A buzzword I’ve been hearing lately is a pivot. That is what training and life have been like lately – I’m pivoting.
While the coronavirus and lifestyle changes don’t really affect me in the sense that I don’t go out a lot or congregate in groups all that much, now I just don’t have that option. I’m not complaining, not at all, because I have everything I need. It’s what everyone has to do now – pivot – make changes and adjust thinking and activities. I still have a job; that’s always good.
Take a deep breath.
What I like about the concept of pivoting is that it doesn’t mean desperation; it can be additional growth. It’s changing what you do right now to maintain your vision; your vision of what the future will be.
While races are canceled and training is in flux, I still am running, walking a lot and reading.
The world is changing – every year brings something we didn’t expect; globally and locally. As a GenXer this is our world, something we always have lived with and for me it makes me not trust anyone or anything. America’s neglected ‘middle child’. Could it be true that “being in the middle is a power place to be.” Doubt it.
Ha. But I’m getting away from my point.
Maybe pivoting is what I’ve been doing all my life, always re-imagining what I could do and be. Maybe it’s time to reassess and make some changes. Pivot.
My friend Shelly, from Houston, finished her first 100 mile race at Brazos Bend in December, and her name appears in this month’s Ultra Running Magazine. She is amazing.
While I was in Houston in January for the Houston Marathon, I had a few minutes to talk to her about her race and get some tips for finishing my first 100. I wanted to know every training secret and figure out what I could do to get to the finish line at Umstead.
Here are a few tips she gave me:
Find running partners
Join long run groups
Run after work and into the night (with someone)
Get up and run at 3 a.m. for a few hours
Listen to podcasts and books while running
As soon as I got home I joined Facebook groups and vowed to find people to run with. I have tried to run after work but I’m too tired and it’s too cold. I haven’t woken up at 3 a.m. to run either. And, I pretty much always run alone.
However, today as I was running for hours on the treadmill I decided to look at some podcasts and take Shelly’s advice since my music wasn’t motivating me and all the TV channels were talking incessantly about coronavirus.
I started listening to Motivation vs. Discipline from Trail Runner Nation because I’ve been having some problems with motivation and discipline lately.
I’ve also been having recurring pain in my legs as my mileage increases; I’m thinking from my prior injury.
I’m a mess.
I decided to start listening to this podcast to force me to stay on the treadmill and finish the workout. I don’t listen to podcasts because they become cringeworthy to me, and it’s feels like I’m listening to a reality show that I want to turn off when everyone starts talking over each other. Today, I decided to give podcasts another shot and listened to this entire podcast.
The biggest take away from Motivation vs. Discipline was the discussion about the ultra running community and how at races people ask “what was your experience” not, what was your time. These runners care about having a great experience. And this is what needs to motivate my running. Another discussion topic is about how motivation is needed at the beginning of learning a new distance versus discipline; however motivation and discipline fuel each other. My favorite discussion point in the podcast: listen to your body.
“If you only go out and exercise when you feel great you are not going to reach your goal.” It seems like my legs are always tired. When I do my long runs they are so tired during most of it. I acknowledged that it is good training to run on tired legs, but why are they ALWAYS tired? This podcast really motivated me to keep going.
Then, I looked for another podcast to help me fight longer on the treadmill.
However, as I walked for a bit on the treadmill I decided to find the Libby App for the library and find a good book to listen to.
But my mind moved back to a point from the podcast, Motivation vs. Discipline, that I should use Training Peaks to plan my week because seeing a red workout (meaning not completed) would help motivate me. So I tried to Log In to Training Peaks.
It all helped pass the time and I kind of, sort of, finished my workout.
I need to do more of Shelly’s recommendations since it’s now just about 6 weeks to race day. Training is not going as well as I’d like, but I’m doing it.
Reading The Passion Paradox is helpful too. The idea of mastery and a goal of getting better, has helped me realize that I’m in this for the long-haul. I really want to finish a 100, get better at figuring out what my body needs to go long [successfully], and try other distances and endurance sports. The only way to do this is to learn more about what will cure all my aches and pains, get better at nutrition and recovery, and to figure out what truly motivates me. After 17 years of training and racing endurance sports you would think I’d have figured it out.
Maybe this is what keeps me motivated: there is always so much to learn.
Another Saturday morning and it’s time to head out on a long run. Today I must run 33 miles. It’s cold outside; about 4 degrees. I’m procrastinating. I’m drinking coffee and refreshing weather.com every five minutes. I will run all 33 miles today. Not only do I have to, I want to.
However, the caveat, the but, the …… I’m not going to be able to do it all at once. And, I’m okay with that.
Today I will do a few trail miles with Winnie-dog. Then I will run until I need to meet my friend for a walk and dinner. Then I will finish the miles later in the evening. I will get all my miles in.
What I like about the book is how they use science and philosophy to talk about the dark side of passion and then suggest tools to help find a balance. Passion can help you be successful but it also can break you, they write.
I’m on Chapter 1: Passion Must Be Handled With Care.
I can’t wait to keep reading because I have big goals this year. I always have big goals. And I always go through dark times and feel lost because I can’t get training in or I sleep in or make bad life decisions. I know that I don’t push myself hard enough some days and some days I overdo it. [I seem to only remember that I don’t push myself hard enough.]
Trying to balance big goals and still wake up in the morning to get things done can be difficult but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
One of the lines at the beginning of The Passion Paradox states: People who are passionate about their lives and put “tremendous passion into everything they do” cannot be content. And, alas, this is my problem – I’m never satisfied, I always want more. I can finish a race, whether it is an Ironman or 50 miler, regardless of the challenge, after I cross the finish line I ask myself – What’s Next?
Maybe this is healthy, maybe it’s not. I’ll find out as I continue reading.
Okay, now it’s time to get outside and RUN. It’s now 19 degrees!!
On Friday night I decided to find out if rock climbing is good cross training for ultra running. I have been lifting weights and doing pull ups for three months so I thought I would be strong. It was hard but fun!
I went to Vertical Dreams in Manchester for my first ever indoor rock climbing. It was so fun! I learned how to tie a rope and belay. Then started climbing with Tom.
Two days later, my forearms are a bit sore. Three months of weight training and pull ups helped, a little.
I think indoor rock climbing could make me stronger, and I could incorporate it into a regular plan, maybe. LOL
This week was a recovery week and after my dark day on Saturday, yes that is a thing, I’m full steam ahead to Ironman, 100 Miles and Ragged Mountain Stage Race.
I swam today. After running 10 indoor miles I swam. I’m so ready for Ironman Training.
Life is hard, fun, brutal, sad, laughable, challenging. I want things to be easy and they never are. I’m up for the challenge. I want it all. I am Wonder Woman.