This past week goes into my top 5 running successes ever. I got through finals at school while also running 5 days for a total of 21 miles! I know 21 miles is nothing much to a lot of runners, but during exam week it is to me. I normally judge an exam week a success if I only ate 10 lbs of chocolate, drank 5 Cokes and didn’t lose my mind throughout. Run too? Yeah right! That rarely happens during exam week. This week, though, I conquered!
Exam weeks are awful in regular circumstances. Add a full-time job, two young children (who do not yet follow the “sleep through the night without interruption” plan), and all other things associated with a family of four and exam week gets really stressful. That’s why I never hold myself to run plans during midterms or finals. This time I just told myself – do whatever you can do. And why not just try and run a couple of miles here and there? If I ran even 2 miles a day it would be better than nothing at all, wouldn’t it? And let me tell you, after taking tests, studying, and writing papers until the wee hours some nights, the last thing I felt up for was a 10pm treadmill run. A couple times I had to do those late runs and then get back to work finishing up projects.
I’m not going to pretend I was Mrs. Happy throughout the week. But, now, after it’s all over, I’m happy about what I accomplished. In the moment, I was thinking some pretty negative things. I really wasn’t in the mood to run. I was upset about exams, upset that I don’t run as much as other people do, upset that I can’t juggle things as well as other people, upset about all my shortcomings and weaknesses and loads of things I can’t control. But I knew if I didn’t get some runs in that I would be even more upset at the end of the week and that wasn’t going to work either. And here’s my secret for success – I used that book The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by The Oatmeal to get me on my treadmill each and every time. No joke. Every night I ran, I had to read a page from that book before I could force myself on my treadmill.
The book is so funny. If you are a runner and don’t have that book, you are totally missing out! It’s such a good boost of run humor when you really need it. It raised my spirits so much. Rule #1 on p. 112-115 was the best and I kept going back to it over and over. It was better than a run coach. Then the cartoons on pages 86 &87 were so true and motivating as well. It reminds you why you run and it reminds you that a negative mindset can sometimes be fixed with a run. And the author doesn’t talk about how easy and joyful running is. He talks about how hard and painful it is and talks about the negative voices that tell you that things are too busy/hard/tiring to run. But then he talks about how he breaks through all of that and gets it done because running is the best! I love the whole book, I can’t say it enough. Oh and it’s a comic book so it’s really easy reading.
And my treadmill… dear, dear treadmill… I think I’m probably the only person who buys a treadmill and then worries that I’ll never run outside again because I like running on my treadmill more. Isn’t it usually the opposite? You just never know until you buy it and set it up though, do you? I’m still loving the Nordictrack 2450 and especially the monitor attached to it to watch movies. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have run this week either. It took the book to get me running but a bunch of great movies on a big screen affixed to my treadmill to keep me running.
Even running my marathons this past season wasn’t as amazing as getting 21 miles this week. I never even ran 5 days a week during ANY of my training weeks for the marathons! I think this is a good sign of things to come?
Finals are over!! Yay!! Hope everyone is gearing up for a lot of summer running like I am!