Monday, January 25, 2010

Lost in translation?

As part of my weekly regimen, I'll pick up a long run and a number of short to medium length runs throughout the week. The key is for me to continue to run comfortably as I put the distance behind me as well as try to control my mind in the process. When I say "control my mind", I do not mean focusing on tempo or stride length or pronation of my already warped right foot; I am referring to what a friend of mine calls "doing the laundry". I use running for meditation and since there is not a lot to think about when to comes to mechanics of a 15 mile run, I often find myself getting lost in the rhythm of the stride; especially if I leave my iPod at home. Things come in and go out; I think about politics, common sense solutions, the life of the cows I see as I go by, even about the new friends I am making here in what I sometimes call my Midwest exile. Since everything is going pretty well in those areas, my tempo is good and I have a pretty good pace (often under 9 minutes/mile). However, when I think about other things that are going on in my life, like erasing 5 years of close family relationships like they never happened, like wanting career events to move a little more quickly, like being a bit frustrated in my living situation, I find that my pace suffers and it feels like all I am doing is running up-hill. I go to plus 10 minute paces and it all averages out at just sub 10 minute pace for the overall run. Now, the real frustrating part; I go to the track at the ARC this morning and put on 3 miles; run really comfortably with a few other people on the track (we aren't running together, just out at the same time) and I end up with an 8:41 average over the 3 miles. Hmmm...

Now I know that there really is no comparison because I ran 5 times as far on Saturday as I did on Monday, but I had a very positive mental attitude, was looking forward to the day and I had already gotten over the Vikings giving away the NFC Championship. But I think the real thing was that I kept focused on the good things going on in my life; not on the 1:00 AM calls to be told that I am hated because I am putting my life together and feel good about myself, not the calls asking me to move heaven and earth on someone else's time line because they have no way else to deal with their own life's issues and not the fact that I have a lot of people waiting for me to really screw up again. However, keeping a positive attitude over 25 minutes is a hell of a lot easier than keeping up over 2 and a half hours. TRANSLATING that success to long distances will be key for me to accomplish the goals I have set for myself. I must clear and control my mind to approach things more positively to be the glass half full guy that can keep the tempo moving and #1- complete the upcoming race (only 14 more weeks to go (make travel plans, I need a rooting section!)) and #2 - complete it in a respectable time (Boston Qualifying time). Again, like many other things, that translation can be applied to every day life, as well. That way, I can concentrate on what is GOOD FOR ME not only for today but good in a foundational, basic way that breeds success for the long term.

Anyway, I'm rambling now. I hope my thoughts did not get lost through the translation from my head to my hands. Be well, all!

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