The secret to writing a good paper and to keeping on track is to formulate a thesis statement. That way, you can keep referring back to it whenever you get stuck, discouraged, or overwhelmed. It also helps the readers understand where you're starting, where you're going with the paper, and what exactly you're trying to say or accomplish. If I may apply this scholarly term to my goal:
I plan to run in the Chicago Marathon in one year. I will take it in small, measurable steps, one page at a time, one day at a time. First, I will train for the 5K using the Couch to 5K program. The next phase will be the 10K, and the next, 1/2 marathon. Finally, my longest training will be for the marathon itself. I will blog every step of the way to my crazy goal. I want to run in the Chicago Marathon just to prove to myself that I can, and to force my bookworm self to exercise.
I may be crazy. Maybe just a little. It's the way I think--"whoops, I'm not exercising enough. I know! I'll run the Marathon!" I think I may be slightly of an overachiever. Taking on a marathon training goal while doing an academic marathon of working full time while taking two grad classes. Why, yes, I identify very much with Hermione Granger.
So, on Sunday, I had to take a slightly convoluted route to my train to work, thanks to the marathoners rushing past. It was an overwhelming atmosphere--all the family and friends of the marathoners were there, scanning the crowd for their loved one, and cheering wildly when they passed by, before heading off to the next lookout station to repeat the task. I remembered, "Man, I've always wanted to run in a marathon, just once. Just to say I did, and to prove I can." Normally that thought leads to me baking and eating a bunch of chocolate chip cookies to make up for the calories the marathoners burn. Sympathetic calorie consumption, I guess.
But this time, the thought crossed my mind exactly a year before the next marathon. I actually could train in a year. Because I'm not stupid, I did some research. "Can you train for a marathon in a year?" Several running websites seem to think it's possible. The marathon training programs are all about 16 weeks long, for people already used to running a lot.
So, what about people like me, a slightly overweight non-athletic person? I looked up the half marathon training schedule. 12 weeks seems to be the general consensus. Okay. 10K. 8 weeks. I probably should ease into it with the Couch to 5K program. 9 weeks.
9 plus 8 plus 12 plus 16. Shoot. I was told there would be no math...*scribbling on a piece of scratch paper* That's a total of 45. 45 out of 52 weeks. Gives me a buffer of 7 weeks in case I get sick, need to slow down, etc. Sure. That's totally doable.
I ran the scenario past my husband. "I think you can do it, sweetie," he said. Perhaps that's what husbands always say, but that's all I needed to hear to begin my harebrained plan.
So, welcome to my blog, and feel free to check back frequently. I'm a rather compulsive writer, so I'll likely be making multiple posts in a short period of time.