For the month of December, I'm working on doing the daily series of Reverb prompts to help me reflect on the prior year and hope/plan for the upcoming year. If you're interested, join in; I found this to be a very useful exercise when I did it two years ago.
#reverb12 Day 24: Your most important habit?
What is the single most important habit you intend to cultivate in 2013?
In terms of my goals for 2013, I think the most important habit to cultivate will be getting comfortable with getting uncomfortable. Once you get used to running, it's easy to settle into an easy pace -- conversational, which is nice when you run with friends, and not too strenuous, which means it doesn't hurt.
My tendency is to pull back when things get uncomfortable. To slow down. To ease up. To think about phoning it in for the rest of the run. To consider quitting (which I don't actually do, but sometimes instead of continuing to work hard, I'll go back to an easy jog).
I need to get over that and 2013 needs to be the year when it happens. Specifically, in the first 6 months or so, before marathon training really starts.
I need to show myself that I can push hard and not crack under pressure. Running when it's hard to breathe and my heart is beating like crazy for 5 minutes won't kill me. Nor will 10 minutes. Nor will 30 minutes. Nor will 3 hours and change. It's just a matter of training myself to get used to it. And the only way to get used to it is to just do it again and again in training.