Sunday, December 27, 2009

365 days in a row

I have an idea. More like a goal I guess. It's not original. But it's big. For me. Huge.

I am going to run every day in 2010.

For those who don't know, I've been a runner for as long as I can remember. I ran everywhere as a kid. I was a sprinter and hurdler in high school and college. (I took a hiatus after college, apparently to see what it was like to get fat.) When I moved back to Indiana, I worked at a small software company where many of the people ran at lunch. Before long, I was one of them. I've been running ever since.

I have gone from torturing myself training for one half-marathon a year, to year-round running, to being kinda fast, to injury riddled and full of excuses. Yet through it all I have identified myself as a runner. It is a part of who I am.

I'm a runner because I value what it does for me. It's great for my body and my health. I've made lifelong friends over thousands of miles of lunchtime runs, weekend training, and sharing advice and tales. I am an evangelist for running. Not the sport, the lifestyle.

I also understand what it does for my mind and my emotional state. It centers me, brings me back to the present. It clears the fog. It is a release.

Yet lately, when I need that kind of run the most, the kind that will lift me from the doldrums, I usually don't feel like running. The effort to dress, stretch, warm-up, get out the door seems too much. I KNOW I will feel better as soon as I take the first step, but instead I sit.

When I'm running, I'm more positive, I feel better, I am better. For me to be my best, best father, best friend, best everything, I need to be running. That's just the way I am.

On my run today, the first in well over a week, I realized that what I need is something to get me out the door. A goal. For some reason, at this point in my life, I need a shove. Even to do what I know is the absolutely best thing I can do for myself.

This is it. 365 days in a row. This won't be any kind of record. People have done year after year of this. But for me, given my performance over the past year, this is like climbing Everest.

2009 was a really, really crappy year for me. Really crappy. I am determined to make 2010 better. And I know that running will be a catalyst. I didn't run NEARLY enough in 2009. I didn't take care of myself. I let everything else get in the way.

I'm going to make up for it in 2010. I'm going to run every day.

I have no idea if I can do this. But that's the best part.