Though my weekly mileage has decreased in the past few years, I still consider myself a runner. I try to run 3 to 6 miles at least three times a week as a way to get away from the telephone, email, Twitter, and all the other little conveniences that frazzle us with their efficiency.
A few months ago I started running again after one of my ‘breaks’. My breaks can last a few weeks or several months, and my running performance falls off sharply.
On my usual route, I take a left out of the neighborhood, then pick up the route of a local 5k run. The route is tree lined and relatively traffic free, and I know the mileage so I’m able to watch my pace.
After a couple of weeks of running my usual route, I found myself stopping in the same spot during every run. The spot was less than 3 miles in to the run. It wasn’t that I couldn’t physically run any further, I just stopped running (I believe the technical running term is ‘bonking’). No matter how many mental tricks I played on myself, I would stop running in the same location every time.
One Saturday morning, almost on a whim, I decided to do something that I’ve since tried in other areas of my life. I went a different way. Instead of turning left out of the neighborhood, I turned right. I stopped running the usual path and I ran a path that I’d never run before. I didn’t know the mileage, the terrain, or whether there were trees to shade me. I just ran. Five miles later, I was still running.
What are your beating your head against the wall about, again, today?
Try a different path.
Einstein said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Stop doing what’s not working, and run a different path.