Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finding an Alternate Fuel Source

Note: There has been a week delay in posting this. I think I decided not to post it originally because I am becoming tired with myself for saying what I am going to do when I should be doing what I say I am going to do. If that makes sense. Whether I will carry through with my plans as stated below is yet to be seen but I think I was able to take some baby steps towards my goal during my race and the first step is always the hardest so here goes.

Have you ever stopped to consider what powers you through a race? What fuel source do you call on to keep you motivated and moving? I asked myself that question yesterday at 1km of a 5.3km cross country race. I had hit that point where energy and exhilaration had been replaced with tiredness and hurt and was wondering why I do this to myself again and again. That thought usually triggers a response of thinking about quitting which then leads to my becoming desperate to NOT FAIL. I call on my desperation to keep me moving even when I want to stop and though desperation is a powerful fuel I have discovered lately that it is not the best fuel source for me. While in that state I am trying TO NOT DO certain things such as fail, lose etc. rather then trying TO DO certain things such as SUCCEED, WIN etc. I am not an expert but I do think it makes sense that negative motivation is not as good or powerful as positive motivation as a fuel source.

So there I was at 1km beginning to feel desperate and not wanting to go down the, "I want to quit road" again I began to analyze(so much for running dumb like a horse) what I was truly feeling and what I realized was that I really didn't want to quit, what I wanted was to stop being desperate about not beating certain people, not running X time and all I really wanted to do was run hard and feel good doing it(run dumb like horse?). So I did it, I let go of the desperation that usually fuels my races and switched to FEEL GOOD ENERGY mode. The old feeling of desperation did try to poke itself into my head every now and again and made me question whether I was using my new found philosophy as a reason to not try my best, however I kept coming back to the fact that I really don't want to run "desperate" anymore. I just plain need more motivation then being worried about NOT reaching my goals to fuel my races these days.

As I sit here now I am not sure what is going to fuel me in my future races but I do know that running strong and proud is better for me then running scared and desperate and if that costs me 100 metres at the end of a 5km race then so be it. I do think that I will run better and for longer if  I enjoy my races more and although switching fuel sources may hurt me in the short run I am confident that in the long run it is the best thing I can do for myself. Switching from desperation to an alternate fuel source is going to be hard for me. Yesterday I tried running on "FEEL GOOD ENERGY" and it did well for me but I do think there are more powerful fuels sources I have yet to tap into and finding the right blend for me will take some time. What I do know now is that not all fuel sources are created equal and though they all have positive and negative aspects to them it is the ones that power me through a race but then eat away at my insides afterwards that I need to avoid at all cost.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Running Shoes and Toilets

Warning: This is a ramble, unedited and uncensored. I won't even spell check and be warned I can not spell well so this should be fun.(BLOGGER NEEDS SPELL CHECK)

Q: What do modern running shoes and modern toilets have in common?
A: Both inventions tried to fix a problem that really never needed fixing.

OK running shoes in general were not a problem until someone had the idea that we needed to pad our heels more so we could heel strike more comfortably and then someone decided we need pronation support(god forbid we try to strengthening our feet when a bit of ridgid plastic can support our bones and tendons and muscles for us) all of which has weakened our feet enslaving us further to the clutches of our running shoes laces. Yes I am being a bit dramatic here but it does seem to me that the more advanced we are getting the less natural we are becoming and so less human. Which brings me to the "toilet" part of my ramble. For goodness sake we humans of the Western World don't even know how to have a proper bowel movement. Sitting on a toilet the way we do is an unnatural position for getting the job done. It is not only unnatural but it is also unhealthy and whoever had the idea to build the first "sitting" toilet pretty much set us all up for a long string of physical problems which permeate our society today. I am not going to go into the list of the internal reasons why we should not be sitting while using the "potty" but can read for yourself here and here and here. The one reason this sitting vs squatting issue has irked me is my personal inability to squat without tipping over backwards due to my tight short Achilles tendon . Squatting to stretch my Achilles and soleus has been an ongoing battle for me and although I am making progress it is very evident that what should be a natural position is virtually impossible for me to hold while barefoot. Yet if I were to have lived a few centuries ago that same position would be a natural one, one I would have held every morning(after my coffee of course), perhaps noon and night. I am sure heeled shoes also play into my current disability. Yes that's right, we are all disabled. If you can't squat without a heeled shoe and hold it for a few minutes than you are less abled then every person aged 2 -100 who lived at time when squatting was the way of the world. People squatted to eat, squatted to work, squatted to rest, squatted to relieve themselves. But you know what, I can't do it and neither can you. We are a weaker less mobile kind of a human that once inhabited this earth and knowing that doesn't make me happy for our progress it makes me mad at how we tend to screw things up when we think we are making things better.

Rant over.
Running has been going well. Lots of long slow kms at 120 bpm. My tight calf that pulled on my foot when I ran Emilie's Run has loosened up a bit from my rehab exercises and stretching and the foot has held up well to the increased time on my feet. I have a 5km race this weekend and although I am not optimally trained for the speed I think running with a happy foot and calf will make up for the lack of intensity of my current training. There are so many layers to training and getting back to basics and adding in the longer runs really feels like it was the right thing to do. I am happy and lucky to have a great coach who knows when it is time to pull back, regroup and make changes.
A favorite quote I have been using lately from Tony Robbins, "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."

Note: For the past 3 years I have run "The Sandbanks 5km" at this time of year however I entered a contest to design a logo for an upcoming local race called "Run With The Wild" and I decided that if I won the contest then I would run that race instead. Well I won the contest which asked you to draw something you would see in the wild near the race course. Here is my entry and winning design. I call it, "The Wild Man of Lemoine Point".