Sixteen Days

I ran another five miles this morning. Most mornings I just run and don’t think about time or pace. It is a time to clear my head and the best way for me to start the day. However, I find when I’m running with someone else the competitive side of me comes to the surface. It’s a friendly competition but still a competition. In this case, the competition is great because it is forcing me to work harder instead of staying in my running comfort zone.

This morning I was determined to finish the five miles with negative splits. This was a conscious effort and I had to focus on my breathing and my pace. There is a huge amount of self-control that is required to pull this off. I had to really start off slow in that first mile so I could save my energy for the end of the run.

When I’m not thinking about it, I can finish mile 1 in 10:15 but this morning I slowed down my first mile to 11:32. I was not even breathing hard after mile 1, which almost never happens, but because of this strategy I had much more energy at mile 5.

It all comes down to self-control. Consciously making the decision to do less in the beginning in order to gain the desired result in the end. This can obviously be applied to every single aspect of our lives. Drive a hooptie now, save money and save up in order to purchase your dream car later. Rent now and save money in order to purchase your dream home later. See where I’m going? Everything doesn’t have to happen right now. Instant gratification isn’t gratifying for long.

As I journey to 56, I am learning to appreciate the benefits of self-control.

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