breaking the procrastinator’s code

Ahhh… the art of procrastination!  I have been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember.  The funny thing is, I am also a perfectionist.  Think these two don’t belong together?  Well, think again friends – they really go hand in hand!

Once upon a time when I was at one of the greatest schools in the land

shameless plug ;)

I was struggling to think of a topic for a paper.  Because I had waited until the last minute and because it had to be a research paper, I decided to write about procrastination.  I was actually really surprised what I learned!  Procrastinators are often perfectionists and perfectionists are often procrastinators.  Since perfectionists despirately don’t want to fail by waiting until the last minute they have a built in excuse for why they didn’t do as well as they wanted to.  I was kind of surprised by this although it also really reasonated with me.  Failing scares me and I know I wait until the last minute so if I don’t do as well as I wanted then at least I can blame it on on lack of prep.

Now Meagan on the other hand DID!  I wasn’t quite ready for this 1/2 marathon but attacked it like I was!  What can I say?  What I lack in training I make up for in GU and spirit!  It still was an amazing experience but I can’t help but think, if I had trained more I would have done better.  Yet, what if I had trained longer?  Harder?  And still didn’t do as well as I wanted to?  Yikes!  That would be tough to swallow!

Here is what I have learned about running (most sports I assume)… you can’t fake it.  Either you have put in the training or you haven’t.  It isn’t like procrastinating a project or presentation where you can get by waiting until the last minute.  Your body can only be pushed so hard before it just can’t do any more.  Sometimes I find this frustrating.  Since I live by a procrastinator’s code, we don’t start things early.  We thrive on the adreneline of a deadline, we believe we have more time than we actually do and we  ALWAYS believe we can get it done.  So why in the heeell did I take up distance running?!

yes, I'm in a bathroom... what can I say? It was the best lighting

This was a 10 miler race that was a week after the aforementioned 1/2 marathon.  In my mind, I was like, “of course I can run 10 miles – I ran 13 the weekend before!”  I was right, of course I could.  But I didn’t run at all that week… brilliant I know.  Once again, the question should be asked, why have I taken on distance running?  The answer?  I like it!  I am NOT built for speed!

this year at the campus classic - didn't break any speed laws here

What’s my point?  Well, yesterday as I was running I realized I had gotten myself in the same type of pickle as I did in the fall.  I have a 25k in three weeks and I am not trained enough.  Oh, I’ll be able to pull it off but it won’t be pretty.  The thing is last night I ran 5.5 miles and the longer I ran the faster and better I felt.  Today I am shooting for 9 which completely goes against the whole 10% rule.  I know I am not immune to injuries.  While I do a better job at stretching than ever before, have changed my stride and use a foam roller this isn’t going to magically keep injuries at bay when I push my body past it’s limits.

At the same time, I need to balance this with my silly mind that tells me I can’t run these crazy distances.  When I was running yesterday, my legs were like, “yay!  we love being set free on the pavement!”  I know in the next three weeks I’ll fit in a bunch of training in order to prep both my body and my mind.  Like I said, I’ll get the 25k done but I’ll always wonder if I could have done better.

But there will be other races.  The Ragnar in June, another 1/2 in July (in front of my family!) and hopefully a full in the fall.  I really want to break this cycle of last minute training and RACE these races!  I don’t want to let my teammates down in the Ragnar.  I want to show my family what I am capable of and hit a sub-2 hour 1/2 mari!  I would also like to hit a 4:15-4:30 full marathon.  This means (eeeekkkkk!!!) starting early!

So, sorry procrastination… I have to break up with you.  We are done.  Splitsville.  I’ve got some races to race!

4 thoughts on “breaking the procrastinator’s code

  1. Stopping by as a fellow SPA, and a fellow runner…oh and yeah, a fellow perfectionist/procrastinator too! Enjoy your training for this race season :)

  2. I share the tendency towards procrastination…and perfectionism…but am trying to leave them behind too. Good luck with the procrastination break up :) And enjoy your training when you can do it on your own terms!

  3. I procrastinate soo bad, mainly with school work. I always found that waiting until the last minute to write a paper produced my best work. Weird I know.

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