Monday, December 28, 2009

The Rules


People are funny. Everyone I've talked to about this challenge has, sooner or later, asked what the rules are.

"What counts as a run?"

"Do treadmills count?"

"But you didn't run today!"

I suppose those questions are the obvious ones. So when people try to understand just what it is I'm doing, those questions come out first. Not one person has asked what I hope to get out of this, or if I think I can do it, or why I'm doing it.

That's probably a good thing. I'm not sure I have answers to those questions.

I do, however, have answers to the easy ones. Here are the rules:
  1. From 1/1/2010 to 12/31/2010 inclusive, I have to run at least one mile every day.
That's it.

If I miss a day, I fail.

Pace doesn't matter.

Distance over a mile doesn't matter.

Location doesn't matter.

I know someone out there is thinking "Wait a minute! 'Run' is open-ended and subject to interpretation", but really, we all know running when we see it. (In that way, and likely only in that way, running is just like porn.)

(Good comment thread - ways running is, in fact, just like porn.)

Walking doesn't count. On some really bad days I may run slower than most people walk. But it will still be running.

I am the keeper of distance. I'll use my cool Garmin GPS watch when I can, but I'm sure there will be a day or 12 when I don't have it, or it's not charged, or I forget to start it, or worst case, it's lost or broken. I'll measure as accurately as I can on those runs, and trust me, I'll be sure to cover my one-mile.

Treadmills? Treadmills are like lawyers. We all hate them until we need one. (Ba-dum, tish). I try to never run on treadmills. Makes me feel like a hamster on a wheel. But when running in the real world is too dangerous, like when the roads are icy, or the windchill is ridiculous, a treadmill run is better than no run. Barely.

This thing isn't about rules. It isn't a contest. It's a challenge to myself to get off my butt and do what I know is best for me. To take care of myself. To spend at least a few minutes every day focusing on me.

Tomorrow, potential pitfalls.

P.S. Probably goes without saying, but I don't want to assume... blogging, while an important part of this adventure, is secondary. The challenge is to run every day, not blog every day. The running will be hard enough.

I will blog as often as I can. I'll do my best to at a minimum post my distance covered that day. I'm sure some days I will have more insight or humor or ideas than others. I will try to keep those who are interested at least informed. I'm aiming for entertained.

I hope that if nothing else, I can convey the many benefits that being a runner brings me. And who knows, maybe gather up a few converts.