Training for a race is a lot like writing a book

I was up this morning at dawn to run. To some people, that might sound normal. But I’ve never been much of a runner. And especially not one at dawn. But I’m training for a 10-miler and my calendar says today, “run 3 miles.” So I did.

I’ve started running other times in my life and quit, but this time feels different. I have a big goal (the race in March) and tinier goals along the way (3 miles, 2 miles, 4 miles). I have a group to meet with on Saturday mornings. I think I can do it this time because it reminds me a lot of the way I write.

I’ve now written 7 books, and through trial and error I’ve learned that I like deadlines and word count goals. Any task seems more doable if it’s broken down into chunks. And deadlines help me stay focused. If I tell myself I only need to write 1000 words a day, I’m more likely to get it done and check off the task than if I put on my to do list something huge like “write book.”

I’m still having a hard time imagining ever running 10 miles, even though I’ve slowly worked my way up to successfully running 4 miles. But I keep plugging away and meeting my goals, and I will just have to have faith that I’ll get there. And I’ll keep plugging away on my writing goals and finish a draft of my next book in January.

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