Back in 2008, when I returned to running, I needed to view it with absolute commitment. 15 years prior to then, I was running regularly with a friend who was very passionate about the sport. At that time, my running was a novelty. I didn’t really embrace it as a lifestyle. When my friend left NYC for a few weeks on business, I found every reason not to go out for my daily run. When she returned, I told her I was no longer a runner.
Like anything that’s beneficial (but hard) full commitment is the key. But commitment is a slippery slope and my earlier efforts as a runner failed because I did not commit to the required discipline. I carried the lessons I learned from that earlier experience through my first weeks as a re-engaged runner:
- Run at your own pace, not other’s
- Run only on clear roads or trails, it’s far better than dodging pedestrians or traffic
- Cover only the distances you can handle
- Use the right gear, wear the right shoes
- Benchmark your progress
- In for a penny, in for a pound
It took me months to finally take one rest day every week, because I feared the slippery slope. After three and a half years of serious commitment, I know that every day I rest is merely a temporary respite from the work I’ll be doing the next day. I’m currently experiencing some symptoms of a cold that has dragged me down a little. I chose to rest today instead of doing my morning run. Tomorrow I’ll go out for 10 miles. Why? Because I’m committed.