Stop and Start

Danger foreseen is half avoided. But the other half still poses a challenge to me. Though I knew of the danger of not being able to stick to my schedule, I still could not maintain it. I have had a break in my running and blogging schedule.
I had a break of 1 week in running and 2 weeks for blogging. Initially I felt bad, because I had promised myself not to break the streak. But then, I recovered and thought that there is nothing better than starting again instead of ruminating over missed targets. So, here I am back again. This week, I started running. And now it is the blog.
During the past 1 year or so that I have started running, there is this lessons among many that I have learnt. No matter how many times I stop doing something that I am supposed to do, if I start it all over again, within a few days or week, I am back on the track. Not only running, but the same lesson can be extrapolated to other things in life. Blogging  or getting into the habit of saying ‘Good Morning’ to people you meet in the office, or greeting  people on the elevator, there are many such small things we often tell ourselves we will do, but again either due to inertia or due to some other important or unimportant activities, such plans go kaput. But, as long as we start again, we are not a failure.
In running parlance, completing your run within your target time is best. Completing the run, even if you may not achieve the target time is better than DNF (Did not finish) . But DNF is better than DNS (Did not start). So, it is important to start. But it is even more important to start again if you stop for some reason.
The above lesson I believe can be applied to any new habit that we wish to create or existing habit that we want to change. This is possible only if we forgive ourselves for our failure and understand that everyone including your own self deserves another chance.

A Danger Foreseen - Half Avoided

Life likes to spring up surprises!
I have been training to run my first half marathon on 26th of August, 2012. My training, which started towards end of January this year, is a tailored training plan which allows me to repeat the training of each week again.  It also has a very low increment of mileage over weeks so as to reduce the chances of injury. I have been steadfastly following the same, without being injured, for almost 5 months now. Within this period, I could increase my mileage from 10 km in a single run, to about 19 km that I can comfortably run in about 2 hours 10 minutes now. So, I am pretty confident that I would be able to complete a half comfortably which is just 3 more kilometers.
Hyderabad running calendar has 2 major running events. One is the marathon by Hyderabad Runners in August.  The other is Heritage Marathon organized in month of September or October. In my current assignment, the months of September and October are invariably very busy for me and entail a lot of travelling on the work front. Therefore, I had decided way back in January that I would run the August 26th run this year and by September, I would be free to travel on my job. This was the basis of running the Hyderabad Marathon and hence the training.
However, this Monday, I got a bolt from the blue. Due to change in business plans, my busy season starts this week itself and I would be on the roads from next week onwards. I was shocked upon hearing this. Not that I am averse to travel. I enjoy it. But I was shocked because my first thought was, this continuous travel will definitely impact my training. I felt bad. I thought I may not do justice to my training. All the hard work of the last 5 months may go waste. Never before had anything been of more priority to me than my day job. But for the first time, I felt, running is as important, even if not more as my day job. I was debating within myself that I will discuss this issue in office and excuse myself from the travel till I complete my first half marathon. But better sense prevailed.
Colleagues at office knew that I am running the half on 26th Aug. I told them how important running is to me and how much time and effort I have invested and that I cannot let it go waste. I set expectation that I will continue my runs even during my travels and that I need to go to sleep by 11:00 PM every night (hence will not be able to stretch) so as to maintain discipline of my morning run. Also that on the week prior to 26th August and on that day I will not be travelling. Folks agreed. Plan is set.
I know there is a ton of work ahead of me in the next 4-5 months in the job front. If I am not careful, it will consume all my time and my training will suffer. This I cannot afford. Neither can I afford to be slack on my job front. A danger foreseen is half avoided. I have foreseen the danger of my training being neglected due to heavy workload. Hence planning is the key here. This will avoid half of the danger. The second half of danger can be avoided by proper execution of the plan.
There is always an opportunity in every problem, disappointment, or heart-ache. So, I tried to reflect what the opportunity is for me in this specific situation. Then it dawned on me that this is an opportunity to prove to myself that I can plan and execute competing priorities between work and life balance. Let us see how I materialize this opportunity.
The most tenacious will prevail.