Posts Tagged ‘endurance running

02
Jan
11

Creating an atmosphere of confidence in your mind for your journey

image from studentbranding.com

I had a terrific week and a few days ago I wrote a lot about the confidence I had in running long distance training or race runs.  As I ran my 6 mile run today I thought and thought and thought about this but I didn’t know I was until I finished.  I said to myself mid-way that I should go for ten miles because I knew I could do it and it would increase my long run distance build-up faster.  I held back though.  I thought to myself that I am 100% sure that even right now I could push through and battle out a marathon finish.  I mean heck, when there is so much on the line (a finishers shirt!!!  🙂 ) you always finish.  I know I could.  Would it be really fun?  Would it be “relaxing” and benificial?  Would it foster good thoughts or bad ones?  Then it struck me about training for me personally.  My body responds well to pretty much any kind of training I think.  I recover well.  I can go a long ass ways.  But it REALLY struck my that a conservative build-up (like the one I did when I first started running) did more for creating an ATMOSPHERE OF CONFIDENCE within my own mind than it did for creating a super fit person.  Of course the super fit goes along with the running but the multiple ultras and marathons, the way I explained to myself in my writing how I thought and felt going into a race, the sense of almost scoffing at a distance (with respect though) because I had done the work in the trenches far before hand.  It struck me that the ATMOSPHERE OF CONFIDENCE in my own mind was what I need to foster more than anything.  THAT is what creates IN ME the ability to stick with it, the ability to enjoy it, the ability to endure much longer distances.  In other words, I held back.  I cherished the “small” 6 mile victory.  I saw in my minds eye the red line on my confidence meter bump up because I finished my 6 miles in complete comfort and with a sigh of satisfaction followed by a smile.  There is plenty of time to build-up to 20, 30, 40 mile long runs.  I was reminded of the times where I had a 30 mile long run and I felt this exact same way when I finished: in comfort and with a smile.  Not sore for days, happy I did it, confident I could do it again. 

 
It also then dawned on me that training (or even starting exercise for the non-exerciser) is  a work of creating that atmosphere of confidence in the mind.  Making sure to work it in a way to create small victories to maximize and ensure that the confidence builds.  The body will make the changes it needs to, but the mind almost needs to be tricked into believe in itself if that makes sense.  It may seem slow forcing delayed gratification but suddenly you end up doing 50 times more than you ever thought feeling like its easy just like that 6 mile run.  I am committed to this.  Developing that atmosphere of confidence, developing that consistency of victory.  Maybe not moving on too fast but making sure I have lots of victories along the way.  Building, building, building.
 
Hopefully that all made sense because I just rambled a lot. LOL.
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27
Dec
10

A new dawn ahead: Weight Watchers, Running, and a Fresh start

A new year is ahead of us.  This year has been a very wild ride for me personally.  I have not been posting here at all for sometime for various reasons but have not stopped writing because writing is something that helps me learn about myself, my ways, and my weight loss journey.  I hope that I have not lost all my friends here.  I am going to start posting regularly again and I am pretty darn excited about it.  Please feel free to join in on my adventures for 2011. 

For starters, I have gained about 50 lbs.  Yeah that is a lot but what can I do about it now except move forward into a new and exciting dawn. 

This was during my run tonight.

Here I am just days ago during my family christmas

Running

Part of the weight gain came about because of a serious burn out on running that was largely due to personal life stuff that I described on the blog earlier this year.  I tried hard to hold on to all the running I was doing but I just couldn’t, not with the mental stress and life changes.  Plus, I was working really hard on balance. I think I went to far with it though………….LOL!  So I never stopped running but I cut way back and am currently on my way back to running more and getting fit.  Come along with me as I progress again in my fitness, endurance, and running.  I feel like I am practically starting all over with running but I am far from that I think.  Still, way out of shape in my opinion and the extra wait is not fun to run around with.

Weight Watchers

I am, as you may have guessed, doing weight watchers for the “healthy eating” portion of my journey.  I get lots of points on this new POINTS PLUS plan.  Seems pretty well.  At the current time I am not going to meetings but doing it online.  I am having good success with it so far and plan to continue that for sure.  With the exception of xmas day I am eating pretty good and counting EVERYTHING. I know what to do, I am not making excuses, and I will succeed. Soon enough I will look like this again. LOL

Stay tuned to the blog to follow my journey-a-fresh.  I am excited and I hope that my posts can help you on your own journey with real life inspiration.  IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK.  I AM COMING BACK TO MOVE FORWARD!!!

27
Dec
10

Running pics

I plan to be taking more pics of my runs.  I got a new camera for Christmas and want to put it to good use for the blog.  I am sure some will be good and some not so good.  At the moment I am doing walking, walk/jog’s, personal training three times a week, and of course building up my long run.  I feel pretty bad about not being able to run as long as I used to but I am not going to let that stop me.  I ran 18 miles six weeks ago but went on vacation to hawaii and did not exercise at all.  So 18 miles is out of the picture for now and I don’t really care much.  I am just going to start slow and move forward in small steps just like I did when I could only run one mile.  I will keep the blog updated on my running and especially with any marathons I do.  I have done about 26 or so marathons.  I plan to get to 30 in 2011.  Here are the pics from tonights run.  It was a cold and rainy time with flooded streets.  It was exhilarating really.  Went out for 30 minutes and burned around 290 calories.

Cool street lamp so I thought I would take a pic

The cold rainy night gave all the light around a golden glow that intrigued me

Main street still decorated in christmas lights

02
Jun
10

A life lesson from a “tuff” race!

 

photo by strangesports.com

So I have been thinking about this blog post for about two months now and this last race pushed me over the edge to finally be able to articulate in some form what I have wanted to say.  Most of you  know that I think ultra-running parallels life in many interesting ways.  One of the ways is the unexpected blow up.  Just reading what I just wrote possibly brought up your own sacred times in life where you experienced a “blow up”.  Not of temper, not of fire, but of life itself and the dreams that are contained within it.  Times in your life that forced a renegotiation of your goals or path.  We have all experienced this in some form or another.  But what we do with these times is what counts the most.  Avoiding times like these at all costs will not permit you to totally avoid them.  We can plan, we can hope, we can pray, but these times occur regardless.  It is possible to minimize the damage they can cause or possibly their frequency but one thing is for sure; they will happen.  And this is ok.  So I am going to write out one of these the best way I know how because I think you’ll like it and I just need to do it so here it goes.  Picture your own life as I describe the situation in running form.

Ahhhhhhh……….my goal is ahead and I have worked so long and hard and dreamed for so long about it.  I can taste it.  I can almost experience my dream in my mind just pondering on the attainment of the goal.  THAT place is so happy.  I know it will be amazing to get there and the sense of peace I will have knowing that I got my dream.  The journey has been long to get to the starting line but I am here.  I start my race with such joy and comfort knowing what my future hours hold for me.  Running in the breeze thinking how blessed I am to be able to be taking part in life like this.  I meet people along the way that improve my experience greatly.  I find out more about them as we run together.    I know that they are most likely just for a time but at this time it is great to get to know them.  As I am running I see the hills before me without fear because I know I can walk if needed or I can slow it down enough to conserve my energies.  There is no rush really, I have a long race ahead of me but the excitement must be contained so that I don’t burn out on a good thing.  I keep on just getting more excited that my dreams are ahead of my and they will become a reality.  Of course there are rough patches during the run.  My legs burn and I want to rest.  My back is tight and I want to stretch.  Many thoughts come during those rough patches that widdle my dream down to barely possible.  Then the sun shines in through the trees and my life returns as I eat some more carbs.  My mind awakens and I am in “the good” again believing all is possible.  Time moves on and on as I run.  I’m running, I’m running, I’m running.  After a long time of pursuing this dream something happens seemingly out of nowhere.  It’s the blow up.  The blow up is a devastating crushing blow to my mind and emotions.  The dream is shut down and the door feels closed.  Survival is my only thought during a blow up.  That and giving up completely.  I know the end is near enough but the short distance from the present darkness to the light at the end of my great achievement appears to be many more miles than it really is.  My thoughts change from delight in life and running to self questioning and sanity.  “Was I stupid for trying to achieve and experience great things.  Did I bite off more than I can chew.  Will I hurt myself doing this.  Am I in danger in this dark time” .  All the negative thoughts that I was able to conquer regarding my dreams before are now so consuming that I cannot shut them up.  Panic sets into me just as powerfully as the joy set in earlier in my journey.  Will I be able to get what I want so badly out of this now that attaining my original goal is impossible?????  This is where the magic happens in ultra-running AND life.  I know I can’t make it to my original goal.  I am already running longer than my goal finishing time and I have so far to go still.  What am I to do with all of this.  If I give up and quit I still have to walk to the finish because there is now way out of the race (life).  If I keep going through this blow up it’s going to hurt really bad and I don’t want to hurt that bad anymore.  If I just go slower I might as well quit!  But then the renegotiating happens.  At first I hate it because it feels weak like a cop-out but the courage begins to build again but for a new purpose.  The original goal is now very far gone but the endurance and capacity to conquer the blow up now takes precedence.  I find myself realizing that the journey could very possibly be more important than the attainment of the original goal.  The the experience of this hurt, this “failure”, this “shame” could be worth millions more than crossing the finish line without scars.  Although down and out, I forge ahead with a new but painfully real struggle.  I must not let the “blow up” finish me.  Then it hits me, “OMG………..the goal is not me.  I’m me and I don’t have to let the circumstance finish me and in fact I can let it refine me.”  My heart melts at the prospect of making it through this blow up as a better man, as a better more knowledgable runner.  I find great peace in this painful experience knowing that just making it through to the other side of it means so much to me.  And when I cross the finish line where my goal once sat waiting for me to take it, I am thankful for making it at all.  I am thankful for that pain and hurt that even though at the time seemed so intense was really only temporary as compared to the impact it will have on my future runs and life. 

So I think it is with life too.  We all have goals and aspirations and dreams.  Sometimes it is as though we are running through life so smoothly but we don’t see that huge cliff that drops off just ahead.  That cliff that swallows up so much of what we think we have in us to give.  That blow up that takes so much out of us that life seems terribly painful to keep at.  So much is possible for us.  So much is right there for us to become if we can renegotiate the path and the goals.  In a sense I feel like even though we might not get what we originally wanted, we will get the best that is attainable by moving on through the blow up.  Things get painful, and slow, and don’t work on our time line but keeping on develops in us such a tremendous power to achieve the most important thing.  That is to achieve the depth and reality of the person that we can be.

19
May
10

Very Tired but Happy Too!

Oh boy am I tired today.  I have been staying up pretty late but it has been well worth it.  So I am happy with it.  Lots of stuff has been happening of late and I really like it.  I hope to keep experiencing more and more of it.  On another note, I am totally seeing visible changes in my body when I look in the mirror.  Not huge ones but they are apparent so I feel good about it.  I am getting leaner and it seems to be working its way down from face to shoulders to arms but not to the stomach yet.HAHHAHAHA. That will come in time.  The resistance training is now cut back to two days a week becasue I just can’t do legs the way the trainer wants to and still keep my paces during my running since my legs are so tired.  Running is my first priority but I really like what the training is doing for me.  My eating is also doing well.  It’s not perfect and it probably never will be and I don’t even care if it is.  I have much more mercy on myself now.

Today I have a hard track workout.  It is supposed to be stormy, windy, and raining.  Fun huh!!!  I will be doing 20X400 meter repeats at my 5k pace.  I may not hit all the reps at that pace but will work my booty off to get it done.  These are always really hard workouts for me yet at the end I feel so good that I accomplished something hard.  Doesn’t it feel good when we accomplish something hard or difficult.  When I am done I will crumple into my truck seat and drive home feel exhausted yet exuberant about the achievement.  I will probably tell my friend and coach soon after that about the victory.  The cool this is, is that they will probably ask me how it went and to me that is special because someone cares enough to ask.  Knowing this, I also try to ask about what concerns the people I love and care for.  What they care about concerns me and what hurts them builds compassion in me.  Anyway, things are going well.  Keep on fighting the good fight of health guys.  It is so worth it.  So so worth it.  No need to give up, you CAN get to your place.

06
May
10

I’m hoping for the best!

Since I am working out using resistance training, I am hoping that it will make a difference in my journey to lose the weight I have gained.  So far I have not experienced much of a difference but I have not been eating that great either.  Eating is more than 60%+ of the battle if you ask me.  I mean heck, you can lose the weight without exercising if you have too.  I want to retain and even gain some muscle but also want to be as light as I can for the running.  I don’t really want the concentration camp look but I would like to make my running as easy and as effecient as possible.  So all in all I am hoping to shred the fat off my body, get down to a pretty low body fat %, and build up my running speed and endurance.  I think that this is all feasable but I am having a hard time being patient.  I think the fact that I know what it is like to be where I want to be makes it hard to except the fact that I am where I don’t want to be.  But I will make it to where I am going.  I will keep on keeping on.

05
May
10

Running through it

Over the last several months I have not done a whole lot of being consistant.  I have had a very hard time getting my life back together enough so that I can once again stick to a “normal” schedule of daily operations.  At least this is what I have thought……………………….but I have had a stroke of insight today.  I have not been doing ALL BAD!  So I will look on the bright side of things.  I have developed and implemented a new system at my work place that will change it forever and for the better.  I have followed my dreams of training for, and finally attempting to run 100 miles.  I have continued to eat ok enough not to gain ALL my weight back.  I have held it together in many ways but it still does not take away the fact that it has been really really hard.  And the hard stuff is not over yet either.  Sometimes I feel it is only getting harder.  But one thing I know for sure is that I have been running through it all.  It is the constant (other than God) that stands firmly in place.  Well, not always firmly but I have not let go of it.  I have cut back, gone hard, eased off, etc. etc.  But I have not turned my back on running.  I have pretty much stayed with at least two days a week of running.  My come back races were 32 and 41 miles. 

This tiny piece of consistancy, with which coach dean has helped tremendously, has helped me piece things together.  It has helped me have a foundation to build off of again.  I am back to exercising with cross-training.  I am excited once again about my running goals.  I am looking forward to doing more running in the very near future and Coach Dean will help me attain physically what I want to attain emotionally as a way for me to set a foundation for all that is to come.  I have to start somewhere.  Heck, I have already started long ago, but I have finally realized I cannot do this all at once.  I cannot go at this with an all or nothing approach like I normally can.  i just don’t have the mental nor emotional energy to do so.  So it will go step by step but I will keep on keeping on.  I will run, I will eat, I will workout, I will talk things out with people I trust, I will remember my blessings and……………………………………..things will become what I desire them to be.  I have learned a lot about being patient with myself and that has been hard.  But I am glad I have learned it.  VERY GLAD.