Sunday, April 1, 2012

How Timely!

New Watch

Week of March 25, 2012:

Thursday: Short run, 20 min. (a small victory over inertia, but victory nonetheless)

Friday: Off (so…tired…)

Saturday: Grocery shopping on two wheels

Week of April 1, 2012 (no foolin’!):

Sunday: “Long” run (20 min. run, 10 min. walk break, 10 min. run)

I finally bought myself a new running watch!  It only took me, uh, six months.  Embarrassing, I know.  As much as I believe it was fine to run with my kitchen timer, it is really nice to have my timer strapped to my wrist now—the fewer things I have to carry while running, the better!  And I like my new watch.  It’s got snazzy colors and it beeps pleasantly whenever I start or stop it.

Do you guys subscribe to Runner’s World?  I do not, but I did pick up a copy at the grocery store.  There’s an article this month on a woman, Erin Henderson, with twelve (12!) children who runs marathons.  Nine of her children are adopted from countries outside the United States.  That fact alone makes me ask myself, What more can I do to help others?  But back to her running: Erin runs 75 miles a week and has a marathon PR of 3:27:14.  I’m just in awe.  During my good running weeks, I run three days a week and log about 10-12 miles total.  (I also bike quite a few miles each week, but I’m not trying to quibble…)

Erin’s example makes me wonder if I could do more and if I should do more.  I don’t know.  I’m not a big fan of comparing myself to others because it’s a loser’s game, but still: 12 kids, 75 miles a week, and sub-four-hour marathons.  It’s pretty incredible.  And maybe with her example in mind, I can up my game, just a notch or two.

What about you? How do you handle the only-too-human impulse to compare yourself to others and their accomplishments?  How do you buck yourself up when you are feeling inadequate?


  1. Woohoo for the new running accessory!

    I guess I think about the fact that there are a lot of different ways to contribute to society. I like to think that I'm doing so by putting effort into my teaching and service (and to a lesser extent my research). My mileage is really just for me these days.

    1. I agree with your thoughts about teaching and service. I like to think that in my own little ways, I am making the world a better place. Career-wise, my work is very centered on research right now, but I did put a lot of time into our postdoc association last year as the president, and I try to speak up in positive ways for the value of a science education and higher education in general. I've given a little bit of money to worth causes this year. I suppose what I lack is a HUGE service or volunteer aspect to my life :-)

  2. Nice!, love the new watch. It is hard to deal with the problem of measuring up to others, both in athletics and in life. I always want to do more, I am such a bleeding heart.If I could move to Africa and work in a village helping people without losing my wife and kid, I am pretty sure I would. I think you just have to realize that you can only do what you can do. Sounds simple, but I think that is the best approach.

    1. Thanks! I will wear it during our Solstice 10K :-) (Speaking of which, I need to register!)

      JD, you are a bleeding heart! I've always loved that you have such a big heart and an orientation around communities and politics. I do think that our politics are an important way in which we make our values a reality. Our tax dollars support a lot of programs that make life better for others (NIH funding, for example), so if you pay your taxes willingly and on time, you are making a difference.

      Also, I think parents can make a huge difference when they raise their children to be good citizens. Sometimes we make our impact close to home, and sometimes we go to Africa and make a difference there.