Life is full of setbacks

As some of you know, recently I took myself on a solo-vacation to Austin, TX. It was a personal journey of sorts, but that’s another post. Today, I want to talk about my running.

I have been going week to week in my 13 week running program pretty easily.  I had a plan for keeping up in Texas. I got a month-long membership to a gym near the place I had subletted, and a bike to borrow from the subletter. Vacations have a way of letting us lose momentum, and I really didn’t want that to happen to me. I left for Texas at week six, a week that jumped me from running three minutes to five minutes at a time (with one minute walking in between). Texas was not going to get in the way of my progress.

But then, there were fleas in the apartment I subletted. And the bike I was going to borrow was solidly too tall for me. After a few days of scrambling and panic, I found another place to sublet on the other side of town. But no bike.

I figured running outside was my only choice because there was no way I was going to take an hour-long bus trip to that gym, and I wasn’t going to pay for a second month-long gym membership somewhere else.

The first time I ran outside, it was 730am, and I thought I would beat the heat. Nope. It was humid and hot and dusty and hard to breathe and just shitty all around. I was struggling to maintain the five minutes running/one minute walking for 42 minutes. It was not feeling good. Half way through the run, I passed this mural on W 5th street:

Photo by Steve Hopson,

It didn’t really register at the time. I ran by it and thought, oh cute mural, how inspirational. I ended my run at 30 minutes because there was just no way I could go on in that heat. I got home and plopped down on the air mattress feeling defeated.

But. I think the mural got into my subconscious. Later that day I decided to own the fact that I probably couldn’t continue my progress here in Austin. But I could at least maintain what progress I had gained at home. So I made a plan. Instead of running every other day like I do at home, I was going to run every day– but for a shorter amount of time.

And you know what? I stuck to my plan. It helped to run by this mural every single day, and also that additionally I walked (on average) 6 miles a day. I could have just let myself take a break from running like I usually do when I’m on vacation. But I didn’t want to lose the progress I worked so hard to gain.

I’ve been home for a week, and I was able to hop right back onto my plan. I’ve made another week’s worth of progress, and it was easy. Sure I was on pause for three weeks, but if I had stopped, I would be waaaay more behind. I owe that mural a huge thank you.

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