Besides the longer miles I’ve been logging on the weekends I’ve been running shorter distances most days during the week. I’m following a training plan, loosely, trying to stick to the mileage noted but have not been perfect. I ran 7.5 miles Monday when I got home from work; it was warm-ish and I thought I’d take advantage of the sun staying up until after 7:00. I got up Tuesday morning and ran 5 miles before work, did the same on Wednesday, getting in 8 miles. Both mornings, as I walked in my front door, sweating, breathing heavy, tired, I thought to myself “another 5 in the bank,” “another 8 in the bank.”
Training for a marathon is like most things I do with a goal in mind, it’s like saving money, like breaking a bad habit; little by little, drop by drop, dollar by dollar, mile by mile, it adds up. One day without a cigarette or a (large) bag of peanut M&Ms becomes two days becomes three. One small deposit added to the savings account every week becomes enough for a vacation. One mile, then another, added to previous miles already run gets me ready to run 26.2 miles in a row. Small, incremental steps to a goal.
I once dated someone who had a back room I wasn’t allowed into; from what he shared it was full of junk. I suggested throwing one thing in the dumpster every time he went out. He scoffed at me, didn’t believe he could clean out the room this way. After we stopped dating his sister confided in me that he started “operation junk removal” with a single garbage bag full of trash deposited in the can outside. I’d wager a bet, if he followed that trash bag with another and another, he freed himself of all the clutter in that secret room.
When in doubt, I try to do the next action in front of me, no matter how small or insignificant it may feel. Before I know it I’ve completed a large quote at work, cleaned my whole house, saved for a safari, run a marathon.