I’ve tried several times in the past week or so to write a post that wasn’t about housework battles or running vegetables but every time I tried to find a window of opportunity it was like trying to fit through a porthole on the Titanic. An impossible task with an increasing sense of desperation.
So it’s a running update again, I’m afraid.
The title of this post is apt in both a literal and figurative sense.
Not being in possession of one of those fancy-schmancy GPS watch thingies, I must measure my runs via a free app on my phone. It’s possible it’s not the most accurate scientific instrument available. So, to ensure I know I have run at least the distance I am required to run, I tend to add an extra kilometre or so.
The figurative sense of taking things too far became apparent about a week ago.
Motivation is a wonderful thing. There is a reason people have mentors, supporters or trainers when they are trying to achieve something. Whether it’s giving up cigarettes, losing weight or improving your fitness, having someone (or several someones or, in my case, a blogosphere of someones) monitoring your progress helps enormously to keep you on track. Making yourself accountable to another can give you the impetus to keep going when you really don’t feel like it.
I think I may have overdrawn on the account.
I love a spreadsheet and I know I am not the only one. It’s very motivating and ticking off or filling in the boxes is highly satisfying. However, recently I have come to think that maybe a spreadsheet should not be given to someone with an obsessive personality.
Where is all this going? Here’s the point:
On a recent Sunday, my spreadsheet required me to undertake a 10 kilometre run. The previous day had been our state election where I had worked all day as an election official. On the Sunday, various commitments meant that I had to be out of the house by 8.30am and I would not be returning until after 7pm. Where to fit in a 10 kilometre run? Very early, obviously. The alarm was set for 5.50am. I didn’t need it as I awoke at 5.30am with a sickening headache (this being the most apt adjective as I truly felt like I was going to be sick). But the run? What about the run?
All you sensible types are saying “Just don’t do it, then. It won’t matter if you miss one.”
Only, I’m not really all that sensible (this should already be obvious). And I am a Spreadsheet Slave. I could not – could not – imagine writing my next running post and including a spreadsheet with a red box in it. It must be ALL green.
So I ran. The whole 10 kilometres. With my pounding feet matching the pounding in my head.
I may just be nuts.
When word got out, I was admonished by more than one friend. “You don’t have to do it,” one said. I nodded. Uh huh.
Another friend presented me with the Running Golden Tickets. I’d never heard of them but I was assured that they are a compulsory part of training for any event:
Remember that whenever you commit to such an undertaking it is essential you incorporate three factors into your plan:
1. High Road/Low Road days.
Each day you need to decide whether it is a ‘high road’ or ‘low road’ day. On high road days you push. On low road days you are allowed to slow off, stop for a drink or cut short. It is essential that you balance these days 50-50. Net result is even.
2. 3 Golden Tickets
You have the power to entrust a pretty bespectacled friend with 3 golden tickets. Golden tickets are leave passes. You simply text/Facebook “GT request” and she will write back ‘confirmed.’ You are exempt from the run that day. All 3 tickets must be used.
3. 3 HOLY tickets
You have the power to entrust yourself with 3 holy tickets. These are also leave passes. They allow you to complete the scheduled run in an alternative realm. You will do so while you sleep and you still get to mark the spreadsheet in green (but a slightly altered shade). All three must be used.
So, yesterday, when I had another full day ahead, the spreadsheet said “12km” and I awoke early to pouring rain?
I ran. In the rain.
Go ahead. Tell me you’re surprised.