How Tying My Shoes Got Me to Do Speedwork at an Obscene Time

At about 1:00 AM last night (I will refer to it ‘last night’ even though it was technically this morning), I realized I hadn’t run yet. I had planned to do speedwork, which I hadn’t done in weeks, and I really didn’t want to neglect it.

I debated with myself about going out so late. The prudent, lazy me insisted that I should forget the whole thing and climb right into bed and be done with it; after all, even if I want, I wouldn’t be very fast at 1 in the morning. And then the runner side of me whispered in my ear, ‘It’ll be fun, go for it.’ It was about the closest I’ve ever come to having to little guys on my shoulders trying to sway me to good or evil.

Well, I doubt I would bother blogging about this if I hadn’t gone.

I went. And it was great. I didn’t run all that fast, but I enjoyed it the whole time; it was very peaceful. Normally speedwork is not the most relaxing part of running, it’s too intense. But last night I was able to enjoy it, appreciate the pounding of my legs on the track, the sweat dripping off my face, the sensation of just being alive.

I believe it was Kara Goucher in a Runner’s World interview who talked about stepping back and just enjoying the act of running. Last night I did that.

I looked at a clock when I returned from the speedwork last night, and saw it was just before 2:00 AM. I laughed to myself.

I considered how close I had come to not going out. What was it, in fact, that compelled me to go? Did my runner self give better arguments than my prudent self? Hardly. What really did it was putting my running shoes on.

I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to go- so I got dressed to go to see if it felt right. By the time I tied my running shoes, I knew I was committed to going. I find this to be generally true: if you get dressed to go somewhere, 9 times out of 10 you’re going. That’s what happened last night. When I finished dressing, I figured I might as well go for the run- I mean, I was already dressed for it, wasn’t I? It’s not the most logical argument, but it works. Tying your running shoes ties you in to go for the run.

This is a good strategy for whenever you’re wavering about going out for a run, as I was last night. Before you think too much about it, quickly get dressed and tie your running shoes, and before you know it you’ll be thinking, ‘Well, since I’m already dressed…’

Believe me, it works. My run last night is testament to that.

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