Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In which small victories are big

I so did not want to work out this morning.

I'm getting slammed with late-night work and that, combined with early-morning activity, is beating me up. I'm not getting to bed as early as I should and that's making my already aggressive lifestyle more difficult.

Case in point: Today. I only got about 5.5 hours of sleep. The alarm went off at 4:45 am. I hit Snooze until 5:30 am. 5:30 am and I am already behind the Eight Ball. Not a great way to start my day.

I came downstairs and heard rain. YAY! No running this morning. I'm heading into the last month of half-marathon training and this week is the apex - the highest mileage, the most time on the road. This is also a crazy time with work and home obligations, so of course they had to be the same week.

Today's run called for 60 minutes. That's longer than I like on a weekday because it means I have to get up even earlier than normal to eat, warm up, get out and get back before getting everyone off to where they're headed for the day.

Plus, I wanted to run at the track to work on my ChiRunning technique, so I had to factor in a 7-minute drive. Only 7 minutes, sure, but 7 minutes I didn't have to spare today.

So when I heard the rain I was psyched. A guilt-free, get-out-of-a-run card. I sat on the couch, ate my favorite protein bar, drank Diet Coke and read the New York Post on my iPad (my morning ritual). Then I realized, I didn't hear rain. Crap.

I checked the back porch, hoping to see raindrops plinking off the deck. Nothing. It seems the "rain" I heard was wind blowing the overnight rain off the trees. Crud.

I stood in the kitchen and thought it out. This is the only time you can run today. If you do not run this morning, you will be pissed at yourself all day. You're already tired, do you really want to add angry, too?

Then I realized if I ran, I could enjoy a cup of Barbara's Puffins, my favorite carbo-loading pre-run food. No run, no cereal. All right, I'll run.

I ate my cereal, got dressed and headed over to the track. It was muggy and hot for 6:30 am, but I was already there: the hardest part is everything that comes before I hit Start on my Garmin. So I hit Start and off I went.

I hadn't run at the track in months, so an hour going round and round like a stock car wasn't as deadly boring as I thought it may be. Time passed relatively quickly and I got my time in. Happy day.

I walked off the track after 60 minutes, sweaty and sticky, but with a clean conscience. Now, I could start the rest of my day.

I've found that the smallest victories are not only off the scale, but they're also the biggest. All those small behavior changes and good decisions add up. All of the I don't wanna, but I will anyway-s...

The scale, the finish line, they're flashy locales as that's where we think we get the big wins. But they're just the effect of success, not the cause. All those little, everyday good moves you make add up - they're where you win everyday.

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