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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why I Keep a Running Blog - 1.25 Miles

1.25 miles run
0.15 miles walked
total: 1.40 miles
course: home treadmill
Yeah, yeah. Why am I including such an insignificant detail -- that I walked 14% of one mile?

Because, simply, this is my blog. Mere self-indulgence isn't the point. I would tell it better then. Pride? I hope not. Kind of embarrassing, if you think about it. Can't brag about running a buck and a quarter.
And that's the point. No, no, not the embarrassing part. I mean the part in which I put it out there. I'm vulnerable. I do keep a private spreadsheet of all of this, but in being out there, two things happen:
1) My pride remains in check.
Instead of my little secret, good or bad, I have things nicely digital. The ups and the downs.

I had one person once tell me to cool it regarding how much I blog about running. That hurt, because they had the impression this was "Look at me, I'm doing well." To the contrary. Look at my last few posts: under 5K. I used to warm up longer than that.

2) It keeps reality in check.
There are a few realities. By logging things publicly, there is a sort of accountability. If, say, I decide to go ultra, what's the cost? Let's say my knees and all survive. Those hours of training whither away at things more important to me, like reading to my boy.
  • Age, knocks and bruises through the years, paying the consequences of bronchitis a few times -- the physical stuff.
  • Time: faith, work, family -- the stuff that isn't running.
Running is a good thing for me, but it needs to be the right amount. I don't buy into the "all things in moderation" myth. The right amount, whatever that is. Not more. Not less. If nothing, then that's the right amount.

Sure, it is good to track progress, or to backtrack a log to analyze an injury. But there's more to life than a PR, isn't there?

If you run, know why. If you invest your time in it, know what's not getting invested in. Simple displacement. Every hour run is not tossing a ball with your boy, or having dinner with your spouse.

Don't lie to yourself and say, "I'm healthier at 80 miles a week." Are you? If you are running quick 6:30 miles, not counting prep and warmdown, you are looking at over 8.5 hours each week. Add in shoe shopping, showers, drinking Gatorade. Nothing wrong with that if the rest of life is in check.

I've been down the road of investing too much. I don't want that to happen again. Yeah, I'm a long way from too much, but it all starts with one mile, doesn't it?

Do the math.

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