On Not Using Excuses

It’s cold, I’m tired, my legs hurt, it’s too late, it’s too early…

The thing about excuses is that it’s okay to make them, but it’s not okay to use them. It has been too cold to run this winter. I am tired a lot of the time. My legs do hurt. I’m stuck running too late in the day, too close to dinner, or too early in the morning. But I still run.

Making vs. using

If you want to be successful, go ahead and make excuses. But don’t use excuses. When you make excuses and then go out and do it anyways, the reward is greater.

excuses_nike-212x300When I ran 26km in -11ºC weather during the gold medal hockey game, it was a great feeling to finish up strong and log that run on Strava. Excuses were made, but not used: It’s too cold. I’m missing the third period of the hockey game. The route is too hilly.

Last night I ran through some horrible stomach issues that made me want to puke because I ran too quickly after I ate. But I ran all of the the 10km on the schedule and did as many hills as I could without losing my dinner. It sucked, but I was proud to have done the run. Excuses were made, but not used: I’m going to puke. My legs hurt. I’ve run enough this month.

My calves, shins and ankles have been protesting a lot this month because of the higher mileage I’ve been running and the crappy footing that I’ve been dealing with on my long Sunday runs. But I’ve been coping and running and getting the miles in anyways.

Yes, it has been uncomfortable (good excuse! I hate cold running, getting up early on Sundays and running late at night on the treadmill), and yes, I’ve had to be careful to keep stretching and icing (I could easily use “injury” as an excuse! Stupid shins), but I’m getting it done. I’m stoked to have logged over 200km in February for the first time.

Reasons are not excuses

One last thing, and it’s important: Reasons are not excuses.

If you are sick, or if you are injured, or if you simply don’t have time to run for whatever reason, those aren’t excuses. They are reasons.

There’s a simple test to know whether you are making excuses to not run rather than having to deal with reasons you can’t run. Ask yourself whether you are choosing not to run. If the answer is yes, then it’s likely the case that you are excusing yourself. If the answer is no, then it’s likely the case that you are a victim of circumstances.

Now get out there and run (unless you have a good reason not to).

More Miles

It’s been two Sundays since the last update and the training continues unabated. Despite some bad weather and a late night for Ginny at her work, I managed to keep the mileage coming. It took a rare Friday morning treadmill 8km run, but I got everything in again this week.

Last Sunday was tough. Probably the worst footing I’ve ever encountered between ice, snow, and deep slush. There is nothing worse than an ice-cold soaker at 12km.

Today was much better, although still cold. It was -13ºC at the start, and not much warmer at the finish. The route was a typical one for this clinic – lots of uphill at the beginning, and then a nice downhill finish. It was 12km before we got to the top at St. Clair and Poplar Plains, but once the downhill started, it was a pretty enjoyable blast to the finish.

Just 12 weeks to go now until race day in Vancouver, but lots of running to do between now and then.