Running, Writing and Restlessness

Two weeks ago, after an honest realization that my writing is going nowhere (2 articles in the works, neither of them even close to satisfactory), I decided to invest my time and energy elsewhere: my running. I challenged myself to run 100km (just over 62 miles) in 2 weeks. This morning I met the challenge, completing 103.5km (64.33 miles) in 6 hours, 37 minutes (11 runs in total).

In spite of my inability (read: fear) to run a race, running has given me great satisfaction. This is a goal that I’ve managed to achieve because it is a truly selfish accomplishment…I have nothing to prove to anyone, I set my own pace, I defy myself.

This is so conspicuously different from my writing, which has waned considerably. With each sentence I write, I imagine endless challenges from reviewers and critics–unsupported theses, poor discussions, irrelevant conclusions. After an entire academic year (the one immediately subsequent to tenure) in which I was given endless administrative duties, I find myself unable to write. I need to find a way to write for me first, then for an audience…to make my writing analogous to my running. And then maybe this restlessness will pass, maybe…