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.
Today mental preparation was needed before my run. After all, I was going out to surpass my comfort zone of years past weekly runs. I had made it past the every other day runs of 3-3.5 miles and was planned to run 4.5 miles today, Wednesday and Friday this week. With the way training has progressed so far, I was prepared to complete the 4.5 and had the route mapped out already. Slipped on my running attire, shoes and new dual layer running socks from that trip to the running store and out the door I went.
Yesterday, I had remembered a training tool that I used to use and wondered if it was still out there. I used to listed to Steve Runner's Podcasts on iTunes and sure enough he is still created them. I eagerly downloaded the last five or so episodes of the podcasts and looked forward to listening to them on my next set of runs. I remembered that they are usually around an hour in length and were made of of Steve telling stories about training, his running of races and marathons, everyday life and basically a mixture of things including some music intertwined. The majority of the podcasts are completed while he is actually running. You can hear his pace and his breathing as well as his voice change during the parts where he is running.
The episode that I listened to today was randomly picked and what was it? It was on him preparing himself for the Boston Marathon in only 5 weeks. He talked about the standard safety training plans of a gradual increase in mileage of around 10% per week, but something was drawing him to run this marathon that was only 5 weeks away. He was quick to point out that he had been running through the Winter doing maintenance runs of approximately 20 miles per week. So he cautioned that even though this 5 week training was an accelerated program, he did have a base to work off of. This would not be recommended for someone who just decided 5 weeks out to run a marathon with no prior running experience or base to fall back on. Even the trainer, who he invited to talk on the podcast warned to "do not try this at home" and that because Steve Runner had run 19 other marathons and this would be his 20th, plus he had a solid base of mileage that they would be basically ramping up his mileage over the next three weeks and today was a 16 mile run for him while he was creating this podcast.
I find his podcasts motivating since not only does he run while talking and thinking intellectually, he is very entertaining and he holds your interest. He keeps your brain on its own journey as the miles go by. On todays run, I found that I was able to be completely absorbed into the podcast between miles 3-4 and really felt my stride smooth out. I was almost on cruise control and letting my body control its own pace while my brain was involved deeply in this training program that steve was working on. This could once again be my answer to completing my training. I felt really good during my run today. Yes I still took a couple short walk breaks, but I can see how I can shorten my walk breaks and slowly turn my whole run into a run and not a run/walk.
If you have an ipod or use iTunes, I highly suggest downloading the podcasts by Steve Runner and giving them a shot. Not only can you learn while you run, but be entertained at the same time. Great to listen to and a change from the constant beats of music. I recommend the podcasts and will be listening to them for my next several runs. Thank you Steve for your inspiration, your thoughts, training tips and the ability to grasp my mind and just let me run! Good luck at Boston by the way!!!
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.