Drawing Parallels 005: How my 10k training run relates to running a small business

Accountability: I do think the pomp & circumstance of a race is a little silly. It’s a bit of a mob mentality, but it’s a fun little mob that is just trying to build a community of people who enjoy a healthy habit, so it’s fine. We all have watches or phones, we can all pick a day, run a specified distance, and time ourselves. Choosing a day in the future, and paying some money, does add to the accountability factor.

Goal, Structure, Plan: I’ve never considered myself a “runner,” and have always been a proponent that other exercise can be more beneficial. But, I treat some runners, and it was time to do a check-in with my “practice what I preach” philosophy. My baby is 18 months old, so for the past year I’ve just been doing 2 mile loops…with my dog…who stops. Very unstructured, but consistent enough to be a starting off point.

Could I create (and follow) a 15 week training plan? This is my wheelhouse, many known variables in a filed I have expertise in vs. my business plan- sure I have one, but in no way would I have predicted the past 2 years, and not in my field of expertise…hmmmm, this must be how my patients feel when they are starting out & try to shuffle through various books, articles and advice of people who’ve done it coming up with their training plans.

Am I ready? Calculated Risks: If you Look at my Beginners Guide to Running, I pass it all with flying colors. Have I been following my own plan? Not consistently, but I haven’t encountered any pain with training, and I knew that worst case, I could always walk/modify.

I was part of a business coaching group for a few months last year that really did not fit me or my style. It was a “go big or go home” type of group for cash-based PTs. There’s a lot of rhetoric out there for business owners about “you have to be out of your comfort zone to be doing any good.” With young kids, they, and general life stability in these crazy times are too much of my driving forces to take risks for the sake of risk taking. What the business rhetoric will say is well, if you fail, you’ve learned something (no doubt accompanied by a stat from Einstein’s or Edison’s numerous failures). For me, and my business goals, I take more of a tortoise approach. Slow & steady wins the race.

Results. Am I good Enough? I’ve got my mileage up, now time to test myself. Here in Oconomowoc, we have the lovely Lake Country Trail system. The race begins at Roosevelt Park, goes to Valley Rd & Summit Ave & returns. It is as flat as you can get. I finished the 6.2miles in under an hour, so about a 10min/mile pace. Not by any means flashy, but again, my goal was to just not have to walk. Litmus test- on point. I’m not going to impress anyone, I also won’t embarrass myself…hmm, maybe that’s why we do the pomp & circumstance of a race? for the accolades & for other to notice us.

It’s Good to Have Reserves- More on Risk: My husband had come to get something out of my car during my run. I had not initially locked the car, he did lock it when he left. So, I had to run (or I could have walked), but either way, I thought I was done, and my legs had more work to do. Not long, another 1.5 miles, but just enough to screw with my “yay for me I’m done” mentality.

In business, I never rest on my haunches after a good month, or a good quarter. My training plan had “meh” follow though, and my business plan has more x-factors than I’ll ever me able to know. Did I kick it up a notch knowing I was near the end? Yes, but this was not the race, I did not have to deplete myself to pass an arbitrary litmus test, just as I’ve been okay with making a little less profit to have a little extra rainy day fund financially.

Automation & Systems: What I learned about myself. Being a mother of young kids, a business owner, and a highly analytic person in general, my mind rarely gets a rest. Often runners are runners for may reasons other than running. The clear head, and nature immersion (unless you are simultaneously listening to a work-related podcast on a treadmill) as well as the physiologic benefits help runners reduce stress and sleep better in addition to having a healthy ticker and longer life.

In my practice, I teach people a lot of body awareness and improve proprioception. I’m always 100% in whatever I’m doing. While that often leads to great success from a physical therapy diagnosis standpoint, the negative side of that is overthinking, and tinkering. Running has a simplistic beauty to it. People only find their way to me when they have problems running, but there are many people who can do it just fine with no help at all. I forget that sometimes people don’t want to do a workout that makes them feel like the need an exercise science degree to do it.

What did I get out of the practice run? Ok, yay, I know how I stack up…but with that hour of clear headedness, I was able to realize:

-Even though there are a lot of x-factors in running my own business, sometimes I just need to let things ride, and stop tinkering. At the end of the day, consistency pays off.

-Not everyone is coming in to the same place with the same perspective, so different plans for different people with the same goals are a GOOD thing.

-The results can seem glamorous, but the day to day, not so much.

-You have to remember WHY you are doing it in the first place, and do it the way that fits you.

Drawing Parallels

My goal of these posts is to share the crossover between life in general & lessons you learn from Oconomowoc Physical Therapy, or that I learn from my patients.

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