Friday, April 22, 2011

State of the (Running) Union

Over the last 6 months or so, as I've made the transition from triathlon training to primarily run training, I've found that my philosophy of training has changed as well. Triathlon, or multisport, is heavily geared towards competition and has the HTFU mentality of never slowing down, never taking it easy. That just doesn't gibe with my personality, which is more sloth than cheetah. I also realized that I had no interest in competition and have eschewed races this year, in favor of progressing at my own pace towards markers I wish to achieve. I'm not following any plan, just running 3 days a week and cycling on the off days both as crosstraining and a way to work opposing muscle groups. So far it's been a nice progression: I'm up to two 45 minute runs and a long run of about 2 hours. At some point I'll try adding some back-to-back long runs on the weekends and will then decide if they fit in to my plans or not. The cycling has lagged, as I usually don't feel like riding very long on the trainer. Now that the weather is changing (is the weather changing?), I hope to start riding longer as well.

I had hoped to run my first ultra this year, and that is still a marker I'll hit, but I'm in no hurry - when it happens, it happens. For next year my main goal is to run a multiday journey from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, but again, if it happens, great, if not, it will come. At some point I'd like to run to our family's lakeside cottage in Michigan, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred miles - it will be unsupported and easily the most ambitious thing I've ever tried in terms of endurance. No specific date, just a specific goal.

My main concen is that this admittedly lackadaisical attitude will simply delay all these goals and they will never get done. That's a real possibility, but, since I'm enjoying the journey more than ever, I also expect that they will happen in due time, unless I get distracted...SQUIRREL!!!!


  1. I think that's a great, healthy outlook on sport. People tend to burnout on the HTFU mentality, and lose the "fun" aspect of training, which, after all, is why most of us are out there to begin with.

  2. I politely disagree, I think all sports regardless if its multisport, bikers, or runners, have the "racers that only are in it for the competition" and also every sport has the "I am just happy to be able to do this" crowd.

  3. Seems like you are progressing at a nice, healthy pace. Love my sloth:)

  4. I think it is great to do what you want, on your own watch, without getting caught up in what might be the wrong goals. You'll know when you want to step it up or race. Until then, enjoy the ride!

  5. I like your attitude about meeting your goals. I think sometimes people get so caught up in the goal, that they miss what's happening around them. As a mom, I've had to rethink how/when I want to achieve my goals b/c although I have things I want to do, I don't want to do them if it interferes with my family. Does that make sense??

    LOVE the "squirrel" at the end...Up was a great movie!

  6. Ha ha...Squirrel! Enjoy your own pace...that's what makes life sweet!

  7. I need a challenge usually to keep motivated, but it doesn't have to be a race or against others necessarily. I have to be careful not to get so caught up in the end goal that I hate getting there. I think your perspective is great for long term success!

  8. Check the boxes that I apply:

    __ I am healthier

    __ I am happier

    __ I am stronger

    __ I am more aware

    If you check some or all of these boxes, then you are on the right track.

    I think the only thing you have to watch is how and when you question your motivation. You know you, so you'll know if the lack of motivation is procrastination or just the natural order of things as it relates to you getting ready to do what you want to do. My sense is that you want to put a few epic adventures under your belt, so just make sure you get to do that.

  9. what's that saying? it's the journey not the destination? I think it's a bit of both.

  10. As your series on why we race shows, everyone has different reasons and different expectations. No rights or wrongs there just is.

  11. I LOVE your attitude. For me it is really not about "racing". It's about having a good time!!!! I'm defintely no cheetah, but I'll pick turtle over sloth, as they are cuter.

  12. I like the attention that you're paying to your motivations. Why race if that's not what you're feeling right now? Just enjoy it.

  13. I love this post! Very genuine!

    And your goals are great ones - sounds fun. And you seem motivated.

    I'm inspired :)

  14. ahhhhhhhhhh the Trail Guru HAS SPOKEN. And spoken like he see's it. Good for you man

  15. I am all about letting myself get distracted by those squirrels ;-) Life's too short to let those awesome little critters go unnoticed :P

    That's not to say that I have zero focus…

    Let's run 'n' have fun :)

    Hope that multiday journey ends up panning out for you…it sounds like a truly incredible experience.

  16. Running to the cottage would be an awesome feat.... and you get a vacation at the end of the run :-)

  17. My mind's wants are different than my will's. I want to run more marathons, faster PR's, try an ultra... But when it comes to the day-to-day training I do not focus easily (and take too many off days).

    I know this isn't quite what you were saying, but to me it's the same thing;) sorta. Maybe I have too many squirrels?

    Anyway, I do like your two goals - I know you'll check them off!

  18. I know where you're coming from. To me, sometimes the satisfaction is in the journey.....


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