I was supposed to run my second 5K this past Sunday afternoon. Those in charge cancelled the event due to rain and forecast heavy storms at race time. As it turned out, there was nothing but a cold drizzle until several hours later that evening.
I’m glad that they called it off. I haven’t ran much since the 5K last month in an attempt to give my body time to heal. Consequently, I’m not in race form. Far from it.
I’m unsure how to continue my fitness journey. Even when my body will let me, running three miles three times per week simply isn’t enough exercise. And I’m nowhere close to even that at the moment. Do I fight my body and try to get back to that point? And assuming that I’m successful, what do I add to the mix to finish the job? If I can’t do it without some part of my body protesting more loudly than I can ignore, what then?
But the biggest question of all is motivation. How do I convince myself to make time for whatever it takes? I was able to do the 5K because I had convinced myself that I had to do something, I had a specific program to follow and a deadline to meet, and there were people who didn’t think I could do it who absolutely had to be proven wrong.
But now? I’ve used my pain as an excuse to blow off many recent workouts. I struggled to find the hour or so every other day that my runs take. How do I increase that time and add more days?
I’ve thought seriously about commuting to and from work by bicycle. I like the idea, because after I get over my fear of deserted roads after dark without an automobile cabin to shield me, it just makes sense. It will add over an hour to my travel time, and will regularly be unpleasant due to environmental factors, but it will serve a purpose. I have to go to work. It’s not time lost (in my mind) to exercising solely for the purpose of exercise. Therefore, I’m much more likely to stick with it.
Several people have discouraged the idea, though. There’s the general risk associated with riding a bicycle on the road. And the increased potential for breakdowns that could make me late and cause issues with my employer. Then there’s the whole question as to how I can protect myself from the myriad of potential threats on back country roads at night without getting caught violating FaucetCompany’s “no firearms on company property” policy.
All these are valid and reasonable concerns. But what alternatives are there? I have a gym membership. I could pick one or more of the many machines there. I could continue my running, adjusting time and speed as my body will allow. I could bike some of the local trails. I could use the exercise bike and workout videos that I already have at home. But every single one of those options is single use time. If I’m not doing something productive, I may as well be sitting on my ass relaxing. God knows, I get enough drama and excitement at work. And in my mind, exercising isn’t productive by itself.
I’ve tried to ride the stationary bike while doing whatever I do to relax, but it interferes. I could bike and watch TV at the same time, but I seldom watch TV at home. Usually I’m reading or doing something on the computer. The movement of my legs makes it impossible to hold anything still enough to be able to read it.
The obvious answer is to adjust my outlook to accept that exercise is a productive task, worthy of priority status. It’d be easier to stop eating. Or breathing. I guess I’m just fucked. And not in a good way.