Posted by: Drew | July 7, 2008

When will I learn?

Cross posted over at my Equivita / Five Keys Fitness blog.  I’ll have my running mileage path updated later.


Some web browsers are set up with Auto-Complete functionality enabled, where if you begin typing something in a particular field (address, phone number, title, etc.) that you’ve typed before, it presents you with the ability to complete the entry with a single click to save you some typing. I find this to be a useful tool when completing entry forms for online purchases, etc. And I’ve recently found it to be an enlightening tool when it comes to my writings.

Last week, I started a private entry in my running log titled “I need a running buddy”. Turns out, I’d made an entry with the exact same wording almost a year, to the day, prior. How odd.

Today, I’m typing the title of this post, “When will I learn?”, and it prepopulated for me. I’m tempted to believe that I’m repeating myself. I’m also tempted to believe that I’m having difficulty learning from life as it passes me by. Both may be true.

What I’m most inclined to take away from the crappy schedule I’ve kept over the past two weeks is that I need a plan and said plan needs to be posted on my refridgerator. Otherwise, I make it too easy for “life” to get in the way and distract me from progressing.

I’m a runner, but I’m also many other things. Balance is not something that I’m noted for acheiving. My typical path in a hobby (aka, things I like) is this:

  1. Introduction by chance
  2. Casual interest blooms into obsession
  3. Obsession manifests itself physically and mentally, and like a flame it’s insatiable consumption eventually marks it’s demise.

I like running, and I don’t want to quit. But I’m deathly afraid that if I let my emotions guide my running rather than reason that I will be done before I know it. This is not something I want to accept, and my goal going forward is to be reasonable.

Why is all of this coming to the fore right now? Who knows. All I know for sure is that I’ve run less than 12 miles in the last 2 weeks, and that’s not going to cut it. The emotional side of my brain is telling me that I need to make up what I’ve missed if I’m to have any chance of doing well in November. I also hear rumblings that attempting to do a marathon with the base (or lack thereof) that I have is stupid.

You know what, I think that “they” are kind of right. But I also don’t care. I’ve stated all along that I have no goal for November 23 other than to show up, have fun, and finish. I don’t need to run the whole thing without stopping. I don’t need to finish under four hours (or even five!). I don’t need to worry about placement, time, the opinions of others, or anything other than what I want to get out of this event. And that’s doing a marathon.

It’s suggested in some circles that doing a marathon just to do it is less than noble. From the standpoint of those people, I understand and accept this statement. But I have to be careful not to let the thoughts of others become my own without reason. I’m not to the point where I can say that I’m suitably trained for really any distance, let alone a race that covers 26.2 miles. I feel comfortable in saying that if you put a gun to my head and said, “run XX miles or you’re a dead man,” that I could do it. But I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near my potential at any distance. For that, I need to exercise patience. Something else of which I’m not noted for possessing massive amounts.

The marathon will come, I will be there, I will finish. It may not be pretty, it will likely hurt, but it will be. There are highs and lows in every cycle, and I wouldn’t call this a high. It will be hard work to get where I need to be, and now is the time to plot the path back to good times.

Did I mention that nine or ten months is a long time to be thinking about a goal race for someone so new to the sport? Sheesh…


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