When I started thinking about 2016 and putting together my race schedule, I couldn’t figure out at first what was going to be my big motivator. Last year it was “Go ultra!” Run an ultramarathon! After I nailed that goal, it was “Go ultra-er!” Run another ultra, but faster! Then I nailed that goal (and I’m still pretty jazzed about it). I’m currently training for my third 50k, and at first I thought “Go ultra-est!” and really knock it out of the park. But, that’s where it kinda fell apart for me.
It’s easy for me to say “Run farther! Run faster!” but that’s not always going to be terribly motivating, and in an odd way, the farther, faster aspects don’t seem deep enough. Sure I’ll run farther, and I definitely want to do it faster – but I want to build a deeper, more solid base.
This is where discipline comes in for me. Discipline does not allow motivation to factor in to the workout and the daily grind. Being disciplined means you close your eyes, lace up your shoes, and get out the door – Or up the stairs to the treadmill – Or through a series of doors into the back corner of the weight room – even if you don’t feel like it in the moment. Cultivating discipline is the key, I think, to getting consistent and blazing past the tempting smells of the cafeteria or out of the warm the bed at 5 in the morning.
So I’ll cultivate discipline in 2016. That’s not too broad or vague, right? Discipline is measurable and finite. At some point, the Discipline Train will stop at Discipline Depot, and I’ll depart and run off to climb Mount Discipline and bathe in the alpine Discipline Stream – content with my achievement.
Not so much.
I’m kind of making it up as I go along, taking small steps that make sense. The first step on my disciplinary journey is to think of a code word for discipline because I’m already tired of typing it. Let’s call it the D-bag.
The second step on my journey to becoming a D-bag athlete is a run streak. Run every day for at least one mile. I’ve never done a run streak before, so I’m currently setting a new personal best every day for number of days run without a break. I’ve only really been tracking from January 1, though I actually started a few days before.
At first I was going to only do it for all of January, but I’m enjoying it. So, I’ve decided to do it every day of each month until I just can’t no more. It’s a lot easier to say “I’ll run every day in January.” and then when January is over, start over. “I’m going to run every day in February” – and so on. It’d be great to run every day in 2016, but we’ll see what happens.
- Run at least one mile every day (most days will be more, cuz training).
Pretty simple. There is one caveat, though.
What if I get injured?
If I get injured and can’t run, I’ll switch to the elliptical machine and still count it as a run. This is only if injury makes it unwise to run. Otherwise, elliptical don’t count as running.
If I’m injured and can’t run or elliptical, the streak will end. There are more important things than streaking!
Soon I will tell you about my race schedule. I’m really excited for the coming year’s running adventures! There are a lot of great races coming up.