In the wake of our Tahoe experience I left for a few days with family in the Seattle area – Bainbridge Island. I was still recovering from the 16 total miles only days ago – more than two and a half times more than my longest run in the past 4 months. I was not specifically sore after a couple days but I did feel a bit sluggish and just worn out.
I went for a run with my brother, Jim (yes, the same one who comments on here from time to time). Early in the morning we ventured out for an “easy” run – about 5 miles. Nothing is flat on the island. only half a mile into the run and heading downhill – bantering back and forth as usual – my brother perks up and says “Well at least we have a downhill to loosen up on instead of an uphill.”
Feeling less than spiffy, I didn’t hesitate – in my grumpiest of intonations my response was “ya, it just means we’ll be heading uphill soon and hurting more than ever. Is nothing flat on this island?”
Jim looks at me and let me have it.
“Well, aren’t you little Miss Sunshine today!”
“Aren’t you the one who teaches this kind of thing?”
“What’s this, do as you say but not as you do …?”
“I’m going to call you Eeyore the rest of the day.”
“Go find your rose colored glasses and don’t come back until you find them!”
Ok, look, everyone has those moments. But, of course, when you espouse this stuff publicly you sure are a sitting duck when you don’t follow your own advice. He was right (which was a first). We joked about writing about it for the blog. It is a vivid example of how someone who teaches this stuff, even someone who only days before ran way beyond his physical condition would indicate and was mentally as tough as anyone in the race is susceptible to the very same distractors as everyone else; race or practice.
Mental toughness and the ability to stay focused on the “right” things is not easy. It is something that requires practice, diligence and persistence. So, let this be a lesson to everyone – stay with it, don’t give in, get back at it when you drift, take one step at a time and your goals will come to you.
And don’t read my brother’s comments to follow.