Carrot and Stick


The carrot and stick approach is not just for donkeys, y`know. It works very well for red hens too.

Take last night, f`rinstance. Between the demands of the day job and parental duties, I wasn`t free to run until after 9 o`clock.

Now 9pm is a bit of a watershed for me. At 9pm it`s okay to sit down. It`s also okay to have a glass of wine. It`s even more okay to do both. I might stretch to doing a little meal preparation for the next day but that`s about it.

But last night, the time couldn`t matter, I just had to get out there. I`d only run two miles the previous night. Tuesday saw me cross training with my hula hoop and skipping rope(hey, I can hear you sniggering, y`know), and on Monday I just ran four miles.

So, the stick was that I needed more mileage. Absolutely had to run tonight or else I`d feel myself slipping back into the my pre-running days.

Along with feeling tired, late night runs bother me because I feel kinda vulnerable trotting around on my own along lonely streets. Not that I`ve ever had any trouble in that regard. I`ve never been hassled in the street. Never been attacked in any way. Though I`m not quite ready to run down dark alleys or ramble around more dangerous parts of town yet. Still, the later the night gets, the more vulnerable I feel.

So I needed a carrot too.

Warning: I am not recommending this method to any aspiring athlete. In fact, it probably only works well for red hens…

Ah! The Prize

Ah! The Prize

Yes, this was my carrot: a glass of wine if I completed the four mile run.

Despite my fears about being more vulnerable, as it happened, there were a few other runners about.

And, major bonus, it was dry out. Given the poxy weather we`ve been having lately-water, water everywhere-that was a real thrill. With temps hovering just above freezing, it was cold enough to make my lungs hurt. Otherwise, it felt good, especially, of course, after the first couple of miles.

Funny, though, by that time, the thoughts of wine had less appeal than a glass of water.

Four point three miles done, half a litre of water quaffed. Carrot deferred for another day.

Because I`m saving the wine for tonight.

Happy running. Do whatever you`ve got to do to get you out there.

15 thoughts on “Carrot and Stick

  1. Pingback: Arrr it’s HOT | Unsporty Women Can Run

  2. The carrot and stick really works, particularly with ice cream as the carrot. I run less at night than I did a few years ago, but there is something wonderful and primeval about running solo through the darkness.

  3. wow, 9pm! So impressed! Once i’ve closed the front door when I get home from work and errands, it’s hard to convince me to head back out there…even with wine beckoning!

    • Have to say most runners around here are very good for wearing high viz. I’m pretty much in full on Christmas mode myself, flashing lights ‘n all. But I’ve stopped short of the miners lamp. You hardly need it yourself,Roy. Your writings are hypnotic enough!:-)

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