Daylight Savings time calls for sleeping in.
I took an easy commute to work and found appreciation in the little things… a full moon, the return of the sunrise, and a colorful sky…. some of the perks of DST.
Julia and I planned to do a morning workout. Her alarm went off and she was getting ready, but by the time I got out of bed, she had lost her umph, and returned to bed. I don’t blame her, after being up early the day before.
I was sluggish due to the Daylight Savings Time change on Monday, and she had early run plans Monday-Thursday of this week.
I had been convinced to do a workout with Julia, however, I took a moment between brushing my teeth and packing my lunch to check what I’d scheduled on my training plan. I was thankful to see that I had planned for an easy Tuesday, so I stuck to it. I wasn’t going to force anything with my running schedule, especially with the darker mornings.
I ended up running to work, dropped off my pack, and continued over to the Eldridge neighborhood for some so called easy miles. I called this entry on Strava: Tree Trunk Legs. While my pace was easy, my effort to gain momentum was not. My legs felt heavy and lacking in quickness & springy-ness.
I enjoyed a fun, morning workout with November Project. We cruised laps of the Capitol Building stairs, with pushups and situps in between. My legs still felt like lumber, but I enjoyed the free flow of this workout and took advantage of goofing with people along the way.
At work, I finally got to read this weeks edition of The Morning Shakeout. I related to Mario’s excerpt of the passing of running’s eldest age-grouper, Ed Whitlock:
Ed embodied what it meant to be a racer, unapologetically following his own motivations, adopting a simple training approach that worked for him, and competing with a ferocious humility that more athletes would be well-served to try and emulate.
My mental takeaways:
- Unapologetically: Pursue what you like because you like it. Period.
- Simple: We have complicated lives. Our running hobby should be fun and enjoyable.
- Humility: Running goals keep us focused and driven. Don’t lose sight of the bigger life picture that is happening outside of your bubble.
I also experienced mental invigoration from a few athlete psychology podcasts from Rich Roll and Michael Gervais. First, I listened to Rich interview Michael. Then, I downloaded a couple of Michael’s Finding Mastery episodes.
Both podcasters are very insightful and ask thoughtful questions that root in decision making, behavior, and lifestyle choices. Michael is a doctor of sports psychology, and because of confidentiality, he isn’t able to directly discuss the specific performance symptoms and treatment of elite athletes and Olymipians. He’s able to step around that now by hosting guests of various backgrounds, in using the same inquisitive methods.
The theme of my week: Training the mind is what differentiates exceptional athletes from elite athletes.
- The trajectory of our health is guided by the power of our mind (Placebo effect).
- Finding our “craft” is just a way for our own self discovery. Seeking mastery in a vocation, regardless of the vocation, is really seeking an understanding of ourselves.
- The importance of training your mind and having mind/body awareness. If you’re looking to write your theses on the subject: APA Division 47.
This reminder of mindfulness got me excited for my long run on Saturday. I have a keen self awareness (sometimes to my detriment) and am observant of my surroundings. So I consider myself a step ahead of the Average-Jane when it comes to mental toughness.
My long run sessions have become my mental training day. Solo. Metronome click. Focus. Hard work.
In an effort to diversify my photography portfolio:
This picture is of one of my pet peeves. Located on the sidewalk near Splash Water Park in Golden, CO – spray painted sidewalk markings. At one time, they held a triathlon here, and to identify the transition areas for the competitors they spray painted the sidewalk. Permanent. Disrespectful. Lazy.
My pet is peeved. I get hot & bothered by this every single time I pass it.
PlayGldn took to Dino Ridge, yet again. Four repeats of #hardfrontz was the game plan, aka 3/4-mile uphill effort. I felt lighter on my feet, as if I was climbing at an easier effort in about the same amount of time as previous attempts.
Trail time! My legs were feeling the weight of the week, and I needed a shake-up. I laced up the trail shoes (Nike Wildhorse), pressed play on a podcast, and eased across the rocky terrain of South Table Mesa.
I listened to a Finding Mastery conversation with ESPN extreme sports reporter, Alyssa Roenigk. MG dug deep into her identity as a storyteller. I’m shy, introverted, and engineer-y, so I’m pretty pathetic in my delivery of any such tales. Instead, I try my best to absorb and take queues from those who are gifted storytellers.
Poignant: “Accepting people for who they are, not who we want them to be.”
This being the 3rd week of my 4 week cycle, I was a little reluctant to take on a new road route, but excited to venture into the unknown. I’d know about a road connecting White Ranch to Golden Gate Canyon State Park for some time. In fact, I attempted to run it last month, though I drove up the wrong canyon!
The route appeared opportune: a quiet road stretching 11-miles with rolling hills between 7,000 and 8,500 feet above sea-level.
I parked at the intersection of Golden Gate Canyon Road and Crawford Gulch, tapped on the metronome, packed 3 gels and 2 handhelds of watered-down Tailwind, and off I went.
I think about a lot of things while running. I swear the metronome puts me into a trance. I think about running things – form and cadence. I think about life things — relationships and role models. I think about my habits — proactive with traditions and providing tangible meaning to friends and relatives. Many thoughts simply disappear as quickly as they came, and like waking from a vivid dream, I can barely remember why, how, or what about them.
I tried my darnedest to come up with a cool name for this route. It seemed comparable to Mags (Magnolia Road) in Boulder, so I was conjuring the likes of “The Craw” – short for Crawford Gulch, or just “Crawf”. Then it hit me around mile 19: CGBG. Crawford Gulch and Butler Gulch, the two roads I was traversing. I was ecstatic. What name gives running underground street cred than one hinting at the birthplace of NYC punk rock?
My cooler-than-cool name lasted for about an hour. While sipping an Americano at Pangea in Golden, I revisited my route on Strava only to realized that there was no Butler Gulch, but rather Drew Hill. Way off. CGDH is not as cool, but talk to me in 20-years when college XC teams from across the nation travel to Golden Gate Canyon for “the CGDH experience.”
I’ve purposely left out a few details about the road. It’s worth a visit. I created a couple Strava segments on the route that’ll make the hair stand on the back of your neck.
Julia is now thinking of running the Seattle Marathon. The only descriptor for the course: Hilly. My response: Fear. But why am I fearful?? Hills are my strength. I internalize the root of this fear as, “Oh, I’m going to try so hard in a sea-level marathon, and may not even get a PR because of difficult terrain.” This thought is blasphemy.
Inherently, I define all of marathon training and marathon racing by one number: the goal finishing time. Whether it’s for a Boston Marathon qualifying time or a sub 4-hour 26.2, we dig ourselves a deep grave by defining ourselves by an arbitrary time goal.
PRs (personal records) mean very little. Every race is different, even on the same course, weather, health, training all contribute to a different race. A PR at Boston does not compare to a finishing time at CIM. Yet, we define a whole season of training by a single day and a few hours of effort under the utmost stress & strain?
I for one need to drill down the mindset of my Wings For Life training. The answer: Journey. I run one mile at a time, and I run that mile at a pace that I think I can maintain through to the last mile. Journey.
Endurance Changes Time,