I know that I complain a lot about being slow, and complaining is bad. However, being slow is a huge problem for me right now, logistically speaking.

I am not the best time manager, even in my most motivated periods. My attention span is pretty short, which is probably part of the reason I’m so bored on the treadmill. It also means I’m not very productive. I am trying to balance school, work, running, and slacking off watching television and farting around online. We’re also going through a cold snap up here (though it’s been much better overall than last winter, when the cold snap was approximately 6 months long!!), and I am still getting home when it’s dark out. Cold weather and darkness are two major motivation killers for me.

To relate this to running, I’m struggling with two major problems. On any given day, I either feel like I don’t have enough time to get in a significant run, or I run when I should be doing other things. Sometimes both!

Wednesday I got home around 6, knew I wanted to get a workout in, but also knew that I had a lab report I really needed to finish start. Ahem. Instead of starting in on one or the other, I watched an episode of Gilmore Girls and played a computer game to wind down. Oops. While vegging out, I thought about whether or not I could really get in a run (on the treadmill, of course). I really should have done an hour or so, and I realized I just didn’t have time to do that. For most people, an hour would be a nice medium-length run. With my current running strategy, it’s not even 4 miles. It’s hard to justify a shorter workout, because it seems so stupid to log a 1.8 mile run or whatever a half an hour workout ends up being. Since I had done another one of my patented double rest days (Sunday and Monday), I couldn’t skip another run without feeling a lot of feelings, so I convinced myself to do 35 minutes and then dive into my homework. On the plus side, I did get in over 2 miles, because I was able to hit a 15:39 average pace. (All my whining last week seems to have been premature.) Someday I would like a 30-minute workout to cover more than 3 miles. I dream big.

Sunday I skipped running altogether, which I regret, because I am not sure if I’ll be able to get outside this weekend. The high this Saturday is 2F, so I will not be going outside. Anyway, I also regret it because I didn’t work or do homework in place of running, so I might as well have gone out. Running outside takes up even more time than the treadmill. First, I have to get the motivation to get outside. That’s difficult, even when I’m strapped into my running shoes and ready to go. If I decide to go on a trail run, I have to drive there, which adds extra time. My outdoor workouts usually take longer, since I go farther and I also have terrain and elevation changes that slow me down. And then there’s the inevitable stop for a latte afterward, and then I get home and have the chills and don’t feel like doing anything and I feel tired.

I have to make better use of my time. There’s still going to be time in the day for watching TV, surfing the net, and other mindless activities. I just need to cut down on that time in order to get my work hours in, my homework done, and my running done. That means:

1. Accepting shorter runs might be all I can squeeze in, and running them without feeling like I haven’t done enough. Something is better than nothing.
2. Running on the treadmill even if I can run outside, if it’s cold and I’ve got a lot of work to do. I can’t risk that chilly, tired feeling afterward preventing me from getting any real work done.
3. Taking extra rest days if I need to get other stuff done. If I’m running instead of working, I’m going to miss that on my paycheck. If I’m scrambling to get homework done, stressed out and sleeping less, I’m not taking care of myself mentally or physically.
4. Cutting down the amount of time I spend gearing up to work out. I need to get into my spandex and get downstairs or outside, rather than toodling around wasting time trying to mentally prepare myself.

It’ll be warm soon, lighter out later, and hockey season will end, so I’ll have more time and fewer complications soon, but there could be six more weeks of crummy temperatures and there will be 12 more weeks of homework, so there won’t magically be hours and hours of free time on the horizon. Best to find some discipline and act like a grown up.

2 thoughts on “Priorities

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