Photo challenge–Day 4: Incubation time.

Today’s picture is about what I do to distract myself from thinking about work all the time: run races.

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Around Thanksgiving I’m a little addicted to Turkey Trots, no matter what distance.  I ran a 4 mile race on Thanksgiving Day and then a half marathon this morning.  I’ve run 25+ marathons, more half marathons than I can count, 5Ks, 10Ks, and several duathlons.  People always ask me why I would want to pay to go torture myself so often like this, and here’s my answer:

Thinking about running (or surviving a race) is time I don’t spend thinking about work.

Don’t get me wrong-I do think about work.  A lot.  Too much–that’s the problem.  My brain needs to shut work mode off every once in a while and worry about my pace during a training run or my next speed workout or how I will ever survive another 20 mile long run in order for me think coherent thoughts about work after awhile.  In fact, it’s been suggested that when you’re working hard in a problem and get stuck in solving it (which has a tendency to happen as I am trying to figure out how best to manage change in our schools), you should switch to something else to let it incubate so you can come back at it later, most likely with a fresh perspective.

And that’s what running is for me – my incubation time.  My “distract myself so I can be better at my job and work on my fitness” time.  And it’s also suffering time, if you ever try and talk to me in mile 23 of a marathon.  (By the way, if you do that, I cannot be held responsible for anything that comes out of my mouth.  You have been warned.)

So how did I do this morning?  I came in 3.5 minutes under my projected time.  Not too shabby, especially since I ran 5 miles before the race even began to give myself plenty of incubation time.  🙂

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