I was talking about running the half marathon with my sister-in-law a month or so ago at a family gathering. She said something about having told a friend that she wouldn't be surprised if I was doing a marathon next year (neither would I, though I'm not completely committed to the idea). She told me, "I told them you're...what's the word?"
"Committed?" I suggested, "Dedicated?"
"Compulsive!" she remembered.
Compulsive. It's an interesting word. Makes me think of obsessive compulsive disorder rather than a well-trained athlete. I definitely go through stages where I'm really into something. It was my bike. Right now it's running. It's hard for me to make room for more than one focus at a time and still manage my roles as a wife, mother, and teacher. I'm certainly not keeping up as a friend.
Compulsive. It's probably a fair assessment, though I'd say I'm on the light side of compulsive. I'm trying to watch myself, though, because things like facebook and Daily Mile feed my competitive side, which then feeds my compulsiveness. My brother Jim and his friend Scott, who are both running the Skippo 20K on Sunday (and will both kick my butt), are participating in a challenge to run 110 miles in October. A couple other friends are doing the same thing. Every day they're posting the miles they run (or, in Scott's case, the kilometers, making the math even harder for me when I'm checking their paces).
I keep thinking, I could do that. It has stressed me out to watch other peoples' mileage climb while mine for the week stands at 15. I keep thinking, It's only about 4 miles a day. And yet, I know that I do better when I have days off. I know that it's when I try keeping up with somebody else rather than following my own plan that I end up crashing (of course, I'm currently operating without a plan). I know that I am the only one with whom I'm competing.
I know that it's October 6, and I've only got 15 miles run this month, and that puts me about 9 miles behind where I need to be at this point.
I know that, if I get off the computer, I have time to fit in a run before work.