The incessant buzz of exercise indecision

I hate those days when I don’t have a running plan. The indecision eats at me all day long: Indoors or out? This course or that one? This time, or that time?

This has been more of a problem lately because  A) I’m still coming down off the high of my first 50k trail race, and B)My training partner hurt her knee on a ski trip.

Friday was the worst. I had a little too much freedom in my schedule and the weather was just decent enough to provide too many options. My innate tendency to overcomplicate what should’ve been a simple “just go have fun” run got the best of me. In the end I settled for a short hike with Colleen and a short treadmill run, either one of which allowed me to check “workout” off the to-do list (not to mention the Janathon schedule) but didn’t get me back into running mode in quite the way I’d hoped.

In a way, this strikes me as the exercise equivalent of the “200 food decisions” problem. What do I mean by that? Well, I read somewhere once that most people typically face up to 200 food decisions a day – Should I eat this? What about that? If I say no here, can I say yes there? It’s a product of living in a highly commercialized society where we face a constant buzz of advertising in addition to plates of cookies at the office, etc.

This absolutely drives me nuts, and it’s a real problem when I’m not “locked in” to my dietary agenda. I much prefer to have a plan that deactivates all those questions. When I’m dialed in, nothing distracts me – not even someone imploring me to “just try a little piece” of some dessert.

Likewise, the best defense against the incessant buzz of exercise indecision is simply making an appointment to run – even if it’s just with myself.

I was still feeling sorry for myself on Saturday, when rain and a busy schedule sucked up the day. But by Sunday, with just a narrow window in terms of both time and weather, I was determined to hit the road despite wind gusts over 20 mph — and I was glad I did.

Today’s workout, at least,  is well defined: The kids and I are excited to check out the new Wells County YMCA, which opens today. I’m disappointed that funding shortfalls axed plans for an indoor track, but I’m curious to see whether the new pool gets me back into swimming.

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