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Reasons and Excuses

There are two things that stand in my way of each one of my running goals:  Reasons and Excuses.

Reasons are those things mostly out of my control to change in the short term that I need to find a way to manage and plan around.  Reasons can be traveling for work or work deadlines, family activities, my kids schedules, constraints of winter weather, my running speed, other obligations that take a much higher priority.   In the first few years of running, I tried to bulldoze the reasons and work against them.  These reasons would frustrate me and make it feel impossible to hit the running goal I desired.   As I got smarter about my running and my training, I learned to accept those things that I probably couldn't change and find ways to manage and plan around them and with them.  

I have mastered the art of managing around reasons.

But excuses - they are a completely different issue.  Excuses are slippery, slimy, sneaky intrusions to my running that catch me off guard.  If I let my defenses down even a little, I find my excuses take over my running schedule and eat through my running motivation.  That makes me mad somedays because unlike reasons, excuses are controllable.  In fact, they are probably even preventable.  If I choose to treat them like excuses and don't turn them into faux reasons.

And it's hard because I am full of excuses to not run during this time of year.  Because I am "too tired", "too busy".   Or because it is "too cold", "too snowy", "too dark", "too hard", "too long".   Or even because I think there is something of a high priority or urgency than my runs.   What could be more important than taking care of me and my health?   Heck, what is more important than running?

As many years as I have been running, it is the excuses that derail my running much faster than the reasons.  

But in my running career, in those times when I have managed reasons and exiled excuses, I have found that I am able to reach goals that I once thought unreachable.   This week in the Lounge as we talk about "Boston and beyond" which translates to taking on big, hairy, audious goals - I know that the key to my success lies in recognizing the difference between a reason and excuse and then running around and through all of them.

Join us tomorrow for Take It and Run Thursday as we talk about "secrets to boston" and how to take on your big running goals.

And until then, do me a favor and stop by Nancy's blog today and wish her well as she manages through a reason that she can't run.  She could use some good cheer!

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Comments

Count of Monte Christo

Excuses are indeed the worst. Not in the least because they reflect the willpower of the person doing the excuses.

Good thing is that not running because of an excuse will make me feel really really bad. This will make the likelihood of my making excuses next time somewhat smaller... I hope.

hamburger teri

So true! I'm finally treating my running like a job or regular commitment. It's not an option; that has helped me with the excuses so much. Thanks for a great post.

Mike G

My big excuse when I lived in Colorado always used to be the weather. It was too easy to say "it's too cold" for 6 months of the year.

Now that I live in a warmer more southerly city and have a gym membership that includes an indoor track, I've gotta get out there and put in my miles. And it's helped my running tremendously, being able to stay on target year round.

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being able to stay on target year round.

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I love running in the hot weather as long as I'm hydrated properly and have Sharkies with me. I may have to slow down my pace a little if it is a really long run, other than that keep your fluids up and wear a hat!

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This sounds like one fun race. Can't wait to check out the pictures. Good luck Amy and Tom!

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Excuses are slippery, slimy, sneaky intrusions to my running that catch me off guard. If I let my defenses down even a little, I find my excuses take over my running schedule and eat through my running motivation.

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If I choose to treat them like excuses and don't turn them into faux reasons.

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In the first few years of running, I tried to bulldoze the reasons and work against them.

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mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I'm more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful.

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Excuses are for losers! winners just make their way silently.

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