I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. I’m still feeling plowed by events in America, and though I know a run usually helps my state of mind, it took every bit of will power to get my butt out the door.
It got me thinking about all of the crappy excuses I tell myself when I don’t want to run – and all of the things the devil’s advocate in me says back. (Do the rest of you have ongoing inner dialogues when it comes to exercise and responsibilities and to-do lists?)
Here’s a rundown (har har) of my most common running excuses …
Excuse: I’d rather stay snuggled up in bed with a book.
Counterargument: Vitamin D and fresh air will be invigorating!
I try to remind myself that this is the first winter in five years that I’ve been exposed to so many days of sunshine! Since I’m skipping Portland’s winter (and subsequent gray skies), I should take advantage of beautiful (mostly rain-free) winter runs in Barcelona.
Excuse: I feel too fat to run.
Counterargument: You’re not fat; you’re lazy. Also, discomfort is good for you.
I don’t own a scale so I don’t know what I’ve gained in Barcelona, but my body has changed a bit. I’ve indulged in more bread and wine than normal, and I’ve gotten a little soft. I don’t really mind all that much (we’ll see how I feel when summer rolls around), except I do mind when I’m running because I feel slower and out of shape. Of course, I’ll only improve the situation by getting in shape so I’m better off shutting up and getting moving.
Excuse: I’d rather go to a café and eat pan con tomate.
Counterargument: You can eat bread after you run.
It’s probably not the best idea to bribe myself with bread (see aforementioned bread-indulgence-softness issue), but I totally do it. And it totally works.
Excuse: I don’t have enough time.
Counterargument: Are you fucking kidding me?
This is a really rich excuse because I only work 16 hours per week here, though that doesn’t factor in travel time to work and private classes (and lesson planning). In any case, I certainly have time to fit in a 40-minute run. It simply involves spending a little less time on Twitter, lingering over coffee for a bit less time, and, you know, setting an alarm so I actually wake up at a reasonable hour in the morning.
Excuse: My IT band feels tight.
Counterargument: Well, that’s unfortunate. But that’s not a reason not to run; that’s a reason to stretch more.
I’ve gotten really good at putting off runs when my legs feel wonky. But my legs feel wonky because I’m not doing any strength training or stretching. It might also be time to replace my New Balance Minimus shoes; though they don’t have a ton of mileage on them, they break down more quickly than cushioned shoes. But, really, I don’t think this is a shoe issue. I think my IT band is tight because I’m not taking time to stretch or protect my quads and glutes. New Year’s resolution #1: make time for lunges, squats and planks.
Excuse: Running is boring.
Counterargument: So, turn around and come back when you get bored.
I actually don’t think running is boring (unless we’re talking about really long runs); it’s just getting out the door that’s the most difficult for me. Once I’m moving and listening to music, I get in a groove. So when this excuse crops up, I promise myself that I can turn around and come back whenever I’d like, and this effectively gets me to run for at least 30 minutes, if not more.
Spill: What excuses do you tell yourself? And how do you convince yourself to get out the door (or to the gym)?
* I mean, I’ve still got a ways to go until I’ve got this kind of junk in the trunk, but I’m workin’ on it. (Don’t mistake my meaning here! I’m saying junk in the trunk is a *good* thing. Most of us ladies want some shape!)