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Monday, December 16, 2013

Pace yourself

One step at at time
Great Wall of China, 2010


If there's one thing long distance running has taught me, it's to pace myself.

So many things in this existence are a long term endeavor, filled with obstacles and exhausting just to think about:


  • Staying fit.
  • Keeping your finances in check.
  • Sharing your life with one partner, day in, day out.
  • Raising kids that will turn into - reasonably - balanced adults.
  • Shoveling a 120-foot long driveway by hand because you are ideologically opposed to snowblowers.


You cannot focus on the whole picture too often, or you would just collapse mentally. Getting up at 5 am to go for a run, 4-5 mornings a week, throughout the cold and dark winter, on top of going to the gym in the evenings? The sole idea is already making me feel like crawling back into bed. But I have no choice if I want to run that friggin' race and finish it in one piece. That regimen worked last year, it will work this year. As long as I take it one day at a time.


Race about to start, nervousness builds.
Focus and stay calm.
(A supportive fan helps.)


Yet it IS necessary to look at your overall planning once in a while, to keep an eye on where you're aiming. Which is why I have a "half-marathon training" calendar, as well as a "translation projects" calendar (and, this time of year, a "woohoo, party!" calendar), that I keep at hand in my office to stay on track. I use those as tools, but I don't obsess over them. More importantly, when I'm on task, I'm on task, and I don't let my mind wander to other tasks. Running races or running a business, it's all the same: each baby step counts.


One step at a time.
This pic is from my first race, 4½ years ago.
I had no idea how far (and how fit) I would get.


I have learned long ago that big goals and crazy schedules are manageable when you handle them one small chunk at a time. This is what I will focus on, especially this week, which is among the craziest of the year for most and especially for me, with all the Holiday preparation on top of an extra load of work: year in, year out, translation projects just multiply in December.

My workout schedule will probably be disrupted this week, and I won't get to write the longer post I really wanted to write about wine, but hey, there will be time later. For the time being, I will have to fit in series of burpees, jumping lunges, jumping squats, push-ups and the like in between bouts of translation. Or try my daughter's gymnastics routine for a couple minutes. Did yesterday, will likely be sore for 3-4 days.

This morning, I will gather my energies, rejoice over the fact that the Internet is back to normal and that the kids do have school despite the snow storm (how else would I get any work done?), and listen to energizing music.

Now enough blogging, and off to do some translation.


What are YOUR strategies to get it done?









18 comments:

  1. a little bit
    each day
    till Im ... no longer here :-)

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  2. It looks to me like you were already in shape 4 years ago !!

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    1. It was okay, but I've decreased my body fat % and more importantly increased my capacities... very gradually! :-) You can do anything if you take the time.

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  3. So true about pacing yourself! So tempting to focus on the short term, burn out with over-exertion (or, over-thinking) and then get discouraged and quit. Small consistent gains add up!

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    1. I've gotten discouraged and quit too many times in my youth, but it's over now! Slowly but surely is my new motto. :-)

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  4. Great post!!

    I learned that in medical school! I knew from the beginning that if I was going to make it, I needed to run like it was a marathon, not a sprint.

    My theme song was "Every day you get one more yard," from the Tom Petty song, "The Waiting." He's from my town, by the way.

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    1. I can see how it would apply to Med school: you're exhausted yet you have to keep going. Long distance runners know how to do that.

      You had it in you for sure. :-)

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  5. I ran the Halifax Blue Nose 10K last year and I think I want to tackle the half this year. You're right, it's all about pacing yourself and getting to your goal. :)

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    1. Good for you! If you ran 10K, you can run 21... it's all about the proper training. Good luck! :-)

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  6. I love this post!! Years (many!!) ago when I was in high school I had a coach that said to always focus on the person in front of you and catch them "one inch per stride." That is something that has stuck with me ever since - slow and steady!!
    On another note - I'm really looking forward to your post on wine!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Kim!

      I'm looking forward to write that post! :-)

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  7. It took most of my life to figure this out, but...belief is a requisite condition for achievement. Once I truly believed I could do something, I managed to figure out how to go about doing it.

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    1. It took me a while too, Marc; I started out as a perfectionist, and you know what they do: quit at the first obstacle or mistake or failure!

      Not anymore though. :-)

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  8. For me where it starts is by simply showing up. I'm very guilty of being a big picture thinker; running, bodybuilding, business, relationships, etc. But the day, the very day, is the foot soldier of success -- in any endeavor.

    I preach to my flock, daily, win the day. Just win the day. That's the goal, win the day. Win 2 days out of 3 and your ahead of the game. Three days out of 4, and that much better. Win 1, lose 1, game over, thanks for playing...

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    1. Oh yes, showing up is very underrated!!! :-)

      Make the most count, and an occasional tumble will not have any effect.

      You obviously know what you're talking about! :-)

      Beautiful name by the way... ;-)

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  9. one day at a time, that is so important. I always have big plans(life)...medium plans(yearly)...small plan (monthly) and finally tiny plans(weekly) and then daily plans :)

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    Replies
    1. You are wise, Tanvee! Research shows that this is the best way to get things accomplished. :-)

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