More and more I’m finding that my relationship with running is a metaphor for my relationship with most challenges in life. A therapist once called me out on my tendency to rabbit out when things get hard. Abandon the plan, always keep moving, never stay still. That’s what I’ve often done at the first sign of a serious obstacle when I’m working towards a goal. And I’ve been lucky. Like the rabbit on the run, I often end up backtracking several times and this has allowed me to sometimes obtain my goal, albeit in a very circuitous and inefficient manner. I sometimes think, “Well, I’m on a different schedule. Things come to me when they come. And aren’t I oh so spiritually wise by just letting that happen!” And sometimes that’s probably a healthy perspective. But more often it’s a way to avoid taking things head on.
So I’ve taken this week off to let my hip heal. I was scared to do it. Scared that if I stopped (stayed still), I’d stop training to run (abandon the plan). I was thinking about this today, the last day before the week I promised myself. The plan calls for me to pick up where I left off tomorrow. Now that I’ve done the endurance thing, I want to work on actually running more than I walk. There are several C25K plans out there that can facilitate this, especially since I’m not starting from scratch. I’ve chosen the Zombies, Run! app for this one. Seems like a good way to prep for the Run For Your Lives 5K I have coming in August.
The plan also calls for downsizing my Helvetia Half to the 10K, so I can do the Fueled by Wine Half in July. Not pushing, but not giving up. Slow, gradual exploration of what I can do. And learning to care for my aging body that is so grateful for the attention. And more and more, I think about being more intentional about nutrition so that I can adequately fuel my body while I grow stronger.
I’m sitting here today thinking about it all, a little scared about changing from “abandon the plan” to “stick with the plan.” Can I do it? Can I do it and still get the other things done I need to get done in my life? I don’t know. But it seems like maybe the plan is better than running around in circles. And I’d like to do a variation on the plan to finish up my damn comprehensive exam for my master’s. Is it possible to change a lifetime habit? I guess I know that it is. If you can manage to stay still and stick to the plan.