Confessions of a Binge Runner

“Pain is a function of nerves…pain comes as light comes to the eyes. Effort comes from the muscles, not from nerves.” – Children of Dune

11:20PM – My Garmin has just notified me of a new fastest-recorded half-marathon speed.

IMG_1805

That was night before last (I ran another 10 miles last night at an easy trot). I’m feeling pretty good about where I am physically as far as running is concerned. The speed isn’t fast compared to most runners but it’s the best I’ve done so far. That’s enough to make me happy. It has to be.

See, there are no cheers of excitement when I do things like this. There aren’t any crowds watching me (see the hour completed above). My motivation for doing stuff like this has to be internal because, most of the time, external motivation for running pales in comparison.

This personal best is also the first time I’ve run in a week or so. A year ago, I was lifting weights and keeping cardio at a minimum. Now I really don’t think I’ve picked up a weight since my birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Binge – noun, a short period devoted to indulging in an activity to excess

I binge at just about everything I do. I attribute it to my inability to multitask, my tendency to get bored quickly, and my obsession with finding the perfect system for doing anything. Here’s a quick set of examples:

  • Watching – get me hooked on a particular TV show and I literally hate watching anything else until I’m finished with that show.
  • Reading – lately I’ve been on this horror kick. Once I get that out of my system, I probably won’t pick up another one for years. I’m also really into audio books right now. I can’t really remember the last real book I picked up and actually finished (Actually, that’s not true because I’m also a binge note-taker). I quit way more books than I finish.
  • Listening – my current favorite song is “5 More Minutes” by Scotty McCreery. I literally don’t want to hear anything else when I get in the car, though, my kids often overrule me with the “Trolls” soundtrack. There are also a few Taylor Swift songs that have an embarrassing number of plays in my iTunes library.
  • Writing – just look at the date of my last post. This might be the last post you see for a while or you might get several in a row. I can tell I’m out of practice and I’ve deleted a ton of draft posts while writing this (here’s why). But I have been doing a good bit of writing since then for other places.
  • Habits – remember how I like to get up early? Until this past weekend getting up early to slalom ski, I don’t remember the last time I saw the sunrise, intentionally.

For me, balance in life is insanely overrated. Though it’s great for avoiding burnout, I do almost everything based on how I feel at the time. My family, my faith, and my professions are constants and are important enough that they have maximum effort put into them all the time. Everything else changes way too regularly for me to keep doing things I don’t enjoy.

When someone tells me to “Keep it up” or that I’m “Doing great”, that someone will probably find me quitting whatever “it” is soon after. The thrill comes in the journey and the challenge of getting there. Specifically, as weird as it is, I love the change undergone to get to the destination. That’s part of the fun. I think I’d rather play the game once and win then bask in the victory a thousand times.

Life balance is great for some people who would go insane otherwise. That’s just not me. I enjoy what I do better when it’s in short periods…in excess.

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