Run, write and repeat

stoplightAs you may have gathered, I started running regularly a few months ago. Recently, the change in season and position in the service industry left me susceptible to illness. Over the past week, a particularly nasty cold left me exhausted and unable to function, so this week I'll focus on what running has taught me about writing.

  • Be careful about Internet sources. Since Pinterest became popular, running and exercise plans are readily available. As with anything else, make sure that the source is a reliable expert in the field. Just as an unreliable training program can get you hurt physically, writing based on unverified sources can cripple your career.
  • Practice smarter, not harder. Flailing around in running can lead to a satisfying tiredness, but it doesn't build endurance or speed. In writing, undirected practice does little to build a professional portfolio. In the long run, both can do more harm than good. Stay focused, and your directed practice will build your chops.
  • Balance your physical and mental health. Balance is a buzzword in both fitness and entrepreneurship for a reason. Runners and freelancers alike suffer when they're unable to practice, so making time to do both is integral to your success.
  • Find fun in your work/running. Exercise is necessary to your focus and longevity, but running can sometimes seem as tedious as editing poorly written medical copy. Listening to trashy music, running a new trail or even treating yourself to new running duds can break you out of a rut.
  • Pace yourself. You're in this for the long haul, so practice accordingly. If you start to feel yourself getting burned out, take a step back. Consider saying no to new commitments so you can effectively manage your time. Write or exercise a little bit every day to keep yourself in shape.

Got any other tips? Leave them in the comments!

How to slow down

photo (1)Sometimes, you slow down your pace to build endurance. Other times, you slow down your activities and your life because illness or pain require it. Last Saturday, I ran three miles for the first time. By itself, that run was the longest distance and time I have ever completed. At a few points, I wanted to give up, to go back to my car and go home. Though my knee and ankle twinged a few times, the pain had subsided within 30 minutes of being home. During the second mile, my pace got difficult. I wanted badly to go faster, to run at the pace I was used to. But I didn't -- I slowed back down and was able to keep going when my side cramped up and my knee tightened. Back in my world of freelancing, bartending and tutoring, I was finding the same thing. By scheduling out every single work commitments, I could also find  time to rest.

This week, rest has been especially important. I was unusually tired after my run on Saturday, but social commitments required me to stay awake and cognizant. A couple days later, the tiredness had progressed into a head cold. Luckily, the cold was short-lived, and forced me into an even slower pace in my work and runs.

Next week, I'll need all the energy I can muster. I have three paid deadlines, three blog posts, four runs and four shifts at work. Needless to say, pacing will all important, and as a result, I have already scheduled most of my commitments down to the hour. It may be a slightly obsessive response, but it's the healthiest coping mechanism I have.

For the next few days, my social media presence will be lessened. It may seem counterproductive, but planning out every run and writing assignment will ease some of the associated pressures. This balance will be crucial for my ability to rest and recover from this darn head cold. Going slowly right now will not only allow me to build back my health, but also to get in shape and hopefully to prevent future illness.