Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Potential Pitfalls


I'm a problem solver. Always have been. When something is put in front of me, I try to figure out how I would make it better. When some event is coming up, I spend a fair amount of time guessing what might go wrong.

That's been my personal slice of hell the past couple days. All of the things that could go wrong. All of the things that could cause me to fail this challenge.

Luckily I've spent almost as much time planning to avoid these obstacles.

Here's what I've got so far:

Inertia: "A body at rest tends to stay at rest." (Isaac Newton was the it-shay.) I don't know which is harder... stopping a bad habit or starting a good one. I did a quick study of my running logs and since 1993, the longest streak of consecutive running days was 8. Not really close at all to 365.
Avoidance: How about telling all of your friends and starting a blog and generally making it pretty public if you fail? That's about the best I've got.

Burnout: There will be days, many in fact, when I don't want to run.
Avoidance: See Inertia (above).

Injury: Show stoppers include death, prolonged coma, broken bone below the waist or in the spinal column, torn leg things (ACL, etc.), bad sprain, serious connective tissue badness that would jeopardize running in the future. Softer problems are typical overuse injuries.
Avoidance: Stretch... religiously. Use good running sense, like not running on ice, taking one-mile days when I need to. Core work, weights, yoga. Wear a light and reflective gear when its dark. Don't slip into a coma. Don't die.

Illness: Unless I'm hospitalized or unconscious, I can run a mile, but man will it suck.
Avoidance: Eat well, wash hands, get enough sleep. All the stuff our mom's told us to do.

Weather: This shouldn't even be on this list. I have plenty of gear for any weather. I just need to remember to have it on hand. If the weather is dangerous, hit the hamster wheel.
Avoidance: Grow a pair! It's just weather.

Schedules: Kids, work, friends, impromptu lunch meetings, relationships. Everyone has demands on their time.
Avoidance: Plan ahead. Put yourself first for at least a few minutes every day.

Absentmindedness: This is a big one. Forgetting my gear. Bringing just one shoe. Plain forgetting to run. This is my biggest risk over the 365 days.
Avoidance: First, be flexible. If I forget something, I need to make a new plan. Also, keep spare gear in the car.

There's a lot going on here. Kinda freaks me out. But I think that with a mega-dose of dedication, common sense, and some luck, I'll make it.

If I've forgotten any, let me know. Meanwhile, I'll be fidgeting... anxiously.