Thursday, October 13, 2011

Goals. On running. And writing.

Today I went for a run outside and it was hard. Actually it kind of sucked. But I did it. My cheeks were bright red and hot after and my lungs hurt after the first five minutes. But I did it. It made me mad because I've slacked off of it for MONTHS and I'm back at a beginning point in the running. AGAIN.

I always want to make great running goals. Like a half marathon. That would be so cool. But I always forget one important thing.

I hate running.

I'm quite bad at it. Or maybe it's just that I believe I'm bad at it that makes it true.  After five years or so running on and off I can still pull off a 5km run with no problem. Okay. Some walking intervals and lots of internal grumbling, but nothing too bad. (That's 3.11 miles for my American friends.)

But I want to go further. 10km.  So how do I do it? In some ways, maybe I believe I can't do it.  Or I just don't want it bad enough. Something always stops me from getting past the 7km mark, and I always fall back on the comfort and ease of a slow 5km.

But it's pretty easy to liken running to writing.

The more you run, the easier it becomes.  Writing. Yes. The same.

Right now I am in the process of writing my third Sourcebooks novel. I have a deadline when it has to be done. This is new for me. Having a book sold that isn't finished yet I mean.  We want to get the book out next year, and that makes for a quick turnaround.  So in order to meet my deadline, I have daily writing goals. Weekly writing goals. And doing it every day like this keeps me inside the story and forces me to write even when I don't feel like writing.  Like today.  I have been putting off my writing all day. Well. I was busy this morning and had some chores that had to be done, but I know I HAVE to get my word count in and I'm not there yet.  But I did get in the run. Actually what I did was change up the order.  Usually I exercise while my son is swimming. But today I ran during writing time and will write during exercise time.

But the run made me realize how easy it is to get things done when you break them down into smaller chunks.  I broke my runs into smaller intervals today and it made it easier for me. I know if I keep it up I'll be back to my 10:1 intervals (which is the way the Running Room taught me to run) I KNOW I CAN run 10km. I just have to want it a little more. I have to DECIDE I want it.

I will finish the book. That I WANT. That I NEED. Break it down until I get the first draft done and then for me comes the fun part- the revisions. That is when I am so immersed in a book that I have to be forced back to real life.

Let's see if I can a similar thing with running goals. How about a 10km in a Spring Race? Half Marathon in the Fall? By this time next year, Book 3 will be complete and launching out into the real world. How about my half marathon?? How about it, indeed.

Shall you check back with me. Let's chat at book launch #3.


  1. You're weird for liking revisions :p

    Speaking as someone who spent a solid eight years of her life with strict goals, they get stuff done. They can also burn you out with failure. The best lesson I learned from swimming was to be constantly adjusting to avoid failure, but make sure those adjustments are necessary, not just easy.

    I love sports/writing metaphors. Good luck with your running!

  2. Why yes, yes I am weird. Thank you for noticing. :)

    Swimming would have great writing analogies for sure. I am at the pool now while son swims. I am writing about a girl who swims.

    Too bad I suck at swimming WORSE than writing. :)

  3. Nice post! I HATE running. Actually, I can't think of one thing I would less like to do. I hate it when people automatically relate running with fitness. I take yoga and I dance ballet - I'm not that out of shape. Yet, I cannot run for my life (unless someone is chasing me, which is an entirely different story).

    Apart from that, I cannot wait for Book #3 to come out. You know how huge of a fan I am, reading your books are a pleasure! So, when all else fails, know you have people looking forward to whatever Book #3 comes out to be. To connect back to your analogy, we're waiting at the finish line for you!

    You're right, you can do it.


    P.S: Excuse all my cheesiness. Analogies sometimes do that to me (but it doesn't mean that it isn't all true ;)

  4. Britta, you are cute and never cheesy!
    I like the finish line analogy. I'm hoping this book is going to be a good one!