What you want to do, and what you can do, are sometimes two different things.
Two years ago, I ran a half-marathon. That’s 13.1 miles. It was the furthest I’d ever run in my life. And once I finished, I assumed I’d just keep running progressively further.
Didn’t work out that way.
Fast-forward to today. I’m not in half-marathon shape. I have two young kids. I have a job I love that on a slow week is 40 hours. I have commute time. Lunches. Laundry. Cleaning. And the sleep loss. God, the sleep loss.
I don’t have a whole lot of room in my life to run for an extended period of time. But I’m gonna run another half-marathon this year anyway.
I’m going to run a shitty half-marathon.
I’ve already run a good half-marathon. This time, I’m going to do it shitty. Which means I’m going to adjust my definition of success. Specifically, downward. Here’s what that looks like for me:
- I’m not aiming to finish in any particular amount of time.
- If I have to run-walk the course, that’s fine.
- When I can’t train, I’ll do the next-best thing (like getting off my bus a few stops early).
This sounds like cheating. Maybe it is. But the way my life’s structured right now, it’s a path to doing what I want to do.
It’s like that saying—”you can have it all; just not all at once.”
Maybe someday I’ll be a legit half-marathoner. Or at least, maybe I’ll run one in sub-two-and-a-half-plus hours.
That day is not today. It’s not this season, and it’s not even this year. That’s OK. I’ll still have fun trotting my way around more than a dozen miles of whatever city I’m in.
In the meantime, the rest of my life will continue to function the way I want it to, and the way I need it to. If all I have to do to achieve that is run a little slower or a little less, that sounds like a fair deal.