A story isn’t a story without a beginning, middle and end. The same is true of a run.
The Beginning–Writers know that beginnings can be a bear. We wrestle with them until we finally put the first word squarely on the page. From this first word we hopefully move forward with momentum until we reach the middle, or body of the story.
Many runners also struggle with that beginning, the first steps out the door. But, we throw our leg out the door, land with a bounce and we are off. Rolling forward with momentum. Even though we may wrestle with the idea of staying in bed or downing one more cup of coffee, we know that the run must begin.
The Middle–After building this forward momentum from our beginning we may find ourselves dragging in the middle of our story. We wonder why we began, where we are going, and if we will even continue. The successful writer plows through this doughy middle, and sighs with relief when the end is sight.
After the invigoration of the first mile or miles, a runner may face the same inertia killing slump. A lack of will and energy to continue brings in questions of why he began, where’s he’s headed and if there is good reason to continue. Just like the writer that pushes through the fog, the runner that puts one foot in front of the other, will inevitably see the end in sight.
The End–The end of a story is time for jubilation, reflection and rest. The writer who finishes rejoices in finding success. Then he reflects on his accomplishment. And finally it’s time to let the mind rest and recover.
What runner doesn’t rejoice after a run or race. It’s a time of retrospection, reflecting on what has been accomplished. And finally it’s time to enjoy the well-earned rest.
There is one more step runners and writers may overlook.
Some love it, and others hate it.
The Revision or Rewrite–It is now time to revisit it our work. Revising is more than a spell check and good look over. It can be the hardest part of writing and the most fulfilling. We will dedicate a whole blog post to revision in a future post, for now we will apply it running.
Rewriting is the essence of writing well—where the game is won or lost.
In running revision is important. How do we revise a run?
Revision literally means to “see again,” to look at something from a fresh, critical perspective.
So after a run, do you ever see it again? I personally do not revise every run, but I do often revise or examine a week or month of running.
You can look back at your mileage, times, how you felt and where and when you ran. The purpose is the same as writing, this is where the game can be won or lost. All good runners examine their past runs and see how to improve them.
So try it out. This Sunday look back at your week of running, revisit and revise. Write down what you want to do different and how you can improve next week. To be able to do this you need to keep a running log or journal.