DAY 9 – Wednesday the 18th
After a week of running, I’m feeling more and more confident on the treadmill. I’ve been raising the speed a tad here and there and am feeling better about running for 25 minutes a day. One of the issues I’ve had is trying to find a way to stay focused during the entire run. The first few days I ran without headphones or even my phone nearby because I wanted to try to just get into running but I found that I’d fade halfway through and struggle to get to the end. I’ve tried running with the gym TV on but it can be tough to stay focused if there’s nothing good on. I’ve tried listening to podcasts on headphones but the commercials that can pop up in the middle can be frustrating because I want to stop running to skip through those. I’ve tried running with music, but I mostly listen to heavy metal and sometimes the pace can push me faster than I want to. So I’m trying to find a system where I can run so that I can stay focused, stay on pace and not get distracted. It’s a delicate balance. Hopefully this is something others struggle with and I’m not some odd running outlier.
Another problem I’ve encountered is the dietary aspect. While I’ve been improving a lot of nutritional choices, like going more than an entire week without soda, it’s still a challenge. Today I met with a professor at a coffee shop off campus and eyed a chocolate chip scone the wrong way. Before I knew it that thing was long gone. That same night, my brother invited a large group out to dinner in order to celebrate being accepted into a foreign language study abroad program. While I only had the one cocktail while celebrating it still made me question how devoted I’ve become so far and how far I need to go. The whole day wound up being a bit of a cheat day which I suppose isn’t a major problem but I also feel a slight concern over whether I’ve fully entered a mode where I’ll make good decisions when I have to.
The gym at my apartment has a small set of free weights which I’ve started to incorporate in between using the treadmill and elliptical machine. This will be slow going but everyone has to start somewhere. Looming in the corner of the gym is a machine that has a pullup bar which stands there taunting me. I’ve never been able to do a pullup and I’d love to be able to do one – just one – before I moved out and head to grad school. I should have added that to the goals list from yesterday! As of right now, just doing low reps of curls with smaller weights and hoping to build up over time. Just like with running, the weight training goal is consistency more than anything.
While that 15:39 still looms large as a major outlier, the overall times continue to drop. There is something fun about running, it’s hard to describe but there is a sort of joy in completing the goal as well as the joy of stopping. We need the pain in order for the pleasure to understand why it’s so great.
SONG OF THE DAY: “Spiral Architect” by Black Sabbath