Running and Life- Part 2: Begin Again

Running and Life- Part 2: Begin Again November 2, 2011

I have been trying to run for about 3 years.  In the course of that three years, my husband has run 2 half marathons and lost 70 pounds.  I have quit, often.  But not this time.

My kids got sick, and I have been very tired, so I didn’t run much last week, and then I didn’t quite make it all the way in the my scheduled long run last weekend.  I can feel myself getting like I get.  My internal monologue is negative, it is full of excuses, it is beating me up, blaming my family, and generally discouraging me, and there is a lot of guilt.  I am mad at running for making me feel guilty about not running.  Most of all, I know that my next run is going to feel crummy, and I don’t want to do it.

Here is my plan:  I am going to do it.  I am going to go to bed early tonight, get up early tomorrow, and run just 3 miles.  I might hate every minute of it, but if I know that in advance I am not going to beat myself up for it.  I am going to bring music and water, and I am going to sleep in my running clothes tonight, so all I have to do is get out of bed and go.  I am also going to ask my husband to encourage me to get out of bed in the morning.

When the plan falls apart, as it does from time to time, we can resolve to begin again, but we also have to give ourselves a chance and set ourselves up for a little bit of success when we are getting started.  I could go for a run right now, but I dread the run enough that the idea of pushing the trailer and encouraging the bikers is just too much of an obstacle for me.  That is okay.  I am totally human, and I need a best shot right now.

So, you all are my witnesses, tomorrow morning, I begin again.

Is there an area where you have been a bit of a failure lately, through your own fault or just through circumstances?  Can you resolve to set yourself up for success and begin again?


UPDATE:  I have found a temporary solution which does not involve getting up in the dark — I joined the Y, which has child care.  This means that I can run indoors, on  a treadmill, while my children have their swimming lessons and my babies play in a little playroom.  I have never been able to justify the cost of a gym before, but the price is my health (mental and physical) and also, right now, it is cheaper to do it this way than to get a sitter and run. I have been once so far, and planning to go again today, then a long run outside tomorrow morning.

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  • Cecilia Street

    I feel like you read my mind/emotions exactly today. I’ve been beating myself up for not exercising for the past two months (as I’ve been trying to get through first trimester nausea and exhaustion), and then also because we have been eating terribly lately and I cannot seem to get my act together on planning healthy meals for my family. I definitely have been giving into thoughts of, “Poor me” and “I’ll never get it right, so why bother… ” THANK YOU for the encouragement and the reminder that I need to do the best I can to set myself up for success (going to bed early, taking a few minutes to jot down some meal ideas, etc). I hope you have a fabulous run tomorrow. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I think it is so important to announce your goal and have others hold you accountable.u00a0 This is why I started telling everyone a year beforehand that I was planning to run the Philly 1/2 marathon.u00a0 I knew if I said it, I would do it.u00a0 I think that is an important part of having a plan and sticking to it–accountability!u00a0 If others know the plan (whether that be your spouse, friends, or other family members) they can help you when you don’t otherwise feel like following through.

  • Bridget

    THANK YOU for these posts! Having a similar problem with keeping up with the prayer life this week and the results aren’t pretty. This was a perfectly timed kick in the butt. 😉 prayers for your run!

  • JMB

    I think you just have to fight the “all or nothing” thought process that seems to be dominating here.u00a0 Think of running as just a part of your daily life, like having breakfast or loading the dishwasher after a meal.u00a0 It’s just something that you do during the 16 hours that you are awake during the day.u00a0 Some days you can run more, and some days you can run less. It’s OK!

  • Anonymous

    Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, or something like that, right?

  • Jurismater

    GREAT post, MaryAlice. Thank you!nnAs for the particulars of morning runs, I have to say I can’t wait for the time change this Sunday. “Fall Back”, which used to be such a gift before kids, is a tease post-kids, since it doesn’t really change anything, they just wake up an hour earlier. BUT it’s so great for the autumn morning runs. These days, it’s chilly in the mornings, and my entire run is in the dark. Weird. Getting out of bed will be MUCH easier when there is at least the hope of the sunrise, beginning this Sunday. Watching the sunrise is so spiritual and inspiring. So happy Fall Back to all you morning exercisers, I’ll be thinking of you on the pavement : )

  • JMB

    Yes, exactly.u00a0 I think it goes: don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.u00a0 The other part of the equation, however, is that maybe running and Mary Alice don’t match. Not everyone is meant to be a runner, just as not everyone has musical talent or enjoys crafting.u00a0 I think sometimes if something is not working out, it’s ok to move on.u00a0 It took me 45 years to find the Bar Method and I love it.u00a0 I look forward to going every week and I haven’t missed a class on purpose for 18 months now. I’m actually turning into a “gym rat”! ha

  • Mary Alice

    The thing is, I actually LOVE running right now, it is the getting out and doing it that doesn’t match well with me, and this is true for almost everything, from shopping to coffee with friends, even a movie date night with my husband — by the time I set up the babysitting and the kids meal and get dressed, I am too worn out to do anything!u00a0 But it is totally worth it.u00a0 I have found a temporary solution to the running thing, it will be updated shortly.n