Sunday, June 3, 2012

Making Decisions, Then Acting


To tell you the truth, I'm having the damnedest time thinking of things to write here. I have been focusing on some other things in my life and haven't been in the mode of turning out writing each day and posting it here online. It has been bugging me, I'll admit it, and I've been fighting the feeling pretty hard. Tonight, I listed five different ideas for writing, but none of them sounded good enough. So I was all set to bag the whole endeavor for the night. Then I figured that I was just going to spend the time checking Facebook and Twitter, so I thought I should just go ahead and write 750 words and see what happens.

It's a lot like how I went out to run today. I knew that I wanted to get a run in. I also knew that I was hoping to do just over six miles. I have this thing going where I'm trying to get my average for the year back up to a paltry two miles a day. I had visions of averaging a 5K (3.1 miles) every day and still hang onto that dream, but for now I'm just trying to get up to 2.0 miles a day by running at least 3.1 each day. I took yesterday off as a rest day so I was hoping to log 6.2 today. I got out the door after noon and started down the road feeling my sore ankle and the strong desire to turn around, but I kept going and that was good.

The way I run is to just take off in a direction and then make decisions as I come to an intersection. Today, I ran a course similar to one I had run with my friend on Friday but with detours to add some miles. I was just looking to do mileage, nothing more.

This is how things happen. I noticed that I was going pretty slowly. I'm a ten-minute mile runner, but I would like to be stronger than that. I have a feeling that I'm actually a 9:30 miler and that I'm just not pushing hard enough. So today, for whatever reason, looking down at the pace on my GPS watch, I decided to push it. Two miles in, I was consistently running 9:20 and 9:10 miles which is pretty fast for me. I'm twenty pounds overweight, have a sore ankle, and am generally pretty slow. Still, I was doing a good pace and I held it.

I finished the run at 6.64 miles with a 9:23 pace and I'm excited about the result almost as much as I'm thrilled with the way it happened. Which is to say, I decided to run fast and that's just what happened. I made it happen. Perhaps that sounds obvious, that someone would decide and so it would be, but that's not the way my life has been. I make lots of decisions and plans, but it's no guarantee that the things will then happen. Follow through is not my strong suit. In this I was able to go from thought to action and then sustain it.

So too with the writing I'm doing right now. I didn't think I was going to get 750 words out of myself tonight, but here I am, well over 750 words (though it will be shorter after editing) in and having accomplished something I wanted to do.

One last thing about it: Tomorrow I'll run again. I might not go fast on that run because I know that I have to build into these things, train my way into them. But I will indeed run and I will make whatever decisions and follow through them. And tonight, I expect to be writing another essay about something that's going on in my life. Maybe it will be about the book of poetry I read yesterday and am still puzzling over. Who knows? I just know that I'm bound to write on.