Accentuate the positive - running lessons

I spent quite a while on the phone with Kris last night, she's got another opportunity she is considering and we talked it through. I often meet people in whom I see greatness, by no means everyone, although a real optimist, I wouldn't tell someone how good or capable they are if they didn't have it and I'm very attracted to those that have, either emotionally, physically or organisationally(esp. at work).

For what ever reason Kris doesn't see her self the way I do, and she doesn't have the same desire to go that extra mile when I would. Thats not bad, it's one of the reasons I put myself under a lot of stress, I wish I could just let unimportant things slide sometimes.

Anyway, our discussion played on my mind overnight, and I woke up early and decided to go do the 6-mail run that I had failed on twice lately. After I got into my stride, nearly got run over at the light on Mary/S 1st by a guy in a Volvo he just never looked right when he stopped, I started to think about things.

Was I trying to live out my dreams/desires/failings through other peoples success? It's one of those things that happens to a lot of middleage guys, you see it most in kids sports, both the coaches and the Dads. I really don't think so, I'm more successful than I ever thought I would be.

So what is it? I couldn't find an answer while running but what I soon realised that I had perception issue when I was running. I focus on the negatives and make excuses for my running. Instead of celebrating the fact that I can turn in a reasonable 5k, have a half marathon time that isn't an embarrassment, I focus on the fact that my runs are not as good because I have a bad leg, because my weight hovers around 200lbs, because I don't train enough etc.

So, from now on I'm done with the negative thoughts. I'm also done with the Adult Oriented Rock music on my MP3 player, I'm fed-up listening to uptempo guitar led tracks with a bunch of guys singing about the woman they lost, the screw-ups they made etc. Even if it is good when its loud, most of the lyrics just are not positive. Even some of my favorite tracks by Hard-Fi, Green Day, White Stripes, Artic Monkeys et al are NOT positive.

So, from now on, it's time to accentuate the positive.

1. My footstrike is hugely better this year after the treatment by Brian and AJ at Advanced Rehab
2. I have a great 10k time despite the fact I have one leg 2" shorter
3. I have some pain in my knees and hips but I still run more than many people my age
4. I may not be as fast as the 140-150lb guys in my age group, but even without my leg problems I'd have never been their weight and would never be as fast at running, and probably wasn't at school, I'll whoop them on the bike though!
5. My Team GB Triathlon shorts still fit and are comfortable almost 4-years after I was in the GB Team for the European Triathlon Championships - how many people have raced for their country!

These are the things I'm going to focus on over the next few months

1. Foot strike, always light on the toes and heels, always push off
2. Economic arms, tucked in, easy and relaxed, Swinging arms takes energy away from other parts of the body and acts as a brake
3. Happy music - time to load up happy music on the MP3 player, it's probably no coincidence that I got around in a reasonable time and with good running form because I loaded up Hed Kandi World Series Mix 1 on the MP3 player - I love uplifting house music!


ps. My name will be in the (UK) Daily Telegraph on Thursday 13th September 2007 and in the Sunday Telegraph on the 16th September 2007 and will appear on the Daily Telegraph website* as the formal announcement of my appointment as a Fellow of the British Computer Society, so it's official.
  • Current Location: Austin, Texas
  • Current Mood: High
  • Current Music: Discon Heaven Mix, Hed Kandi World Series
I have had this exact problem quite a bit this year. It's especially apparent when I'm racing, in group training or otherwise being watched. I wish the positives would come more naturally.

Glad you're addressing the issue the right way!!
Happy to chat one day if you want, feel free to to ping me on S/T and we can either meet somewhere for lunch, or you could come to 045 for lunch(yikes!)
like that attitude!
I think you're quite an inspiration especially given your challenges. Sometimes when I think I'm not doing so well in the running department I remember one of my votes for the One More Mile shirt slogan contest: "my running shoes have more miles than your car"
Congrats on the 'formal announcement'!
*bows to His royalty*

I am pleased to see your conscious awareness so focused on Positivity. For years I've used my morning walk as a "Prayer Walk" & "Positive Thinking" practice. I will literally use my time to think of and say as many Gratitudes & Affirmations I can come up with.. & yes.. I repeat myself pretty often. But those days when I hear myself only repeat a couple.. it's ever so astounding!!

I love World Music.. can't always understand the lyrics except for some of my training in Latin. My favorite is Saharan Lounge by Putumayo. They have so many yummy goodies!!

Also, in an earlier chat, Matty suggested a band called "Jimmy Eat World". I've only heard one of their songs but you may wanna sample a few bites. *grins*

Re: !!
No, not really. We could debate forever, but its much more house music than techno. But, you get the point

and yes, there I am earplugs in MP3 player booming along, running along the trail singing "Baby, let me, be me, those were, the words you, gave me,
never, felt this way, before" - ahh yes, they'll be a few people saying did you see that weird Brit on the trail today!
FBCS - nice one! Congratulations :)

On the topic of exercise music, I abandoned early on music that I normally listened to when I was in training for the Great North Run. I found a podcast called Podrunner which contained hour long fixed BPM mixes of dance style music. I can't stand listening to that normally, but it worked really well for running. Also, the iTunes music store has quite a bit of music targeted at runners.
Thanks Ian.

I don't do iTunes, I have enough music, I've just been listening to the wrong stuff lately. If you are interested there are a ton of mixes by upcoming and home mixers, use this tag list
I frequently talk myself out of a lot of things but particularly training. I echo your sentiment and think it's great that you're focussing on the positive. Oh and well done on the appointment - I'll look out for the entries!
Yes, talking yourself out of training is a common thread both amongst the triathletes here on LJ, and in real time. I can't tell you how many times I organised club training events only for half or more of the attendees to drop out for one reason or another. But that is the nature of the beast!

Howz the water up north, warmed up yet ?