A runner or someone that runs?

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I ran every day for the month of October and this is what I learned.

Since the beginning of the year I have been using Smashrun along with my Garmin to track my mileage. Smashrun is a fun yet technically really useful site that tracks your progress and gives you badges for accomplishments. Earning one of these badges is what started my idea to run every day for a month. A virtual badge – that’s it. But what I got from completing it was worth a lot more.

I promised myself to run every day for the entire month of October, even if it was just a mile (and some days it was). Sometimes finding the time was ridiculously challenging, sometimes your body needs the recovery time from a long run, sometimes life comes at you full on and makes it nearly impossible to get any time for yourself. But I committed to finding a way to make it happen and I did. It was really hard and I tell you honestly that I won’t be doing it again any time soon.

BUT what I gained was an understanding that is beyond valuable. I shaved some seconds off my mile and felt really strong and badass and capable, but that was just an added bonus.  I learned a truth that maybe not everyone is ready to hear, because it lays bare their own views. Are you ready for it?

Excuses are just that: excuses. Every time we tell ourselves we don’t have time (whether it be for running or for whatever other commitments) we are just choosing to prioritize other things in our life over our training runs. Sometimes this prioritizing is completely necessary:  like going to work or caring for a sick child or feeding and bathing ourselves. But many times, if we are really honest about it, we are just choosing other things.

At the end of the day, my experience taught me that you can look at your training and ask yourself one question: do you want to be a runner or do you want to be someone who runs? Really think about that. Both of those things are totally valid choices, but knowing which category you fall into will make the process of prioritizing your time a lot clearer. If you want to be someone who runs, then finding time to get out and train when it is convenient for you and not pushing to make the time is completely okay. Running is an enjoyable, stress relieving activity that lets us release some of the anxieties of life. But if you chose that, you can’t expect to drop time off your mile, lose weight or reach more aggressive goals.

If you want to be a runner, you have to run. You have to find a way to prioritize it and make it a part of your life. Make it an item that is not negotiable on your weekly schedule. And stop making excuses. If you need a way to help you cut out your own excuses, scroll back down our blog page and read our interview with Rebecca Cunnane. That will make you cut the crap really quick: this woman gets things done. And she is a single mom with three kids.

This is the moment where I present to you the hard truth of what I learned: you either want it or you don’t. You either cut the garbage talk and find a way to get it done, or you chose to be alright with what you have. Again, either of those decisions is acceptable, as long as YOU are truly happy with it. Being honest with yourself is the key to being satisfied with your training and commitment level to your goals.

So there it is: my likely unpopular findings. Bigger than the badge I earned on Smashrun but an equal point of pride. Maybe it will inspire you to try a 30 day challenge too…. Or not ?


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