Thursday, August 18, 2011

No mile left behind

Part of the reason why I got fat in the first place is because I like to eat large amounts of yummy foods and sit on my ass I am an "all or nothing" type thinker. Luckily, I've really been able to work on this.

For example, in the old days if I was in the mood for a burger, it wouldn't occur to me that I could order a burger and get a side salad and diet coke. No. All or nothing baby! Bacon cheeseburger deluxe with fries and MAYO and a milk shake please… That was my M.O.  Now I roll differently.

As I've discussed, this summer has been a little challenging when it's come to running. It's starting to pick up and I'm getting back in the swing but either way, I've decided something.

I will honor every mile I walk/skip/run. No mile will be left unappreciated.

I used to think if I only had 10-20 minutes, why bother? Other people have said the same thing to me, "Eh I can't see the point in only running for 15 or 20 minutes so I skipped it."

This is the wrong attitude and I will never skip a 10 - 15 - 20 minute opportunity to run again. If I have those minutes and can take them, I will take them. My power walk / light jog of 20 mins today yielded 1.5 miles.  I wasn't going to do anything today since yesterday I ran four and tomorrow I'm scheduled for 6 (and I'm resting an achey hip) but I decided to reach for the treadmill instead of food to beat a little case of the blahs...

In any case, 1.5 miles just once a week for a year adds up to just about 3 full marathons! The big picture is remarkable. Think about what an accomplishment it is to run just one marathon… Sure 3 spread out over the course of the year doesn't pack quite the same punch but why should we still act like running more than 75 miles isn't a big deal? What if you double that? Take those 2 days a week you weren't going to run at all and do 1.5 instead… Well now you're looking at an extra 150 miles in your year and 12 miles in your month… Why leave those miles behind when you can grab them!

Aside from a good little boost of energy, depression fighting endorphins, and a few calories burned - it's just good for you.  It also keeps you running and mentally in the game.

So that's my big revelation of the day and I thought I'd share.

No more all or nothing thinking when it comes to running for me. I am obviously going to aim higher than a 1.5 miles or 20 minutes of exercise for the regular but I'll also no longer snub or discount the shorter workouts either. They all make a difference.

Every mile counts, every step forward is another step in the right direction of whatever your journey is.



Anonymous said...

This is great! I reme,ber being absolutely ecstatic when I ran my first mile, but somehow in training for half marathons I've lost my respect for short runs. I don't give myself the credit I deserve for doing 2-3 mile runs. And you are right, any exercise is better than nothing!

The Unexpected Runner said...

What a great post! You inspire me!

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant. Everyone should read this.

Sometimes if I only have 20 minutes, i try to push harder than usual. It's a quick high!

Jason said...

uh-oh the switch has been flipped....lookout world. My girl Jen is back on the trail with new sneakers and a new attitude.

Go get 'em friend. You rock.

Molly said...

I like how you think : )

Sara said...

'Every mile counts, every step forward is another step in the right direction of whatever your journey is.' Jen, you made my WHOLE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I ran 1 mile this morning (I was trying out new shoes) and I was feeling a little down about that, but NOT ANYMORE!

No more skipping out - 1 mile is 1 more mile than I ran before - thank you for reminding me of that!!

Erica Gorman said...

Awesome! Found you through Lesley @ racingitoff!

Unknown said...

this is great! So glad you put the math in there. I found you from Leslie's site too.

BTW, I am super bad with the all or nothing eating out thing. I am still bad at it, which is why I am currently in a two week "nothing" eating phase that is NO FUN. I did have a few treats, but I need to do better with the salads and such when I do eat out.

Kiki said...

I've got "all or nothing" -itis. This really, really helped me. I've been hurt and unable to run for the better part of this entire year, and I haven't been appreciating the fact that as of the latter part of this month, I can still labor through a mile run (hard, but it does get better.) All or nothing. I took for granted that I could run and then when I couldn't, I felt picked on and depressed. That's silly and self-defeating, but it's always been all or nothing with me. I won't take them for granted or leave any mile behind anymore. Thanks!!

Unknown said...

Kiki- I'm so sorry to hear about the injury and set back but thank you for letting me know that you read this and it might help!

Every mile really does count!! :) Hope 2012 is your year!