Routines

My boss had this hanging on his office wall for years:

Used without permission of RunningLibrarian (click on the photo to see the original post)

Why is it that routines are so hard to set up? I think it’s easier to maintain a routine once it’s up and going, but how do you really start the routine and make it ‘routine’? Any ideas of what really works? I know I need to do it. I want to do it. I just can’t seem to do it. The warm bed in the morning, the late nights before, join forces to tell my body “you need the sleep more than you need the exercise”.

I managed to fight them off this morning and go for my run/jog/trudge down the road. I wanted to feel energised for the start of the day. I wanted to feel the exhilaration again of knowing that I can run further and quicker than I have before.

Only problem now is, I was almost 2 minutes slower than my last attempt. I can pinpoint a couple of reasons:

1. It was a morning run. I seem to be quicker in the late afternoon than early morning.

2. Mr K, my husband, wasn’t with me so I didn’t have to ‘beat’ him. 🙂 I didn’t realise how much of an incentive that was last time. Well, maybe I did…

3. When I was getting dressed I thought, “the sun’s up, I won’t need my ear warmers”. WRONG! Just because it’s light at this time of the morning now, doesn’t mean it’s any warmer. My ears were really hurting, and down around my jaw. On the return leg I stopped to walk several times just to rub my ears and jaw. At least I kept moving and didn’t stop completely.

4. A truck was coming out of a driveway so I slowed to a walk to let it out. (Smart move, even if I say so myself!) Old mate’s dog came bounding out behind him though and slammed into my shins. Frightened the living daylights out of me too. Along that stretch of road is mainly industrial and most of the yards have guard dogs in them overnight. I thought this beast might have been one too. Once he recovered from the impact he bounded off happily though (onto the highway mind you). I was left a little stunned, albeit grateful that he hadn’t also tried to bite me. My shin was a little tender so I stopped to give it a bit of a rub.

In the end, the main thing is that I got up and ran this morning. Although my times were slower, I did it. And I was still on my feet when I finished. It’s when I got home that I realised it had been over two weeks since I last ran. Less than 6 weeks until my mini-tri. I really need to work on this so I can jog the full 2km instead of walking sections. And I haven’t been to the pool for months. I did sit on my bike a couple of weeks ago.

I’d be interested to hear what helped you flick the mental switch to get your routine going. “Just do it” doesn’t work for me. This morning, as I wrote earlier, it was the desire for the ‘after feeling’. I didn’t get it though. What else helps you get out of bed and on the road, whether for a run, cycle, gym or something else?

PS: While searching for the above pictures, I found this one:

Click the image to go to the source

Maybe that’s my ‘switch’. Commitment vs interest. What do you think?

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4 responses »

  1. Ewww….early mornings! Bleugh!
    I don’t have any advice but I do want to say that I believe in you and I’m proud of you!!!!!

    Big hugs xxx

  2. I have seen it written, and heard it said: “To establish a new habit [ie routine] you need to keep at it for 30 days [in a row] to be able to maintain it.” I have never put this to the test – sorry! 30 days seems about 20 days too many for me! 🙂 Nevertheless, I am WITH YOU on this commitment of yours… I am going to commit to something TODAY!!! Please feel free to check on me after 29 more, and make sure that I am more than “interested”. Love you heaps, Mum. (My apologies for 50% of the gene pool)

    • Thanks Mum. 🙂 I have previously maintained a routine for more than 30 days and still fallen off the wagon. But thanks for the reminder. I will have to keep that in mind. Again.

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