From Habit to Addiction

From Habit to Addiction

On Thursday morning, I went out for a run. Not unusual, but this time was different in two important respects:

  1. I couldn’t get out until 10am.
  2. It was hot as hell in Ottawa.

It was hot enough first thing in the morning, by 10 o’clock it was stupid-hot. I was sorely tempted not to go at all.

So why run? It would have made an excellent rest day. You might think it was that little runner’s high I got last week, that was pretty sweet. But that wasn’t it.

I ran because I was scared. Scared that if I stopped, I wouldn’t start again.

© Maridav

I’ve been working this weight loss gig for nearly 7 months, and running for about 7 weeks. Part of what has kept me going is a take-no-excuses attitude, and it seems to be working. The weight is coming off, at a slow, steady, healthy pace.  And I’m really proud of the the times that I’ve gotten my run in in spite of hurdles. Rain, scheduling conflicts, fussy babies… those have been the best runs: the ones I really earned.

But I can’t shake this feeling that I’m balancing on a house of cards. The magic will just evaporate, I’ll be stuck on a plateau and won’t have the gumption to keep going. And the all-or-nothing attitude is something I really need to fix, because there will be plateaus. There will also be times when I just can’t run, when there are real reasons, not just excuses.

Well, yesterday I threw myself another hurdle: I took a break. And guess what? The world failed to disintigrate. I don’t know that I did myself any favours: my legs hurt more this morning than they have yet. But I got up, got two kids fed & into the stroller, and we went out for our run.


4 responses

  1. Oh how I identify with this….I really do. I have a hard time taking the day off because like you said I feel like the house of cards might fall…but when I take that day…I am always surprised by how strong my house of cards is. Have faith in that house 🙂 That you have built with each hard earned step.

    • Thanks Katie. You’re right, I should have a little more faith :). And I like that image – the house that I’ve built. I’m going to remember that.

  2. I think our challenge is to build the habit strong enough and, at the same time, build our self-confidence in the habit. I’m doing fairly well with the habit but I can still be a self-doubter. I hear myself questioning myself most clearly when I run solo – which is why I’m totally in awe of you for popping the kids in the stroller and going solo all/most of the time. You rock.

    • That’s a really good point – the focus is usually on building the habit, and not necessarily on trusting it. You still have to build it, and that takes work, who knew that trusting it would take work too.

      And thanks for the ego boost :). I do go ‘solo’ all the time, a baby during the week and baby + preschooler on the weekends (and boy am I starting to notice the weight of the preschooler). I have never actually run without the stroller, at least not since my last attempt a running over 5 years ago. I didn’t enjoy it then, so not sure how I’d do stroller-free now!