This post is more in the service of momentum than one of actual productivity. Instead of staying in and cranking away on the short story I am currently in the throws of, I decided to go out and have a a couple of drinks. I figured finishing my second week of writing and running everyday deserved some kind of award. But when I got home around 12:30 in the morning, I couldn't just go to bed without getting some writing done. Here goes nothing. Very quick update on Couch-2-5K. I was able to finish my final workout of week 2 fairly easily. I even turned up the speed of my last interval in order to feel a real challenge. It was probably the first time I have full out sprinted since last summer. It's amazing how your body has to relearn how to run at full speed when you haven't done it in awhile.
Two weeks are in the books, but from the moment I looked at the workout schedule I knew that week three would be the real test. Having to run three minute intervals is a big step up from the 90 second intervals of this week. I've yet to actually feel any pain in my lungs or sides during my workouts. Most of the challenge has been dealing with pains in my knees and shins, which is manageable, but I wonder what will happen when my sides start to hurt and my lungs start to burn. Will I step up to the challenge, or will this be the first time I will have to embrace failure in the new year. As I've mentioned before on this blog it's exciting to get to that point where you are not entirely sure what your body is capable. All I can do is push myself as hard as possible and see if my body is up to the challenge. I'm actually a little giddy about next week.
If there is one thing I'm really bummed out about this year is that I have not set out the time to read as much as I would like. I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to set up a suitable schedule for writing, working, exercising and reading, but with the extra emphasis on writing and running, my reading time has taken a back seat. It's not that the novel I'm reading is boring or in some way forgettable. I've enjoyed every moment of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and at the half-way point it seems to only be getting more compelling.
The truth is that I have a hard time finding a real balance in my schedule. When I set goals for myself, like trying to write and run more, I tend to zero in on them at the peril of everything else around me. When I decided to read 50 books last year it meant that I all but gave up sports, and cut what was already a feeble social life in half. I planned to spend most of tonight reading, but sometimes going out and blowing off steam is more important than catching up on a good book. This is stating the obvious of course, but sometimes I have to remind myself of what is obvious.
I'm still having a difficult time writing in the morning. Some mornings I get up and have no problems knocking out a couple thousand words by lunch, other days it is gloomy prospect to finish more than a couple of sentences. I'm fighting against habits that are deeply engrained, and the battle is not going to be won or lost in a couple of weeks. All I can do is keep showing up. If I'm still trying to fight myself in six months when it comes to writing in the AM I may decide to mix things up, but the only way to know what I'm capable of for sure is to give this thing a real try.
I can already feel that next week is going to be an important one when it comes to improving myself this year. I can feel the weight of the enormity of self-change start to press on my shoulders. Getting myself back into motion, both literally and figuratively is not going to happen without fighting the inertia of my sedate past. If this means writing in the wee hours of the morning, or going to the gym in blizzard conditions, so be it. There are parts of my own brain that are still very skeptical of what I'm capable of, and I will always be my harshest judge. If I can prove to myself that I can be exceptional in the face of challenges, and I believe I can, there is no other person on the face of this planet who can intimidate me.
Now if you'll excuse me. I could use a little sleep.