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I Ran Out Of Time

On Christmas morning several years back, my dad and I got up at 7:15 in single-digit temperatures to go running.

Then we got up on New Year's Day at 7:45 and went for a run.

Most people would question the conventionality of running both of these mornings (especially Christmas), and I would forthrightly agree. I had never run on Christmas morning either....but it was great!!

I start this post by talking about running because, well, I simply want to talk about running. Out of all conversation topics, running is one of my favorites. However, I understand that many people don't like running, let alone talking or even thinking about running, so I will not bore you with extended prose concerning stride length or VO2 capacity.

I would simply like to talk about time; specifically, the principles of time that have been made clear to me through running.

1) Time is relative.

For someone doing a long run (20 miles) on a Saturday morning, time seems to expand. The 3 or so hours it takes to run 20 miles seems to be not 3 hours, but double that. Consider someone sleeping for an additional 3 hours - they would experience no such expansion of their time; I'd wager they would even feel a decrease of time within those same 3 hours. So, although 3 hours is 3 hours no matter how you spend it, when involved in something with purpose, 3 hours can seem like a lot more.

2) Time matters. 

This past year I had the goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon. In order to do that, I had to run a 3:05 marathon or faster--my qualification wasn't based on the place I took or how well I personally did, but a certain time in which I ran the marathon. In my training runs, I had to keep track of my mile pace so I would be able to accomplish my goal--I had to run at least a 7 minute mile for 26.2 miles in order to reach it. So during my training runs until race day, every single second was counted, and it mattered.

Oh and by the way, I did accomplish my goal. :) Boston Marathon 2016 was great! Now on to qualify for Boston 2020! Fingers crossed...

3) Time, when scheduled correctly, can be used to your advantage.

Okay, so this is basically the same principle as time being relative. But, I had some additional experiences with this that will hopefully clarify this point more. When I was training to qualify for the Boston Marathon (see previous paragraph), I was also going to college full-time. And I had a job. And people kept pestering me about dating, so I did that a few times. ;) Needless, to say, I felt like I had run out of time in my day. However, I noticed something interesting during the semester. On the days when I decided to not run, I seemed to get less done; on the other hand, on the days when I scheduled a run, I got more done. It was a strange phenomenon. I realized that on the days I went running I scheduled my time better and was more effective. I rarely planned my day on the days I didn't run, consequently squandering my time.

When I ran, I didn't run out of time; and when I ran out of time, I would run to get it back.

4) Time used in the future is best spent when we review the past.

I wrote a blog post once about not living in the past and how we should live in the present. A stipulation I presented, however, was that we should remember the past inasmuch as it inspires us toward good in the present and future. In May 2014 I ran the Ogden Marathon. It was my first marathon upon my return from an LDS mission, and I had high hopes to run a 3-hour marathon. I didn't make it - I ran it in 3:09.55. It was a brutal race for me, and at about mile 19 (with 7 miles left to run, mind you) I slowed down and began to lose hope. The downhill was too hard, my legs hurt, I hated running, and I just couldn't do it. The weeks and months that proceeded that race allowed me the chance to reflect on what went wrong during that race, and what I could have done better. For instance, I started the race running way too fast; I also didn't run enough miles before the race, so I got tired sooner than I had hoped.

Looking back allowed me to improve my performance in the future, so that my hopes of a sub-3-hour marathon were eventually accomplished.

So there you have a list of 4 things I learned about time while running. Just a bunch of words, right? WRONG!! Or at least, they're not meant to be. How can you apply these principles of time to your life? It's still a new year--year 2019--and we have so many possibilities ahead of us. It's up to us to seize those opportunities and make the best out of the time we're allotted.

Just some statistics.

There are:

  • 12 months in a year

  • 52 weeks in a year

  • 365 days in a year

  • 8,766 hours in a year

  • 525,960 minutes in a year

  • 31,557,600 seconds in a year

How will you use your time this year?

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