When I was in college, I started every semester with brand new highlighters and colored pens, ready to organize the world! I meticulously copied my syllabus into my day planner and highlighted every word in my textbooks. That would only last a week.
Fortunately, I’ve managed to find more sustainable ways to organize my adult life. I like to be able to see the big picture, as well as the small details, and check off completed tasks in the process. I mostly use this method in my work but recently began to wonder… would I benefit from treating my marathon training more like a work project?
Since day planners aren’t really a thing anymore, I went online to see what all the rage is in organization these days which led me to bullet journals. It seemed like a perfect fit – there are colored pens involved, folks. So, I jumped onto Amazon, which I basically have on retainer now, and bought a brand new journal and beautiful colored pens. I also bought a stencil because, obviously, I will need to draw perfect squares.
When it arrived, I started by laying out the big picture – the final six weeks of the pre-marathon training plan that I’m following. I listed out the weekly running and exercise goals with little poorly drawn squares so I can check them off as a go. I’m in week 1 and this has already come in handy.
Yesterday, I was scheduled for a 5-mile run. I was already starting to make excuses early in the week for why I should skip this one: I had an early work day so I’d have to run in the afternoon, it was supposed to rain in the afternoon, the day before was leg day, hills suck. My only option would be to run it on the treadmill, but running in place inside is really the worst thing that can happen to a person.
Yesterday came and when I finished work in the afternoon, the sun was shining. Crap, there goes my weather excuse. Then it hit me – if I didn’t go on this run, I could not, in good conscious, check of that little box in my stupid bullet journal. Then, for the next six weeks, I’d have to look at the unchecked box. That was unacceptable.
I put on my running shoes and went for it. During the run, I considered cutting it short or taking a less hilly route, but I knew I had to go all 5 miles and intentionally run the hills to make it count. And do you know what? I did. And it was actually a pretty great run.
It hasn’t been a full week yet, so this may or may not stick. But if it does, this could be the silver bullet in my training.