Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Feel-Good Run that Didn't


Hope the weekend is treating you well.  Sundays are such an anticipated day in our home.  A day to totally relax and recoup from the busy week.  Sometimes there is a movie, a nap, a hike, a bonfire.  Our past few Sundays have been a bit different.  There have been one particular exception to the "Sunday Rules."

Number 1 Sunday Rule- No Cooking anything more than a frozen pizza.  I have served rocking BIG meals for a few Sundays. This is not without a great reason though.

We have been so fortunate to have great friends from Switzerland come and visit and work with us on the farm.  The timing of things has been arrivals and departures on Sundays.  We have also had a family birthday party for 3 of my kids who had birthdays in September.  That day we had 30 for supper.   All good!

Anyway, I digress the true reason for this post.

Every runner sometimes (or often) has times when a run is just impossible to pass up.  The weather is amazing, your energy is great or it is just a good time in the day.  I have had a few such times in the past few weeks.  With my training having little consistency due to time and energy constraints, I really NEED the times when the sun is shining and the wind blowing gently and I FEEL like running.

With all training cycles, I execute the plan the best I can whether I feel like it or not.  This is important as I am committed to a goal, I have a plan and need to follow it. The mental toughness that comes with training even when I don't feel it is very crucial.  I can't always go by feel but need to keep emotions out of the equation sometimes. This is a hard line to balance.  This is my equation:

Success= goal + physical training + mental toughness  +/-  heart

So for me to find success at something I need to have a manageable goal that I want to accomplish, set a specific plan to train my body PHYSICALLY for this goal and commit to it entirely to gain some MENTALLY strength but here's the catch.  The goal has to have an emotional thread woven within it- meaning it has some significance for me to be pursuing. This is the plus heart.  However, there needs to be a pause button I hit to turn the emotional thinking OFF. And here in lies the trouble.  Where is that spot?

It is this emotional attachment that makes me dig deeper to reach my goals and potential PR's but it is the same emotions that make me quit and give up.

Oh my!  There is a line from a story that tells of two voices, one that encourages and inspires and one that lies and knocks down.  Which one do you hear?  Of course the one you feed!

So the run that wasn't planned happened.  It was a sunny, warm day where my shoes were really singing my name.  I had time, I had opportunity and most of all, I had the desire.  I could feel my ponytail gently swaying in the warm breeze, I anticipated the many miles and most importantly, I knew the feeling of deep satisfaction that was going to fill me at the conclusion of that run.

My ponytail slapped my neck in irritation, my gait was like that of a horse who has seen better days a LONG time ago, the many miles dream ended at 6 and the great feeling at the end was a bust.  I was discouraged with everything.  Reality was the complete opposite of my hope.  So the great run that could actually didn't. Any guesses as to which voice did the talking?  It is hard to move past the expectations I have when things don't go my way - to be grateful and appreciative of what I can do.

I read a blog post recently that hit a bit on this idea.  Maria called this the clicks and clunks.  It is my reality that I will have some clunks along the way but the clicks that happen can overshadow the clunks.  Maybe make me work harder.  When the clunks keep coming and the clicks are scarce, the discouragement sets in.  It is hard to get myself fired up about training when I start believing that all workouts are going to clunk.  So what do you do?
Being a math girl- I go back to my formula.  I guess this is the perfect time to take the heart OUT of the equation.  Not all runs will feel good and sometimes, maybe few runs will feel good but I continue to run/swim/bike/hike/ski/.... because I NEED TO!

For now, that is all that matters.