Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Battling Excuses

Back in the good ol' days when I was in decent shape, I never skipped workouts.  I didn't make excuses to skip a workout, instead, I made excuses to skip other things that were potentially in the way of workouts.  It was a mindset, or even an addiction or compulsion.  While it might not sound very healthy or balanced, I am trying to get at least part of that mindset back.  My mindset much of the past year was "well, what is another missed workout" or justifying it, as ____ is more important, and that way, I'll have more time later to get the workout.  I also realize that one of my major issues is that I let perfect be the enemy of good.  It was that all or nothing attitude.  If I wasn't going to be able to do the full hour ride, why do any?  Or if my legs were toast and I couldn't do the prescribed workout, I'd bag it all together. 

Last night I had a bike workout on my schedule.  I'd been out of town for 10 days and hadn't biked in nearly 2 weeks.  It wasn't routine.  I got home from work and it was later than I had planned.  Then I realized I didn't have my power cord for my computer that no longer maintains a charge, so I had to go and install TrainerRoad and the ANT+ application on an old computer of mine.  It was getting later and later.  I felt excuses every step of the way.  The truth is that skipping that workout would not have mattered physically.  But it would promote the pattern of skipping workouts and not help in getting back my old mindset.  I powered through, and felt pretty darn good the whole time. Score.

Well, when you lose the momentum, you lose it.  Overcoming excuses last night did not have my magically psyched up for tonight's run.  My original plan was to run around 4ish, from work, then go home after.  I had my snack at 3:30.  Then I got busy with something and before I knew it, it was 5:30.  Having a dog puts some limits on my schedule and I needed to be home somewhat soon.  Hmm, skipping was tempting...  Cold and rainy didn't help either.  I had those thoughts of "I can do it tomorrow" but I reminded myself that my history says that won't happen.  So I talked myself into a new plan- run home.  It is about 7 miles if you do it the short way, which is longer than I had intended.  As I stood outside waiting for my Garmin to find satellites (which ironically takes forever considering we are across the street from the Garmin store), it started to rain.  Then a bit of my old attitude sank in- this was fun- I was badass.  Of course I was going to run home.  Because I can do it. 

It turned out to be a nice run.  The lakefront at night is magical, just the glow off the water with the waves.  Somewhat eerie, but enough people out to feel safe.  However, this run was not perfect.  I skipped the prescribed intervals.  My reasons can all be seen as excuses- sore hamstring (still!), shin splints, can't read the watch well in the dark, etc.  But I still got a 7 mile run in.  To me, that is good.  Not perfect, but pretty darn good!

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