Life:a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms
Balance:a desirable point between two or more opposite forces.
Taking these three points into consideration, they are bound to surface at some point in anyones training. Having a full family, including a lovely wife who works very hard full time, 3 children attending school from Kindergarten to 7th grade (YIKES!, almost a teenager), a part time job and a full time career search, it can become busy at times. That goes without mentioning all the daily/weekly normal functions of life such as grocery shopping, maintaining house and home, taking care of elderly parents, trying to stay somewhat connected to the not-so-immediate family and everything else that could possibly pop up at any given time. Whew! Sounds like we have already run our marathon in life before we even think of training for an additional event that takes an enormous commitment, time, training, motivation, and determination.
Training schedules are very important, and can make a big difference if you happen to skip a workout or take an extra couple days off which can set you back a step in your training.
Being an "Active Dad" I really find it difficult at time to work my running around all the "events" of life, yet I understand the overall benefits of the running, the aerobic conditioning, the increased endurance and health that it adds to my life. That new health is for my family, and hopefully will translate into a great number of enjoyable years down the road someday that I will be able to spend that I wouldn't have if I wasn't taking care of my body.
So, I will continue to put "Work" into everything I do. Be it my actual job, family life, cleaning, working out, running, whatever the task I will "Work" to the best of my ability and give 100% to reach my goal. Some think that you can't always give 100%. I think that it is all in the mind. If you say you can't, you won't. If you say you can, you have made a commitment and you should try to make that commitment to the best of your ability. Take a stand and join the "I CAN" group and see how your life changes. Make a commitment and stick to it. Start small, it doesn't have to be a marathon, it could even be to clean out your car. But say it, and then go do it. You MAKE it happen. It's as simple as turning on a light switch. Don't let your mind take you the other direction and slow your progress. Meet your commitment and move on with another one. Not only will you feel better about yourself, you will have reached your goal and also gained the respect of the doubters and those who look at the glass half empty rather than half full.
I will continue to "Live" or be one of the living creatures. Putting WORK into everything I hope to benefit my life by living it to the best of my ability. To gain a satisfaction that I have done the BEST I can do and not accepted anything less than what I had set as an expectation for myself. I have set a goal to run a marathon and that is what I am going to do. Yes it will take WORK, and yes, it will increase and hopefully prolong my LIFE.
I have also made a commitment to promote BALANCE in my LIFE and WORK hard to achieve that BALANCE. This in itself is a difficult goal, since as the training time increases, more time is needed away from the family. However, is it possible to run early, run late, run at times when others are in school or work? I hope to motivate others to follow a path of their own. Hopefully create their own goals and commit to them. Do the WORK that is necessary and be positive that it is making a dramatic impact on their LIFE.
Some people will probably read this and think I am off the wall. Some will understand it. Some have already set a goal for themselves and are working to achieve it at this very second. Some are thinking of setting a goal and maybe are just not sure what they can achieve. Make it reachable, but make it a stretch, make it involve WORK, make it rewarding, make it yours, and make others look at you and see a CHANGE!
Know in your heart, your soul, your innermost being what you want to achieve and go for it. You will find yourself getting closer to that goal one step at a time. If you have read this and have set a goal for yourself, be it running, your work, your life, your family, whatever the goal is please reply to this blog and write it down. Post it where you see it everyday and say it out loud before you leave on your run or for the day. Make it a consistent process and I can guarantee you one thing. You will be determined to reach that goal, you will be happy you have set a goal, and you will be happy that you have taken a step toward reaching that goal.
Spring Break. Did you or do you have kids on Spring Break over the past couple or next couple of weeks? We did. Ours were off last week and my wife, who teaches in a neighboring school district is off this week. That means our kids are going back to school tomorrow and my wife is off for the week.
All of us at one time or another experienced a Spring Break, be it time off from high school, college, or a spring vacation from work. We may have worked during our Spring Break in college to pay the rent or pay for the party, but at least we looked forward and probably counted down the seconds till Spring Break occurred. Maybe we had a trip to a warm beach with tons of other young adults our age or maybe it was a vacation to a family destination. Or, maybe it was just some much anticipated time off. Any way around it, we looked forward to it and couldn't wait for the day to arrive.
I was thinking today that I am very excited for my marathon and talking about it so much this far out from the event. I sort of paused and reflected on it for awhile and wondered why that might be the case. Then it hit me. The reason that I am so excited and determined to train and go through the long process is because I actually set the goal. I have a plan. I have set the plan in place and taken action on it. I have a daily list of what I need to do and it is not a just go out and run, "it is good for you" attitude that drives me anymore. It is a 26.2 mile course through the most magical place on earth. (ok, well it sounds good right). As mentioned before I am very much a person that likes to have a plan and be able to accomplish what is on that list. A "Bucket List" so to speak. (One of my favorite movies of all time, check it out) Although I never thought that running a marathon would be on my list of things to do in my life, I can't think of a better thing to accomplish at this point in my life.
Setting a goal, making a plan to reach it, and then taking action on that goal is a big achievement in itself. Even before all the excitement of the ending, the actual planning and steps you take to reach your goal are really the learning experience aren't they? Just like when you anticipated your Spring Break or vacation and took all that time to plan it out, where you were going to stay, how you would get there, who and what you would see, and what you would do was all just a plan at that point until you took action on that plan. To me the excitement is just as much in the planning and training portion of the goal as the final completion. After all once you have gone through all the planning and are completing the event, soon it will be over. Yes you will have a sense of accomplishment. However, the real accomplishment is getting there and taking on the challenge of putting together just the right plan.
This being my first marathon, I can only make my best attempt at "the best plan" for my personal race. I can read books, share thoughts and ideas with fellow runners, communicate on blogs and bulletin boards, but really only time will tell if I can stick with the training schedule, run the miles without injury and finally run the marathon to the best of my ability.
Right now, I am happy...happy I set the goal....know the time of the event....know where it is....how I am going to get there....understand and started my training program...and most of all TAKEN ACTION. I think that is the biggest step to maintaining your strength, reducing your stress in life, and providing you a sense of happiness and well being. I am excited because I have a plan with a goal. A plan I am executing and a goal that I will achieve.
Have a plan? Tell me about it...leave it right here as a reply to my blog.
Getting off to a start this morning took 2 cups of coffee, a little News on the local network, time to sit and talk with the family and a few postings on facebook. After hearing from Krissie, Matt's wife that he had just left on his run for the day, I had enough energy to get ready to run. After quickly downloading a couple new tracks for my iPod I took off for my long run today that was scheduled for 3 miles on my training program. (updated this, more later)
I felt really good, starting off slow and knowing that I hadn't eaten made me feel light and not worrying about getting a side stitch. I had my first mile and checked on the nike + and I was just under a 10 minute pace. After about 1.75 miles I took my first of three short walk breaks lasting about 30 seconds and took off again. Overall, it felt good to be running in the morning hours and also before this afternoons rain and bad weather rolled in. I came home after completing 3.5 miles to a busy house with everyone working on cleaning and various tasks. I walked in the garage stretched for a moment and then walked up to the step to enter the house when just at the same moment my wife was opening the door taking out a bag of trash. Her eyes were on the trash bag and when she opened the door I was right there with a black stocking hat, black addidas jogging pants, black running gloves, Grey sweatshirt and most likely a sweaty red face from running. All I know is that even with my headphones from my iPod still playing a track, I heard a very, very loud startling scream. I guess she wasn't expecting me to be there nor was I expecting her to open the door at that moment. Fortunately, my heart rate was still up slightly so it wasn't that big of a shock on my system as it was for hers. Funny how things happen at just the same time or when you are least expecting it.
Anyway, I was happy to complete my run, and another day of training. Oh, regarding the training. I have adjusted my training schedule to a 9 week 10K plan instead of the marathon training plan at this point. On the marathon plan that I was on, I would have been prepared for the marathon in the month of September and my race isn't until January. Since I have a 5K in May and possibly at the end of April, I took some advice and am focusing on a little lower mileage and then will start a marathon training program in June to be completed in December just a week or so before the race. If your reading this, I would like to hear your thoughts about this plan.
Ok, now for the title of this blog, Running Store Visit. This afternoon, I took a trip to a new running store in our area in nearby Naperville, IL. Road Runner Sports has opened a store there and I wanted to take a look. The plan was to take a tour of the store and just see what they had. Well, they had some really good clearance running clothes and very knowledgeable staff that I ended up talking to for some time. I will definitely be back to this store as my training progresses. I was so impressed and excited about the store that I applied for a position there. Work should be something you love, I love running and a few other things so I figured hey, why not. I would be able to share customers stories about running, gear, training, and also utilize my retail management background. Hey, this could be a perfect fit. Besides, just being there gave me a good feeling and I found myself talking to a couple customers while waiting for the cashier to look something up about the Nike plus system. Great store, at least from my experience so far.
Tonight we ended the day with a movie, just the wife and I. A date night you could call it I suppose. We went to see the movie, Knowing and well, the popcorn was good. The movie, well,,,,if you remove the last 20 minutes, it might receive 3 out of 5 for me. Just a strange ending that didn't take you there with it so to speak. Personally, I was thinking about running toward the end of the movie and what was going to be on my plate for tomorrow, my day off from training.
Any running stores that you like or enjoy? I know that there are online stores a plenty, but what about at your local strip mall or in your local town or city? What makes a good running store? Customer Service? Good selection? Knowledgeable staff? Bare bones pricing? Why do you keep going back? Lets here it.......
This blog is to track my daily thoughts about running. I will list my personal private feelings for the day, maybe talk about the weather and local events and simply the motivational factors on my way to training for the Marathon at Walt Disney.