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How Do You Pace Yourself?

We have this poster in our exercise room. I don't agree.

I really enjoy running on the treadmill, mostly for one reason — I can set my pace and keep it. If I set the treadmill to 6 miles per hour, then I finish a mile in ten minutes with a steady rhythm. I can choose and stick with my pace.

Running outside, even with a watch, doesn’t provide the same consistency. I might still finish a mile in about ten minutes, but it could be two minutes of slogging and eight minutes of what feels like sprinting. I might start out strong, then lag behind. And, if my watch happens to malfunction, I’ll be in trouble, especially in a race, when the excitement of the other runners causes me to push ahead too fast.

In life, I lack the artificial intervention of a treadmill to set and sustain my pace.

Quite often, I run headlong into life — all out, all in, full speed ahead.

I run as fast as I can, and then I collapse: at the end of the day, the end of the week, the end of the project.

Last week I tried something new.

Midweek, I got a mocha on the way to take my daughters to school.

And then, I walked them inside instead of dropping them off; I chatted with their teachers, gave them big hugs, and then sat down in the lobby to chat with a friend for a few minutes.

My littlest girl wanted to walk to preschool later that morning. So we did. We looked for birds and flowers and meandered to preschool, soaking in the sun, breathing in the fresh air.

We held hands and talked, and when we thought we might be late, we jogged in spurts.

I’m thinking about pace, experimenting.

I’d like to get to the end of the day with enough energy left to enjoy time with my husband after the kids are asleep. I’d like to get to the end of a week with enough spark to enjoy the weekend; I’d like to get to the end of a project and have enthusiasm to celebrate achievement and success.

I think mornings like the one I enjoyed last week will help me pace myself.

Tell me something! How do you maintain a healthy and comfortable pace in life? How do you know when you’re running too quickly?

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About The Author

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

Christine Jiang   |   02 April 2012   |   Reply

You know you are truely yourself and feel energized in every stage of your life, that’s the optimal pace of YOUR life!It won’t be joys all the time due to the changes necessary in every phase of your life, but learn to have a little faith and find your inner strengths along the life journey YOU choose!

How I know if I’m runnig too fast? haaaa, I guess whenever that’s the time only me, myself enjoy my success/happiness and I find mysle standing there a bit of lonely!Or when I did some REALLY naughty staff that causes myself losing faith/or GOD gives me a bit of hint!haaaa….

Becky   |   04 April 2012   |   Reply

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Christine.

Loneliness seems like a good barometer of running too fast. If we’re not slowing down to connect with others, there might be a problem!

allison   |   03 April 2012   |   Reply

This is the first post I’ve read from your blog, and I really loved it. I seem to always be going at a fast pace, but really have no reason to. Thank you for drawing my attention to it :)

Becky   |   04 April 2012   |   Reply

Allison,

Glad you enjoyed the post! I hope you’ll return.

Becky

Noah Lomax   |   04 April 2012   |   Reply

Great reminder! I actually prefer running on treadmills for the exact same reason. I know my propensity in life to run hard, but then collapse. A key indicator for me is anytime some one pops in (to my office, my life, my schedule, etc.). If my first thought is, “This is inconvenient,” then I know I am too busy. If I’m too busy for people, I’m too busy!

Becky   |   04 April 2012   |   Reply

Noah,

That’s a great litmus test. Unfortunately, my life feels too busy like that FAR too often.

Let’s connect soon!
Becky

Lynn Degele   |   06 April 2012   |   Reply

Thank you for a great post, Becky. This is the second of yours I’ve read, and it really resonated with me, especially as women, we tend to rush around trying to be all things to all people.

By slowing down, we begin to see everything clearly, not a blur, and I notice this when I go for a walk at lunchtime in the village near work, I notice the new blossoms, a butterfly, a rabbit, a bird. I would miss these if I was rushing around, and this is true of work.

I have signed up to follow your posts by email, and look forward to reading future posts.