Tag Archives: running and writing

Day 36–Streamline your Running & Writing

This is a post from mnmlist.com

why less stuff is better

By Leo

People sometimes look at me quizzically when I proclaim that I don’t need more stuff, and that I’m constantly getting rid of what I do have.

What kind of weirdo is this? Why would you want less stuff?

Less is better.

Less means you spend less. You need less storage. You need a smaller house.

Less means you worry less. You search for things less. You are less bogged down by clutter.

Less means you’re lighter. You’re freer. You can focus on better things.

Less means you can travel more quickly. You spend less time with stuff, and more time doing stuff.

Less is more sustainable, more beautiful.

————————–End Post———————

What  can we as runners and writers take away from this minimalist’s approach?

It’s easy as a writer to get bogged down with so many projects and ideas that we can’t even get one of them going or even worse, finished. For example, right now I’m running 3 blogs, working on two short stories, one novel, 3 essays, and a page of freelance jobs. Too much.

So to minimize, choose one, and for one day or week focus on it. This can be hard if you have assignments and work in progress, but if you can do it, it’s a great way to free clutter from your mind.

Runners can also face a bogged down running program. If you are feeling weighed down–just run. Go out without a watch, heart monitor, goal or objective.

Runners and writers can  over complicate their life with endless logbooks  and notebooks. I find I have notebooks for everything, we when we moved I counted 15 separate notebooks for writing.

To end this cluttered pile of logbooks and notebooks, try to get all of your training or writing in one place. Get a binder and put all your notes in there, or find a website that you can organize all your writing or running on.

Streamlining means efficiency. The more we streamline our running and writing the more enjoyable and successful it will be.

How have you streamlined your running or writing?



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Day 35–Running & Writing Commonalities

In his review for LA Times of Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,” Peter Terzian writes:

How MANY athletic activities are as well-suited to the writing life as long-distance running? It’s cheap, for one — writers are notoriously poor, and all you need to run is a good pair of sneakers.”

What other commonalities bind running to writing?

Here’s my list:

  • They are both very solitary– Even though they are suited to doing on your lonesome, running and writing can be as social as you want them to be. By joining running and writing groups you can be a running or writing socialite. Although, the majority of runners/writers that I know like there space.
  • Require endurance- A one mile run takes some endurance, and a one page story requires endurance. The beautiful part of running and writing is that you can build your endurance and see results. The more you run the better you endure and the more you write the easier it becomes to go long.
  • They can be simple- Put one word in front of the other, or one foot in front of the other. If you are not the type for simple, you can add as many complexities as you like. The learning never ends when it comes to running and writing.
  • There is much more than meets the eye– Many people say, “I could write a book,” or, “I could run a marathon.” That’s when us runners and writers  say, “Okay.” Inside we are saying, “Let’s see it.” There is much more to running and writing than most people realize.
  • The more you train the better you will get- With every mile and every word we are better runners and better runners. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • We run and write towards goals- Writers and runners are goal driven, because they know that’s how they will find success and fulfillment. Every run and every story has a goal, even if you don’t know what it is when you begin.

These are just some of the things running and writing have in common. There are many more.

Will you please share what you feel running and writing have in common?

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Day 34–S.M.A.R.T–not dumb–Running & Writing Goals

To go anywhere in the world of  running and writing we need to have goals. These goals are alive and in a constant state of flux.

DUMB goals-run more, write more, publish something.

SMART goals-run a marathon in the next 4 months under specific time. Write a 200o word short story this week and submit it to 5 specific publications.

For our goals to do the most for us, we need to set goals and reevaluate often. Every week is ideal.

By using the acronym SMART, we can keep a constant handle on our goals.

Specific– Vague goals will go nowhere. Instead, determine the:

Who?– Who is involved in your goal? Our running and writing goals often hinge on the cooperation of family and friends.

What?-What do you want to accomplish? Write story for a publication is too vague. Publish a story in this magazine is better.

Where?-Where will you accomplish this goal?

Why?-Why do you want to accomplish the goal?

When?-When do you want to attain by? Set aside time to reach the goal.

Measurable– Distinct mileage goals and word counts help to measure progress and see if your goal has been reached. Concrete goals like 3 miles a day, 20 miles a week or one short story a week, 500 words a day.

Achievable– By setting impossible goals we only discourage ourselves. For example, writing 20,000 words in a month is reasonable. 50,000 is a little high. 110,000 words is nearly impossible. SO start small. Do you truly believe you can reach this goal?

Relevant–We want to accomplish goes that will have a positive affect on our life. One way of judging if your goal is relevant, is by thinking back to if you have ever accomplished something similar in the past.  How did it affect you?

Why do you run?

Why do you write?

Timetable–Your goal date cannot be “Someday.” To reach our goals we need to set a fixed date. That’s why it’s good to enter a race, by doing this you will have a fixed date to aim for. Or decide on participating in National Novel Writing Month

Whatever your goals are, make sure you stick with them. Remind yourself of them everyday. Write them in your planner, on your fridge and anywhere else that will constantly remind you of them.

How do you create SMART goals?

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Day 27–The Western States 100–Don’t just Dream

Today 389 runners are testing their mettle at the 38th annual Western States Endurance Run.

They will try to run 100 miles, starting at Squaw Valley, California, and ending in Auburn, California. According to the website, “Most of the trail passes through remote and rugged territory, accessible only to hikers, horses and helicopters.”

These runners have trained for months or even years to be able to accomplish this great feat. The desire to run in this race is at the top of  many ultrarunners to-do list. Because of the race’s popularity you must enter a lottery system to run the race. The chances of being chosen are about 10 percent.

We can learn something as runners and writers from these runners.

One commonality they all share is–Commitment, Determination & Endurance.

Notice that the commitment and determination come before the endurance. Without commitment and determination we will never gain endurance.

These runners decided and determined that they would train to run 100 miles, and 100 tough miles at that. They may have dreamed about it at first, thinking that it would be great to be able to do that, but there came a point when they had to decide to make it a reality.

They decided and committed to running that distance. Once they committed themselves, the run was no longer a dream.

As runners and writers we can dream and dream about what we want to accomplish–Run a marathon or 100 miles, write a novel or publish a short story.

The dream can be fun at first, but it is nothing until we Commit.

Dreaming isn’t action, commitment is. And next comes the determination to meet our goal. Only we determine whether we are committed or not.

This is where our determination comes into play. Be determined. Know that others have done it and so can you.

Think of all those runners out there today, they are determined, they are done dreaming. They are running.

Do you need a reason to run?  Ten reasons to start running today.

If we find it in ourselves to commit to a goal, running or writing, and then be determined, the endurance will follow. All those runners started in the same place-the beginning. Every writer starts at word one, every runner at mile one. After tacking on words and miles, the endurance grows, it feeds on past miles and past words.

Our endurance must be fed. Stop writing down the words and it will wither. Stop running the miles and it wilt.

So keep it up. If you’ve started running and writing everyday, you are committed, you are determined and your endurance is growing.

If you have not committed yourself yet, go to Day 1 of this blog, and read a post a day.

Commit, Be Determined to Stop Dreaming, and you will find Endurance.

Maybe next year you will be one of those runners.

Thanks Western States runners, for helping all of us move forward.

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Day 21–Coffee-Is one cup enough?

Do I need coffee to run and write?

Of course not, but for me it doesn’t hurt. This morning I woke up to only 2 scoops of beans. In other words, I haven’t woke up.

Usually  it takes 5 scoops to make the 4 cups of coffee that my wife and I drink every morning. So, I had to figure out a way to use 2 scoops to get the job done. I ended up using one scoop to make myself a Turkish coffee, and I will do the same for my wife when she wakes up.

Still, I know I can use some more coffee, but for now that’s what I got. I’ll make do with what I have.

You will find that as a runner/writer you will often find yourself with only 2 scoops when you need 4.  Like everything in life, you will need to make do with what is available.

For example:

  • You want to write for 4 hours, but you only have 15 minutes.
  • You want to run 10 miles, but you’ve never run more than 3 miles.
  • You want to write a novel, but you can’t get past the first 10,000 words.
  • You’ve wrote the perfect short story, but you’re the only one who thinks so.
  • You query editors with an awesome pitch, but no one accepts.
  • You want to run a 7 minute mile, but your body won’t push past 8.
  • You want to weigh 20 pounds less, but you don’t.
  • You want to write and run everyday, but there’s something holding you back.

Just like the coffee scenario, all of these situations are uncontrollable to an extent.

I only have one cup of coffee in me right now, but I can guarantee I will drink more as soon as I can.

The same goes for running and writing, maybe you can’t do what you want to do today. You have no control, something’s are nearly impossible, but that doesn’t mean they will never be possible.

Patience is key. Wait it out, look for opportunities and soon you will get that much needed next cup of coffee.


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Day 13–Write, Run, Write–Prompt

Last night my wife and I watched Julie & Julia for the second time. Any bloggers out there who have not seen this film, I highly suggest it , since it centers around a blogger. I highly recommend it to anyone. The first time I watched it I wasn’t blogging, so this time I came away with some inspiration and personal application.

What I would like to focus on is how Julie did something, and then she wrote about it. She would cook and then she would write about the adventure. As writers we at times face the dilemma of not knowing what to write about. As shown by this movie, the best way to get around this dilemma is to do something, and then write about it.

Since this blog is for runners and writers alike, let’s focus on writing born from running. Many writers are runners, and I think this is because getting out on a run gets you motivated. To borrow the comment of a reader, you feel like you can conquer the world when you return from a run. So if a run helps feel as if we can conquer the world, then it definitely will give us the confidence to write.

If you don’t do this already try it out. Sit down with pencil and paper, pen and pad or laptop and blank screen. Write something down, like a title, subject,  or sentence, even just a word will do. Then take that title or subject and go for a run. Whatever that piece of writing is, go for a run with it. You will find that by the end of the run you will know that subject on a more intimate level, and will not be able to wait to sit and write about it.

It helps bring sandwich bag with an index card and pen. I do this so I can write down key words or ideas while on the run.

In Julie & Julia the act of creating or cooking helped prompt the creation of writing. The main character wanted to write, but she needed a push. Cooking was her push. So if you want to write but you’re not writing, give yourself a push with a run.

Once you see the results of the run, it will motivate you to run the next day, and write the next day and then run again. You will have created a cycle that  will benefit your writing and running.

Let me know if it works.


Filed under running, running and writing, writing

Day 10–Running & Writing Save you Money

First of all, to go and run 3 miles will not cost you a dime, and if you want to spend  an afternoon writing that short story you will not have to pay a cent. I find this to be a drawing factor to both of these pursuits.

Most of the sports out there are going to involve dropping wads of cash. Some that come to mind are, golf, snowboarding, boating, and even bicycling. These sports involve a lot of money just to get started. But, with running, you can pretty much walk out the door and start running. Although, I do suggest you at least get a good pair of shoes. Once, you have the shoes the costs are minimal.

There are people out there who say running is not cheap. It really is what you make it. You could make sitting expensive if you wanted to. Chairs can be pretty costly, especially if you buy a new one everyday. The point is that running can save you money if you choose to keep it simple.

Here’s how to save money running:

  1. Buy good running shoes that don’t fall apart in a month.
  2. Don’t get caught up in the technology
  3. Buy used running clothing-eBay
  4. Run around town to do errands
  5. Run to work-save gas
  6. Make your own energy drinks and bars

Running also saves you money because you will stay healthier, and that means less money on healthcare. TO get started with a running streak visit Day 1.

Writing is even less costly than running. Pen and paper, and you’re  ready to write.

Half of writing is reading, and reading also is a very frugal hobby. Just make good use of your local library.

The good thing about writing is that you can actually end up making money with this hobby. If you want to pursue writing goals, at times it’s good to have a market in mind where you can sell your work.

Here are a few markets for your writing:

Writing Prompt- Choose a market, and write a piece that you want to see published in this market.

Running Prompt- Instead of driving, do one errand on foot today. For example, the trip to the grocery store, library, workplace or a friend’s house.

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