Successful running – create a habit

Running on hold…

My hip is better, but I still have pain.  I figured out that a light slow jog is less painful than walking, but I am not going to take any chances.  I have a Chiropractor appointment later today, so hopefully that will help.  This all comes from the time I jammed my hip while running on a sidewalk.  Lesson:  When running on a sidewalk, don’t get distracted.

So yesterday I went for a 2 mile walk.  The main reason is to keep my “running habit” going for when I am better, which I hope is soon.  My theory from 16 months of running is that in order to be a consistent runner, it must become a habit.  Habit is the key to most success in life.  If you can create a habit, you can be consistent and succeed where others fail.

I used to run 3 days a week.  I did this for a month or two and then it stopped.  16 months ago I started running 6 days a week.  I’m still running.  I’ve learned that in order to create a habit, one must do the same thing at the same time of the day.  Don’t hear me wrong.  I didn’t mean to say the same time, as in 2:00.  I mean the same time as in after an event that happens every day.

Let me explain.

I run after work, which works well for the winter and lousy for the summer.  Because of what I do for a living I get home at various times, but for me it is usually between 2:00 – 4:00.  As soon as I get home I run.  Everyone know this and even the dog leaves me alone.  I go upstairs, get changed, say goodbye to my Lovely Wife and head out the door.  Everyday weekday.  This has created a habit that even if I want to stop, I really can’t.  Of course Mondays are my day off, but even then I go outside and walk a couple miles.  On the weekends I do have to adjust, so I run as soon as I get up and eat.  Every weekend I do the same thing.

So yesterday I decided to walk since I didn’t think I should take a chance on running and I didn’t want to break my habit.  I got home, got changed, said goodbye and walked for 2 miles.  I came home, played with the dog outside while I cooled down and then went upstairs and showed.

I don’t know why I went into this today, maybe because I didn’t have much to write about.  Suffice to say, habits are important to any success, whether exercise, work, family, even spending time with “the dog”.  Next time you want to be successful at something, just do it the same time everyday for 3 weeks and it will become a habit.  It might get boring, but no one said success was always exciting.

Do the same thing, the same time, everyday and you will succeed!

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Running, obsession, and a midlife crisis

I’ve been feeling a bit lethargic about running lately.  I’m not sure why.  Don’t get me wrong, I still run 6 days a week and still do my workouts.  I think the warmer weather has made it harder to get outside and get going.  But it isn’t about wanting to run, it is about running.  If I only ran when I felt like it, I would probably run a couple days a week and eventually just stop.  To be honest, I get up at 3:30am, get to work by 5:30, leave work about 2:00pm, get home by 2:30, get running around 3:00, finish running about 4:00, cool down and take a shower by 4:30 and then I get a chance to rest.  It makes for a long day.

Someone asked me recently if I was obsessed with running.  I guess I am to some extent.  I really am not an obsessive person, but I think having a goal that I desperately want to meet has made me more obsessive.  Also, as I have written before, if I weren’t obsessive, I wouldn’t run.  I have to push myself and I like that I can do that.  I have only really pushed myself a couple times in my life.  Running has brought out an area of my life that I never knew I had, discipline.  So I run each day and thank God that I live in a country that gives me the freedom to do so.

Yesterday was Hill Run Thursday.  I decided to try and break my record for running up this huge quarter mile hill.  I have only done it 4 times in a row in the past, so I thought I would try to get to 5.  I put on my new Saucony Fastwitch shoes (which I love by the way) and did a 2 mile warmup.  Then the hill…  I ran up and down over and over.  In the end I actually ran 6 repeats of this hill – a new personal record.  I wasn’t trying to break any speed records, but I broke my record and my goal for running this hill.

As I was running home I thought to myself, having goals and meeting or exceeding them makes running (and life in general) much more fun.  It is when I have no goals or deadlines or challenges that my life becomes boring and plain.  Running gives me new goals almost weekly and I love it.  I love the challenge and the trill of running up a huge hill 6 times in a row (I never thought I’d say that).  I love running farther and faster.  I can’t wait for my marathon in September to see how far I have come.  Boston or not, I think I have come a long way since March 2012 when I started (my Nike Plus app tells me so anyway).

So in the end I don’t think I am obsessive about running.  I think that by the time I turned 49, I looked at myself and didn’t like what I saw.  I was obese, lazy, on a CPAP to breath at night.  I had a type of a midlife crisis.  I didn’t buy a fast car or try to “find myself”.  I just went for a run and never stopped.

Now that I am 50, I like who I am.  So if that is obsessive, then I guess I am obsessive.

But I think happy might be a better word.

Is running an obsession?

This is the question I have been asking myself lately; is running an obsession for me?

Answer: Of course, it has to be!

What 49 year old would go outside 6 days a week and run the same route in rain, snow, cold or hot?  Who would do this for almost a year and take between 1 – 2 hours a day doing it?  Who would want to wake up in the morning and have the first feeling one of pain as they get out of the bed?

Running takes almost 100% of my free time.  Running makes my body hurt.  Running is boring.  Running pushes my cardiovascular system to the edge (sometimes).

If running weren’t an obsession, I WOULDN’T DO IT!

But let’s look at it from another perspective…

Running has helped me loose over 85 lbs.  Running helps me sleep better.  Running helps me deal with life’s stresses in a way I never had before.  Running has brought down my heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and in general added years onto my life.

Everyone has an obsession.  I am glad that running is mine.

I love running.