Old Habits Die Hard

Yesterday morning in Pittsburgh I got up and headed to the hotel gym to get in my last workout of the week. I slept so amazingly well the night before, so I was well rested and ready to go.

Does anyone else sleep really good in hotel beds?

I started with a 1 mile warm up to get my legs moving and ready to run quick. Then I did 20 minutes hard effort (it ended up being a 7:35 min/mile) followed by a 1.25 mile cool down.

Sunday Workout

I was a sweaty mess by the end of it. Here is proof!


I have to say for a hotel gym this one was pretty awesome. I finished my workout with some bosu ball squats and a few upper body exercises.


During my workout I got to thinking about the saying “old habits die hard.”  If you look up the meaning of this phrase:

“The saying ‘old habits die hard’ means that someone may find it particularly difficult to change their behavior. After doing something for a certain length of time, the person may think that they can’t change the error of their ways. An example of the saying ‘old habits die hard’ could be used against someone who has tried to give up smoking but was unsuccessful.”

I’ve been dealing a lot with this lately. During my 10k training I end up running less miles that I am used to. Even before I went crazy with my mileage after I lost my job, I still used to average between 40-50 miles per week. While I am still CLOSE to that the thing about speed training is that you have to be prepared to cut back your mileage.

This week alone I have found 2 instances where I wanted to keep pushing.

On Saturday’s run I was feeling so great I just wanted to keep going. I know you don’t always come by a run where you feel that good so off and on throughout the run all I kept thinking was “wouldn’t it be nice to just keep going an extra mile or two?” I knew that I needed to stick to my plan and not get ahead of myself but it was physically HARD for me to quit at 8. I did it though!

Life up or Tear down

Yesterday during my workout after I had finished the hard 20 minutes I started on my cool down.  I hit 5 miles and I wanted to keep going so badly. I used to have a mindset where if I didn’t hit at least an hour on the treadmill it wasn’t worth it. I ended up stopping around 43 minutes, and more than once I considered just jogging slowly until it hit 60 minutes.


The truth is it’s true, old habits die hard. It’s a mental battle that I still find myself having to fight a lot of days. We get into a habit of doing the wrong things and convincing ourselves it is okay. We find excuses and reasons why these bad habits are the right thing.

Old Habits Die

I’ve found that the more I focus on the positive in where I am the more I am able to break those habits. The more I sit there and tell myself it’s okay to cut back your mileage, it’s okay to let yourself rest and it’s OK to run less than others around you right now the more that it becomes the truth.

It is something I have to focus on every single day. I am not convinced the habit every really goes away, I think underneath it all the habit is lurking there waiting to rear it’s ugly head again. However, with the knowledge that I have now I am able to combat those habits and thoughts when they come up again.

Mark Twain

We live, we learn and we become stronger. It doesn’t mean that at times those habits won’t try to sneak their way back in, but it means that we have become more intelligent and knowledgable at recognizing them. We learn to become stronger!

You are stronger than any of your worst habits. Old habits do die hard, but I am here to tell you that you can move past them!


What is an old habit that you’ve had trouble breaking?

Anyone having anything exciting going on this week?

About Sara

Welcome to my blog! My name is Sara and this blog documents my journey as a wife and a runner. I train hard and put my heart and soul into my running. My life is a crazy journey full of ups and downs, and I am here to share it all with you!


  1. One habit I struggle with is procrastinating. It’s so easy to just keep putting things off. I try to make a list of all the things I have to get done for the day, and I just force myself to DO IT. Crossing off each task is pretty satisfying, though :)

  2. Even though I’ve dramatically improved my relationship with food over the last year I still have time I struggle with not emotionally overeating or feeling guilt over eating something ‘not super healthy.’ It’s a work in progress!

    • I’m not sure if I’m in the minority with this but i feel like some emotional overeating is just part of normal eating. maybe because i’ve never known anyone who doesn’t eat emotionally at least some of the time. Food is built into everything we do, activities, celebrations, rituals, social, I kid of think anyone who only eats when they’re hungry and stops when full, is kind of weird. Just my opinion :)

    • I agree Erica. This continues to be a struggle sometimes for me, but just like with the mileage I have come a long way with it!

  3. Yes, I am right with you, Sara! I didn’t run nearly the mileage that you did, but I have had to learn to cut back to 3 runs per week (about 15 mile total). I tell myself “don’t get greedy”. And I remind myself that I would rather run less and feel good and be healthy than run more, be sore and limping and then get injured (which, like it or not, always tended to be the case with me). Finding other sports that I love (swimming, cycling, weights) and focusing on them (almost) as much as my running has helped! Keep it up. Good things sometimes take a lot of hard work but always worth the effort. You are doing awesome, girl…

  4. I can relate to the issue with mileage. I honestly don’t want to run more than 40 miles per week at this point, but I can’t help remember the mentality of “more is better” when i was doing 50+. I catch myself though, like this morning I planned to do 6 miles with hills and I was feeling good and considered adding a mile, but had to remind myself I’m planning speed for tomorrow and don’t want to overdo it. I am starting a NEW habit of valuing rest and recovery. it’s hard stuff man, but it must be practiced!

    • Glad to know that I am not the only one who has this battle sometimes! When runs go well we just want to keep adding more but we don’t think about the rest of the week. That one extra mile isn’t worth being tired for tomorrow’s run OR even worse an injury!

  5. Jaclyn @ Bumpsweat

    Yeah, being hyper-aware of our thoughts and being able to recognize those old patterns creeping back in is huge. I struggled with over-exercising for years and now, thankfully, don’t encounter those thoughts of ‘more is always better’ too often. And when I do, I remind myself of all I’ve come through and all I’ve learned along the way to refute that.

    • I struggled with over exercise, too! I have to constantly remind myself “enough if enough”. A lot of people can’t relate to it because it’s “healthy” but anything taken to an extreme can become an issue. For me, it was very much an issue and something I am very thankful I got a handle on! Keep it up, Jaclyn!

    • So true Jaclyn! It is a great reminder of how far you’ve come when you can catch yourself before you make the same mistakes!

  6. Love this… I’m trying to get some habits behind me & I need these reminders I can beat it!!!

  7. I love the Mark Twain quote – that is so true!

  8. I find myself doing the same thing with exercise. I always have to do just 10 more, 20 more reps. I like to start my Sunday every week with 200 KB swings, but the last two weeks I kept going and made it 300. It is hard to just stop and say enough.

  9. I have the opposite problem…I struggle with not pushing myself hard enough. Every time I start to feel a workout (breathing hard, legs feel tired), I back off. Self doubt is definitely keeping me from getting better, faster. On the upside, I’ve never been injured from overtraining. 😉

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