This has been a tough week of training for me. After last Saturday's run I felt so good that I immediately signed up for the half marathon. Of course you all know that was my plan, but it was just one of those powerful moments. However, from there things got a little rocky. I did get my 3 miles in on Monday, but they started rough and were difficult to get through. Now, Wednesday was Yom Kippur, so I didn't plan on running but I came up with an alternate plan of running on Tuesday instead. Here's where things went awry. I woke up late on Tuesday and decided not to run. Then Wednesday I was weighing whether I should run, then Thursday and finally I got back on my schedule on Friday. Now, I'd really only skipped one run, but I made it feel like three by changing my mind again and again.
What I've learned over the years, for me its important to be consistent, to make a schedule and to keep it, otherwise it becomes difficult for me to start again. Now missing one run isn't a deal breaker by any means, but the more I can string together, the better off I am. There is a productivity technique that is supposedly credited to Jerry Seinfeld called "Don't Break the Chain." The premise is simple enough. Jerry was asked how does one write good jokes. He answered that to write good jokes, one has to write a lot of jokes, to practice. To practice, one has to write a again and again, so he came up with a method where he would mark an X on a calendar every day that he wrote jokes. Soon, as his calendar started filling up with X's, it looked like a chain, so if he skipped a day it would break the chain. So, by making sure he wrote jokes every day, he would never break the chain.
To get good at anything, you need to practice, to be consistent and to not break the chain. Nobody is perfect. I certainly know I am not, please see first paragraph for proof. So what do you do if you break the chain? Start another one.
So on Friday I started another chain. I ran 2.5 miles Friday, 5 miles on Saturday and today I went out for a little over 3 miles with half of it through a trail. Now, I'm not planning on running everyday, but it sure feels good to be able to without killing myself.