Runner’s Procrastination

As I’ve expressed in my Health Philosophy page, I do NOT bound out of bed in the morning looking forward to exercise.

Here’s a typical chain of events for me and runs over 2 miles: Put pressure on self about achieving running goal –> Get nervous about not achieving running goal –> Build up the run until it’s a terrifying obstacle instead of something I’m highly capable of –> Procrastinate until the last possible second –> Potentially skip the run.

That chain of events happened to me today. I’m currently participating in the Charlottesville Women’s 4 Miler Training Program. The group runs are on Saturday mornings (with a few small sub-group runs during the week) at 7am.

Putting these star stickers on my training chart is SO motivating. And I have it out in the kitchen so all our guests can see the training that I’ve been doing (or not doing).

This morning I rationalized myself out of going to my group run. Among the myriad of excuses I gave myself, the one that was the loudest this morning was “I never get to sleep in. I deserve my Saturday mornings.”

The reality was that I was kind of scared of my run today. The run was 3.5 miles and since I struggled a lot during last Saturday’s 3 miler, I was convinced I couldn’t do it. This is obviously SO silly because a mere month ago, I was knocking out 6 milers no prob! And I ran a half marathon less than 5 months ago! Just goes to show you how easily you can lose confidence in yourself…

So I slept until 11:00. When I got up, I resolved to eat a carb-y breakfast, drink some coffee, and run around 1:00.

Nature’s Path organic flax pancake mix (made with applesauce as a sub for oil), watered down PB2, and a banana.

(Speaking of procrastination, you can see all the laundry in the background of that photo that needs to be folded).

All of a sudden 1:00 passed. I hadn’t run (or folded my laundry), so I decided to push it back to 3:00. To be fair, I was busy refurbishing an old desk that I bought off Craigslist this week.

Originally black and silver. Much too modern for me, but it was $10 and the perfect size so I couldn’t say no. Nothing a little grey spray paint and twine can’t fix!

I also did some more settling into my room: rearranging art on the walls, cleaning up my closet, the like. I’m very happy I got all that done, but obviously what I was really doing was putting off my run.

Finally around 5:00 I decided that if I wasn’t going to run then, I was going to keep finding reasons to never run. Or, I would run around 7:00 and by the time I showered and got cleaned up, it would be too late to hang out with my friends.

So I put on my running gear (including my lucky hat that’s been with me on all my best runs)…

This is my apprehensive face.

…took a look at the inspirational note I have taped up on my mirror….

…turned on True Blood…

Still haven’t folded that damn laundry…

…and got to running!

Action shot curtesy of my completely cooperative and blog-supportive roommate.

To keep my mind on the run instead of the distance I’d gone, I put a sticky note over the display screen on my treadmill. I even wrote some words of motivation on the note to keep myself from checking my distance too early in the run.

I didn’t pick up the note until I was 3 miles in, and after that it was smooth sailing until the end.

And I even I got in a Body Revolution workout after! I felt great.

Like I mentioned earlier, it was totally silly for me to think that I couldn’t knock out 3.5 miles. But the fear of not achieving the goals I set for myself is so big, sometimes I would just rather not try at all than try and fail. I just have to remember the words of mah gurl Jillian Michaels: “You are so much stronger than you think you are.”

But when believing in your own strength doesn’t work, those tricks I used to make the run go by faster really help:

  • Wear something “lucky”
  • Cover up the distance on the display screen or Garmin
  • Eat something with carbs (even if this doesn’t matter for shorter runs, sometimes doing something intense like carb-loading has a placebo effect)
  • Watch or listen to something distracting
  • Create motivational sayings or mantras to repeat to yourself when the run gets difficult.

It’s all worth it when the run is over. There’s nothing better than reaching a goal you were nervous about.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Saturday night!

This entry was posted in Body, General Lifestyle and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Runner’s Procrastination

  1. Victoria says:

    Your chain of events you describe is dead on for me, for both exercise and the independent study that I’ve been working on this summer. It’s amazing how fast we can convince ourselves that we cannot do that which we have already PROVEN we can do! You are so inspiring, Katie. I think I’m going to adopt your chart system (WITH STICKER REWARDS!) for battling my own problems with doubt and motivation.

    • Victoria!! Hi!!!
      Stickers works so well, but really any tangible rewards system that you can stick to works so well for motivation. I’m so proud of everything that you’re doing. 🙂
      Miss you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s