Canadian Business ran a great review by Jordan Timm of 168 Hours recently. The reviewer, like many people, was taken with the story of Theresa Daytner, the book club-attending, business-running mom of 6 that I profiled in Chapter 1. While her story is great, I think the best take-away I got from her is to change my language. Rather than say “I don’t have time,” I try to say “It’s not a priority.”
Which is what leads me to the sorry state of my running program at the moment. In the course of writing 168 Hours, I identified running as one of the few activities I wished to focus my energy on (my family, writing, and managing my choir were the others). So I set an ambitious goal — to run my first marathon — and did that in Big Sur in April. I was convinced that having gotten my mind around the idea of distance, I would be making 10-milers and track work a regular part of my life.
Or not. I keep a running log, and in the entire month of July, I ran just shy of 50 miles. The longest I did in any one run was 5 miles, and I only did that once.
I have been trying to figure out what happened. It would be easy enough to say “I don’t have time.” I have excuses. I have two little kids, including a still-nursing baby! (Though one might point out that I had the two little kids when I ran the marathon, and since I started training when the baby was 4 months old, he was spending more time nursing then). I’ve been doing a lot of book promotion activities on top of my usual writing load (see my Fiscal Times debut today, Jobs and Small Business: Three Tips to Improve the Economic Landscape).
And it’s really hot out. (Though while training for the marathon, I actually did a 10-miler in the snow).
Anyway, I have excuses. But I know that it’s all just that — excuses. The truth is, distance running and speed work are not big priorities in my life right now. If I wanted to go for 3-hour runs, I could hire more childcare, wake up earlier, spend less time with my family on weekends, or work less. None of which I want to do at the moment. So I am trying to be honest with myself and admit that right now, I’m only running to maintain a base fitness level, doing 40 minute runs 3-4 times a week. At some other point in my life, like when I sign up for another race, this will change. But that’s not a matter of lacking time.
Does anyone else have something that’s a priority in your life that you’ve consciously scaled back for a while?