gut it out on shear will power just because I said I would.  I didn't expect it to be fun.  I didn't expect to run further and faster than I have in more than ten years.  I didn't expect to lose weight and get in better shape than I have been in more than fifteen years.  However, simply by keeping my commitment to myself, all of those things have happened.

Now that's a deal without a downside, and it is one I've just applied to writing.  Watch for an update on that one.

Happy commitment to you.