Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kinda Lost...

There is something I have been struggling with. You see I seem kind of lost. In the last few years I have spent this time of year very wisely, this year not so much. Its not like I am wasting time or anything I just dont have a plan. My goals are not set so the path is not known. I am struggling with goals and an old problem of mine I have not thought about in a long time. In fact I forgot I had it. When I was a kid I was a real good baseball player. I thought my life was going in a baseball direction. I spent all of my waking hours watching videotape of me in the cage or my at-bats during the last game. I did not have the outcome I thought I was going to get. I was devastated where do I stand? What do I do? I was so jealous of the baseball players that went on to college and got drafted. I busted my ass to be less than good enough. My definition of good enough. I find myself back in this place. I am busting my ass and I am not measuring up. What should I be learning? Instead of a quote today I will place this excerpt my buddy Karl gave to me. This is kind of what I am thinking too.

"Every kid’s talent level is different. And their motivation level is a lot different. When I talk with kids, the biggest thing I stress with them is to be hungry for the sport and to enjoy the sport. That is the bottom line. And then if you are hungry to improve in the sport, you need to set a lot of short-term and long-term goals. You also have to set a lot of goals in between. Whenever I sign an autograph, I write, “Dream big,” because if you don’t set your goals to a little bit higher than you think you can accomplish, then you are never going to be reaching your full potential. Obviously, some people are going to be limited by what they can handle, but each runner needs to find that level of hard work that they can handle. It’s more than piling on a lot of miles, breaking down, and getting tired. Find that level that you can handle for a long time and consistently put in a lot of hard work. Whatever that level is, will pay off over time. You will see improvements. As you get older and stronger you will be able to increase that workload. You start to see results. You have to constantly stay motivated and constantly reach for that bigger goal that you have set for yourself."
--Chris Solinsky

I am seeing results and they are improvements. They just arent good enough. My struggle is between dreaming big, pushing myself hard, and finding my true potential. I am not in love with running right now. I am not getting the rush even though I am stronger. I ran 17 miles today and I was miserable. I was thinking too much and not running enough. My back is nearly 100%. Stretching doesnt do anything for it, but strength training does. Planks with alternating arms/legs, lower abs, figure 4 gluts, and kettle bells are bringing me back. Here is how my week went:

Tuesday-Run 4 miles. My blisters did not tolerate it but I fought through it.
Wednesday-Pushed a 5 mile run to sleep. I couldnt get out of bed.
Thursday-Ran 6 miles and fought myself the whole way. Got them in.
Friday-Rest, pushed a 5 mile run to sleep. Not very motivated.
Saturday-Ran 5 miles and basically got them in. Trend?
Sunday-Ran 17 miles for a weekend total of 22. I am glad I got them all in because I wasnt motivated but not happy about the results very slow.

I am on the clock now officially with the Surf City Marathon. Better get my stuff together before then.


Karl Stutelberg said...

My first response to this post is this. We all struggle to stay consistent and keep pushing ourselves. Running and endurance sport gives you a lot of time to get in your own head and this can be good but also dangerous. We all have those, "What the heck am I doing?" runs, but all I have to do is go back to work for a day to remind myself how lucky I am to be given the gift of running, and I don't take one step for granted. Instead of thinking, "I have to go for this 17 mile run" try thinking, "I GET to go for a 17 mile run." It changes everything.
Also remember that even the best like Chris Solinsky have to develop their aerobic system over many years to reach their goals. It took Chris 8 years from winning Footlocker to become an American Record Holder. It doesn't happen over night. Chris set his goals high and grinded out tens of thousands of miles to make his dreams come true.
Here is another good quote I found that puts things into perspective for me when I am struggling to get through a 20 miler.
"When I got to the 100 mile (under 17 hours), I realized that I still had 7 hours left! That is a long time to still keep running--almost a whole work day. So, this is when I had to really make sure I was still in my mental zone. I just kept moving along. I never walked, but got to a slower shuffle at times."--Jamie Donaldson (after a 24 hour race).

Christi said...

I know that you will find your "place" in the sport if you will. I have struggled with this problem all year. I tried so hard do well at my first 1/2 ironman and things did not go well and then I was injured and really couldn't do anything else. What has helped me is really slowing down and just listening to what the universe is telling me rather than trying to tell it what I wanted. Believe it or not things have turned around and my physical and mental strength are coming back stronger! I am kind of rambling but I hope you can see that basically, it is "Believe and Achieve!"

Caratunk Girl said...

I think training brings us highs and lows...sounds like you are no a bit of a low right now mentally. My only advise is to keep plugging away, stay consistent. I always end up making the biggest gains when I am at the height of my frustration that I am not making gains...if that makes sense? Good luck, try to keep chugging!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Hopefully this low time will be followed by a spectacular high. Hoping it's in running, but if not, beopen to other experiences as well.

kizzy said...

I guess everyone experience this kind of feeling...chilax... You're not alone in this...
--I prefer running without shoes. My toes didn't get cold. Besides, if I'm in front from the start, no one can step on them. ~Michelle Dekkers - mountain hardwear

Annie said...

Keep on trucking. We all go through the mental struggle. Being aware is the fist step!