Dissertation and Running Blues

I haven’t written in a while. I guess I just haven’t had all that much to say. Perhaps I still don’t. I’ve run a few races here and there since my 100k, but I really backed off my running in order to focus on my dissertation. But, now I feel like I am floundering.

I have to admit that I am tired. The dissertation process is starting to wear very thin on me and I am anxious to be done, yet by the same token I struggle to get motivated to work on it. I am ready to do anything else, but for as ready as I am to move on with life, I often lack the motivation to make progress.

So, I signed up for a marathon. I am using the training schedule for the marathon to help me write my dissertation. Just like a certain level of mileage is required, I force myself to write a certain amount of pages. It’s kind of like a game. If I am required to run 4 miles, then I work on 4 pages of my dissertation. That might mean writing or editing, but its 4 pages nonetheless.

And you know what, this trick is working!!!! I managed to knock out another 20 pages for chapter two. They are really rough pages, but they are words on paper and that is worth its weight in gold.

I have a goal in mind for when I would like to finish, but I won’t be publicly sharing that. I have faced so many hiccups in my writing that until I have been assigned a date that I can defend my dissertation, no one will be knowing about graduation.

For now, I will keep using my running to aid my writing. The marathon I chose is called Last Chance for Boston in February. I have never run faster than 5 hours, so that is my goal. Hopefully I will be nice and far along for my dissertation to.

Alright friends, one foot, one page at a time!

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One thought on “Dissertation and Running Blues

  1. Hi Shannon,
    I cannot imagine running a marathon and trying to write a dissertation at the same time!
    I had to leave Marietta, move to Columbus, live at University Village by myself and “work” about 30 hours a week at The National Center for Vocational Education. My dissertation had lots of support from my committee (5 Professors, my colleagues at OSU, and of course your Mom and Dad and James.) It is a good thing that you did not arrive until I was finished—I would have wanted to play with you i.e. put you on the table and put make-up on you. I have at least one pic of you with lots of lipstick. Writing “anything” is not easy and dissertations are difficult. Keep running, writing, and living your life.
    See you at Salt Fork
    Love GMA Baker

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