Three words I can safely say I never thought I'd put together, but I've decided to run a half marathon to explore my newfound interest in running and figured this to be a good place to document my new adventure. As I set out for three miles yesterday morning, I knew I'd have to keep my head in check and focus on being 'on my run' as opposed to 'trying to finish my run.' I have a habit of focusing more on the end result than the process of getting there, and it can make me a little antsy. (for more on that - see Day 14: the posture never ends)
The podcast I'd chosen to distract myself was an episode of This American Life entitled "Island Time," detailing the struggle of Haiti's mango farmers both pre- and post-earthquake and the challenges they face in trying to make a living in a country with zero infrastructure. Seemingly small problems - a lack of clean crates to transport the mangoes, for example - become gargantuan when compounded with poor roads, unreliable transport, lack of irrigation and agencies that waste time and money with red tape.
As I listened, I started thinking of running as a good metaphor for goal setting and taking the appropriate steps to guarantee your success. I can't set out to run 13.1 miles without having ever run 10 or 8 or 5 or 3, and I've begun to realize that I have to take all the necessary steps to reach any goal, no matter how inconsequential each part seems individually. The mango farmers can't do anything with crates to transport their mangoes without a way to get them from point A to point B, or a port to get them out of the country or irrigation canals to water the trees in the first place.
So I'm reminded of all those little steps that you have to take when setting after any something. There is a progression that must be followed; you can't take two steps with your right foot without taking one with your left. You must constantly build an infrastructure as you move foreward. As I'm working toward a few different things right now, it's important to keep in mind that all those little steps support us as we get closer to the finish line.
Day 1: 3 miles in 32 minutes. Lots of stopping to stretch.
Lesson: never run through downtown at 9am.
Day 2: 3 miles in 30 minutes. Gorgeous morning. 20 minutes of upper body strength training.
Lessons: Do not put hand on trees which may house snakes when stopping to stretch. Watch for low flying bumble bees.