What I learned running in the rain

I live in the Bay Area, where right now a week-long rainstorm is passing through. I’m just getting to the point where I feel 100% recovered from a hospital stay. So I really wanted to go for a run.

Part of the reason for this is Habitica, a fun system to track  your daily and longer-term goals, which I’ll have plenty more to say about. I’ve always said I’m easily motivated by artificial deadlines, for example NaNoWriMo. So I track my goals by marking things done on a web site, and in the process leveling up my little pixel character. I needed to complete my 21-day streak!

Hey, whatever it takes to motivate myself is probably worth it.

So, when my alarm clock went off at the usual time this morning, I was so tired, and the pillow was so comfortable, and it was hardly raining outside. Maybe the storm will miss us? I closed my eyes, and when I opened them, an hour had passed, and a heavy downpour was in progress.

  • Sometimes the short-term decision that feels good in the moment ends up costing a lot more in the long-term

I put my running clothes and shoes on, and made it out. I stayed close to my house, snaking up and down neighborhood streets in case things got bad. The rain was coming down in squalls, so it wasn’t too bad. Mostly. But I soon reached a completely saturated point, after which it wouldn’t have made any difference to quit at that point. But I knew that if I stopped, the chances of powering through the resistance to make it out a second time that day were virtually nil. If I stopped, I’d be done for the day.

  • What’s your saturation point? What would it take to get there?

I had several opportunities to turn back to the warmth of a dry home, but I checked my fitbit tracker and found I had gone 8.3km. As long as I was out, why not make it a 10k?

  • Tracking data can lead to positive behavior changes

Afterward, I felt great. (And the shower was amazing.) I wouldn’t have described myself as the kind of person who goes running in the rain, but somehow I made it happen.

  • To creep up on greatness, obtain the tools and create the systems around you to maneuver yourself closer to your goals

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Image courtesy Pixabay (CC0)

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