I have such an all-or-nothing personality. My house gets messy and I think “I don’t have time to clean the whole thing, so I may as well do something else.” If I mess up on my diet, I think, “oh well, now the whole day is shot.” And if I don’t have the time or inclination to work out for an hour, then I think it’s not worth it to work out at all.
I have strategies to deal with all these things (my Flylady 15-minute timer helps a lot!), but that all-or-nothing attitude is still the one that comes most naturally to me.
I’ve been sick the last few days and had to skip my scheduled C25K W8D1 run on Saturday. I had hoped to do it yesterday, but still didn’t feel well enough. Today’s schedule, since it is Memorial Day and I have extra time, was to do C25K, 30 minutes of yoga, and ab work for a total of 80 minutes of exercise. I knew when I woke up this morning that I was still sick and I didn’t think I had it in me to exercise for 80 minutes. After a cup of coffee, I decided that I felt better than I had in a couple of days and I might be able to exercise. Plus, I really didn’t want to push my C25K schedule back again. Then I realized that I didn’t have to do the whole 80-minute workout. I could skip the yoga and abs and just do C25K. Duh!
So I decided to give it a shot and keep an eye my heart rate. If my heart rate got up to 168 (it gets above 170 during really hard runs), then I would take a walking break. About 18 minutes into the 28-minute run, I REALLY wanted to take a walk break, but my heart rate was holding steady at 158. Again, I realized that my choices weren’t only running or walking. I could take a break, but it didn’t have to be a walking break. I usually increase my speed each time a new song comes on, so I just slowed my speed to my starting pace. I immediately felt the difference and was able to keep running the entire 28 minutes.
So what I need to remember is that if I can’t do a whole workout, I should focus first on the piece that is most important to me and get that done. In today’s case, that was C25K, because I am now less than two weeks away from finishing the program. Secondly, don’t be afraid to look for alternatives if something isn’t going as well as I had hoped. Things aren’t black and white. It’s not an all-or-nothing situation. There is probably another avenue to take that will help me reach my goals.