Updates, Failure, and Week 2 in Review

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ImageFirst things first, I updated the design of the blog. Hurrah! I feel like the new design sets a better tone. I hope I didn’t confuse anyone and that you all like it as well.

Second things second, this week in review. (See what I did there?) So, I would love to start off by saying that this week went better than last week and I ate completely healthy. But the reality of everything is that we aren’t machines. We are going to fail. And we are going to indulge. The key is not in the failure; the key is in the rebound. The key is in getting yourself back up when you fell flat on your face and got beat like Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed did.

As a junior high school teacher, I try to teach this lesson everyday. In my classroom, failure is a part of the process. I expect my students to fail at something through out the year. It’s how they and we learn. I always tell them that if they never failed, they wouldn’t need to be in my room. It is coming face to face with challenges that show us what we are made of. Once failure occurs, we can learn what we did wrong and correct it. “You get more out of losing than you do winning.”

And with that I review my week. I ran only twice. My goal is always 3 times a week, but at least 2 is still a nice week. Monday was excellent and I ran 3.86 miles in 41:54, so an average of 10:51. That was a record for both distance and speed. I felt on top of the world. I was ready to tackle the week!

But then the rest of the week happened. I did not run Wednesday. Thursday was a big test day in my class that resulted in 0% of my students passing. Came to find out that this was due to an error somewhere in the answers rubric, so I got to take the test to find the mistake. Stress. Fixed it. Stress. 31% passed. A little less stress. And when we are stressed what do we do? That’s right, bury our anxiety into little bowls of ice cream, or peach pie, or McDonald’s chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce. . . . Okay, I digress. The point is I ran away from my healthy food. Friday I felt like a failure, so that night I re-determined to run. (I know myself too well. I take too much time off and all of a sudden it is 3 months later and I never started running again.) I did not want that to happen again. So, I ran. I threw my gear on and put foot to pavement and I ran. I listened to familiar tunes and I ran. I thought about revising my books and I ran. And though I did not set any records for myself. I did do a nice 5k in under 40 minutes. It as a nice end to my week and a reminder that during this process I am going to fail, but it’s what comes after that just might show me what I truly am made of.

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Day #46: The 4 Stages of Runners

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This is a funny look at being a runner. I’m not quite sure where I am in this continuum.

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The Wheezer

The most neanderthal of distance runners is the least developed cardio-vascularly – and perhaps more importantly, psychologically, for the run – but with a benefit in the areas of modesty and obliviousness to the coming pain — and joys. Welcome to the Wheezer!

The Wheezer wheezes, of course, and complains constantly. After all, he is just beginning to train – in some cases after very long lay-offs from physical activity. Usually, the Wheezer’s complaints center around a lack of a capacity to get oxygen. The 5km a day plan is great for this uninitiated fellow because the effort to run the daily 3 miles rarely ends in utter exhaustion – a fate which cuts short many would-be runners’ careers. Wheeze for 30 minutes, and I will see you tomorrow…

The Watcher

Next comes the ‘Watch’-er. This is the gadget-oriented runner, and we have all been one — and…

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Week 1

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This past week has been quite a whirlwind, I must say. First, let me begin by expressing my deepest gratitude for those of you who have stopped by, liked the blog, and are following me. It’s has been quite encouraging and humbling, and I do thank you all. I look forward to the many comments and critiques you all will have for my writing and my continued quest for running.

Speaking of running, I had quite the week. Let . . . me. . . tell . . you. Now, I only did 2 of my 3 running days (I know, I know, you’re all thinking “slacker..”), but what incredible days those were!

First, day 1: So, there I was walking down my street in utter darkness towards my running park and thinking back towards Friday when I had run 3 miles for the first time. (See first post, The Beginning, below) And honestly, I really was not in the mood for running. See, mere hours after my first post, while grocery shopping, my wife’s car Tanya Hardinged my knee. (And for those of you who can’t remember the Tanya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan feud you should google it. If I recall, they caught the incident on film. Quite shocking still.) Anywho, my knee was bruised and sore and that day at work had been very stressful. So, really, my old nature just wanted to sit on the couch and eat bon-bons . . . or Cocoa Puffs. . . . But I had committed to running days and I didn’t want it to be about my feelings; hence the walking in utter darkness. And as the steady rhythm to David Crowder’s “O Praise Him” pounded in my ears, I trudged toward the park. As my eclectic mix of music rolled on and the staccato drums of “Semi-Charmed Kind of Life” sprang to life in my ears I started the run. I was doing fine at a slow pace, but each step bade me quit. My knee was hurting and in turn my back was hurting,and I just kept fighting the urge to give up. I tried to focus on each song that played and run to the beat, but the pain crowded my concentration. I carried on step after step like this until I finally made it back home. When I looked at my app I saw this: Image It was a new record! I was very excited, but I knew that in order to run a 5k, I needed to run further. I resolved to changed my route in order to run at least 3.25 miles the next time.

Day 2: Again I was not feeling it. My knee felt better, but the work week was not going well and instead of using the running to vent my frustrations, I just didn’t want to go. I even left an hour later which typically meant the park was going to be completely dark. Well, I strapped on my shoes and threw on my headgear and bounded out of the house knowing that I was either going to break my record or give up. There was no middle ground for me. So, I began and as I started running, the night air was much more humid than it had been, and I knew summer was starting to set in. (We don’t really get Spring.) The only activity in the park was a football team practicing giving me my only distraction from the monotony of my shoes and the pavement. I pushed through each mile listening to the voice of my digital coach calling out the times and distances until I came upon my last lap. I was at the point of no return, and my body knew it. It did not want to keep going but I was determined that I made it this far and I needed to finish. As I turned in the middle of the park and headed for home on my last stretch, the app called out, “Workout complete,” . . . and I was still running. By the time I hit the parking lot to the park, I worried my app had stopped counting distance for I had not heard anything in a while. The last distance I recalled was 2.68 miles. But sure enough, as a constant wind guiding ships across the sea, my coach showed up to let me know I had already run 3.35 miles. I was impressed and relieved. But I was not home. I wanted to see how far I could push. So I kept going and going and going and . . . (well you get the idea) until I reached this:Image

A new record once again!! And my body was spent. My body hurt.

Day 3 came, ending my week, and i discovered that I had lost 5lbs, and this time I was actually looking forward to running. Ironically, it did not pan out. Due to family necessities I was forced to abandon my day of running. But this just gives me a new excitement for Day 1 next week. Until then, please, do, continue to read and comment.

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