Last week I decided to try an experiment: I was going to run one mile every day of the week. Just one! I have been all over the place with my exercise routine lately, and have not been running at all, so I thought maybe a week of consistent effort might help kickstart a resurgence for me. I can run a mile in around 10 minutes, and I figured that, no matter how busy I was, I could find 10 minutes to exercise, especially with the days being longer right now.

Day 1

I started on Monday with a quick 6:30 a.m. excursion. Andy helped me geek out with Google Maps Pedometer to plan out different 1-mile routes from our condo.

(I’ll be honest that another thing making this easier to approach is that my work schedule has changed some, and I’m not expected to be there right at 9:00 a.m. That extra little flexibility in the mornings has been really nice! A 6:30 wake up call, or even one at 6:00, feels MUCH better than 5:30, which is what I’d been trying to do.)

Tuesday I went to the Y that I joined recently and popped out a mile on the treadmill, followed by a mile in the pool! (My plan was to only make myself run a mile–I didn’t say I couldn’t do additional exercise!)

We used to call non-swimming exercise "drylands." I now know that most people just call that "exercise."

Wednesday was a little rough due to some trouble sleeping the night before, but I pulled it off.

Thursday I hit the Y again and also rowed for 10 minutes on the rowing machine. I love those things–the ones where the seat moves and you’re actually using your whole body (as differentiated from the rowing weight machine where your seat is stationary). Unfortunately the screen on the machine wasn’t working, so I don’t know my stats, but I still felt the resistance and even had to take a couple of short breathers in my 10 minutes. My abs were feeling it the next day! I used to row on the machine a lot when we lived in Huntsville and my arms were in amazing shape.

Friday I tried out the third one-mile route, and Saturday I attempted to do all three of my one-mile loops together. I was not entirely successful in that I definitely didn’t run the whole thing. I was a little disappointed by that because I had hoped my week of consistent running would have helped me feel good about it, but it was really hot outside so maybe it just wasn’t the ideal conditions. It was still a fun route–I love symmetry!

Even with the imperfect outcome on Saturday, I’m pleased with my weeklong experiment. I feel like I’ve lost my super-disciplined self a little bit lately and while, in a lot of ways, it’s been nice to not feel so hard on myself, I also think there’s benefit to structure. Using the benchmark of 1 mile, which I know I can do with relative ease and in a short amount of time, took any guilt over not doing more out of the equation. It may not have been the most intense exercise, but it was consistent exercise. As Gretchen Rubin likes to say, “What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in awhile.”

I might try it again this week. Or I might try bumping it up to 2 miles one morning. We’ll see! But it was an interesting exercise either way, and I’m proud of myself for doing it.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman