Song of the weekend.
I’ve never been able to get into running. I hit the treadmill now and then, and spend most of the time looking at my speed and time. I tried covering console with a towel. I tried counting in my head to pass the time. But time only moved slower. It’s just boring.
I now believe the failed attempts at creating habits were not grounded in boredom, but from vanity metrics that were boring to keep track of. New year’s resolutions were of X miles Y times a week. It was always about the numbers, not why I was running, and routines never stuck.
While I’m late to the party in blogging about Born To Run, I won’t make the case now for barefoot running. What struck me about the accounts of the Tarahumara’s superhuman feats was the sheer joy they derived from running, not the numbers of miles they ran.
While I don’t ever expect to run a supermarathon with a smile on my face, I now aim to focus on why I run in the first place: To feel good and stay in shape. What are the metrics for this? Feeling good and keeping habit of running regularly. Not X miles Y times a week.
So I have a new routine: Run outside every morning that I don’t have an early meeting. I don’t carry a watch or calculate distances on Google maps. I run as far as I can, and pay attention to what my body tells me—monitoring my cardio, tracking aches and pains, etc.
The results: I actually enjoy running. Without time or distance dictating where I go, I explore streets I’ve never been down and enjoy my surroundings. For the fist time, I’m able run on concrete without getting terrible shin splints, because I adjust pace as my body demands.
Most importantly, the habit of running is finally sticking.