Rules and Laws of Running

Tenacity = my key to marathon success

"I could never run a marathon!"

To every person who's ever uttered those words to me, I respond, "More people can run a marathon than you'd think." 

There are more people who have amazed themselves by completing a marathon, people who never dreamed they'd attempt one, let alone go back and do it again.  And completing a marathon sets the stage for even more staggering accomplishments.

I’ve fumbled my way through running marathons.

My first few marathons were many years ago.  I was fit and blessed to run times that easily qualified for Boston.  But I was foolish and preoccupied with other matters in life like falling in love, getting married, homeowning, and career.  What a waste!

Fast forward several decades.  I set my sites on qualifying for Boston after I’d been away from marathoning, added a few pounds, and slowed a bit.

Qualifying for Boston took me five tries over four years, including two near misses by less than two minutes and one heartbreaking miss by 53 seconds.  The other misses weren’t even close.  Each time I was hyped going into each marathon certain I would BQ.  These marathons went very well, hanging onto goal pace, until the final miles when the cramps set in and I watched the BQ fade away.

First thoughts when crossing the finish line after missing a BQ were, “Never again,” and “What’s the use?”  It was easy to write off my BQ goal and just assume I’d never hit it, that it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

Each new marathon experience taught me more about training, pacing, race strategy, and my mental game.  I listened to others talk about their marathon success, tweaked my routine to strengthen my training and came closer. 

When I finally earned my BQ, it all came together, and I owed it to the right blend of mileage, speed, recovery.  But mostly I owed it to tenacity.  If I’d stopped trying to BQ after missing the first four times, I’d never known the thrill and honor of running Boston several years ago. 

These days, I’m trying to BQ again in order to get to the start in Hopkinton in 2010.  I’ve aged up to a new qualifying standard, but it doesn’t seem a whole lot easier.

Ask someone who's BQ'd or achieved another race milestone.  Those with humility will tell you it's not as unachievable as you'd lead yourself to believe.  One of my heroes, Marathon Dude Bill, has a marathon career that began ordinary and has reached phenomenal levels.  We can amaze ourselves!

But it's not all about running the Boston Marathon.

Whether you’re trying to BQ or run under six, five, or four hours, the effort is worth achieving the goal.  Whether you’re preparing for your first marathon, half marathon, or PR at another distance, the learning along the way is as valuable as running the distance itself.

No dramatics here.  I know talent is always a factor, but for me the key was and still is tenacity.  Every missed goal makes reaching a goal seem more possible, likely, and worthwhile.

It was sooo obvious--spacing my runs

Putting space between the important stuff has never been my strong suit.  My mom had her first four kids in five years.  My wife and I had our daughter and son a little more than 12 months apart.  Then we wised up and put a little more space between child #2 and child #3.  Since then I've learned the importance of spacing in running too.

Pace_yourself_2 For years I've run at the same time every day, in the mornings.  Morning running worked for all kinds of reasons—the family’s routine, my job, and overall because I’m a morning person.

Occasionally I’ve flexed around the demands of the day and squeezed in a noon time, afternoon, or evening run.  No problem.  But I've never consistently switched to running at a different time of day. 

That's because I've come to realize a lesson about the time of my runs.  It’s not the time of day I run as much as the spacing of my runs—the amount of recovery my body gets in between runs—that matters.

When I run at noon one day and return to running the next morning, that leaves only 18 hours between runs while missing roughly 25% of the normal recovery my body is accustomed to.  And when I run in the evening and then resume running the next morning, my recovery is cut in half.

For me getting 24 hours of recovery makes a big difference.  I’m convinced it’s the later hours of recovery are when my strength and flexibility returns.  Plus I’m re-energized and more mentally ready after a full 24 hour recovery.

When you love running just to re-charge and beat stress, spacing might not seem quite such a big deal. But when you love running and you want to make the most of your runs, spacing your runs matters.

This week we're focusing on those "It was so obvious,"  lessons about running that are right in front of our noses—the ones so obvious we need to be hit over the head with a club.  Hope you're planning to share your lessons on Take It And Run Thursday

But don't look too hard.  Those "It was so obvious" lessons about running tend to stare us right in the face.

Pace Yourself on Flickr by Qwurky

Universal Truths about Running Injuries

Some posts this week at Runners’ Lounge, including Take It and Run Thursday, are dedicated to running injuries.

Mss Injuries are a major blow to a runner.  We’re caught off guard and the timing is always rotten.  When injured, we tend to do dumb things—run through it, self-diagnose, ignore the cause, and ultimately delay our actual recovery.  I’ve lived a very fortunate runners’ life, but not free of injury.  Below are some universal truths I've discovered about running injuries.

We own responsibility for our active recovery

Not every injury is our fault.  But we do govern the details of our recovery. The minute we’re injured, the body starts healing, even though it doesn’t always feel that way.  We can accelerate the process with cross training, sleeping well, eating well, and fueling our minds with positive thoughts. 

We also need to stop being our own worst enemy by coming back too soon using the old excuse of “running a little just to see how it feels.”   A premature return to running is generally a double setback.  It’s like pulling up plants to check if the roots are still growing.  Yup, they're growing, but now the plant's natural progress is traumatized.  Couldn't I just leave the content plant—or my injury—to rest?

Beware of amateur diagnosis

We may refer to an injury by a common name, but it ain’t necessarily so.  A friend thought he was battling plantar fasciitis after another runner had convinced him he had it.  After asking a few questions, it was clear to me he didn’t have PF.  Instead he had Achilles tendonitis.  I assured him there is a difference, but that he should have it confirmed.  So the lesson here is one runner’s pain is not identical to another’s.  For example there is a bucket full of types of knee pain, and the sooner we find out what it is, then the cause, the sooner we can correct it.

May strength be your guide

Many injuries can be prevented or treated with more strength.  As runners, we are prone to building muscle imbalance.  The range of motion in running builds Everests out of some muscles and reduces other muscles to silly putty.  A brilliant PT once explained to me an injury related to four muscles in my calf.  The two inside muscles were the problem, but the outside two  muscles were not.  So the PT taught me to apply the “muscle buddy” system, by strengthening the healthy buddy muscles around the sore muscles.  After a few days of recruiting the healthy muscles to help out the inflamed muscles, the pain went away.  Since then I’ve learned to strengthen all muscles in the area of soreness.  Which leads me to the next truth.

Healthy_runners_handbook_2 We are smarter runners after an injury 

The most important stuff I know about muscles I’ve learned related to an injury.  In those runner crises I’ve learned to identify—and sometimes even pronounce—which muscles are upset with me, the difference between a pull, a strain, and soreness etc.  When I’m healthy, I run naively along ignoring what’s going on.  When I’m injured, a chart of the muscular-skeletal system is my friend.

When we're injured, we're often nasty.  Filled with frustration and impatience, we're miserable company.  Later, we're indebted with gratitude when we finally nail the cause and remedy to an injury.  Injuries humble us with so much to learn.  Great resourcea on the topic of injuries are the Healthy Runner's Handbook and The Competitive Runner’s Handbook.  Both discuss:

  • Questions to Ask When Injured
  • Warning Signs For Injury
  • Psychological Aspects of Injury—Denial, Anger, Depression, and Acceptance
  • Specific Treatments for Common Injuries—the questions to ask when Injured

Find and make maximum use of the BEST physical therapist

An awesome physical therapist is worth his/her weight in gold.  The key is finding the right one.  Ask around until you find a PT who is also a runner or who serves the bulk of runners in your community.

  • A good physical therapist is capable of diagnosing an injury and treating you on the spot and sending you on your way with exercises to recover. 
  • A great physical therapist will also educate you to understand your injury, its cause, and how to reduce the chances of it recurring.
  • The best physical therapist will do everything possible to keep you running while you’re rehabbing .

Reading about running injuries is like reading a lover's diary detailing a break up.  Still, we learn a lot from each others, and we believe this week’s focus on running injuries will be enlightening and helpful. 

Things I Figured Out The Hard Way

I have a nasty habit of continuing to make the same mistakes with my running many times Truth over instead of learning from my my missteps.   Which, of course, just frustrates me even more which leads to another blunder.  When we started blogging, I made a promise to myself to write down all the stupid things I did so I wouldn't forget them. 

True to my promise, as I have tripped over these laws and fumbled with my running over the last year, I have posted about it so I wouldn't forget the lessons I have learned.  In the process, I realized that instead of working against the natural order of things I need to work with the natural "laws" of running. 

In the spirit of "I wish I knew then, what I know now..." for Take It and Run Thursday, here is a recap of the natural laws I stumbled over in the last year:

7 Truths of Running   

Rules for Beginning Runners

Natural Law:  Overcoming Inertia - The only cure for a long break in running is just getting back out there.

Natural Law:  Manage Your Risks - Manage the "risks" of your running or they will manage you.

Natural Law:  The Same Thing - The same thing that got me into this injury is the same thing that will get me out.

Natural Law:  Your Gotta' Wanna - Your body runs the distance, but your mind wins the race.  You can't forget your 'gotta' wanna'.

Natural Law:  Smart Person, Stupid Runner - Our passion for running can result in stupid decisions from smart people.

Natural Law:  Change - You gotta' change your running to change your results.

Natural Law:  Running Weight - When you start training for an event, you first gain weight before you can take it off.

Natural Law:  Good Runs.  Not So Good Runs. - Good runs provide motivation.  Not so good runs provide learning.

Natural Law:  The First Mile - The first mile is always hard

The Rules to Becoming a Runner - Run Your Run.

In my best estimation, there are another 100 or so out there to be reminded of and write down.  It makes me look forward to another 50-70 years of running. 

Wow...all the things I still have yet to learn (and remember)....

7 Truths of Running

I have been recently tagged by Angela and Art to tell 7 things about me.   I did this in November and really don't know if there are 7 more things I could tell you about myself that I would want to admit to ... outloud ... in public.  So, I decided to combine that great theme with Basics of Running theme for our first Take it and Run Thursday and share with you 7 truths I have learned about running.

It's taken me almost 13 years to learn these lessons.   These lessons are not so much about the nuts and bolts of training runs, or hydration, or hill repeats.  They touch on the harder parts of running that derail us from our goals, make it hard to start, impossible to stay with it, or somedays make us wonder if we were really cut out for running.

7 Basic Truths of Running....learned the hard way:

1.  There are many right ways to run.   Early on, I truly believed that there was a right wayTruth  to train for a race and run.  A perfect pace, the right distance, the right trail or track, even certain clothes.   After a few years of reading many books, trying the "right" plans, I found out that many of the plans were right - just at different times and for different people.  Play around with them until you find one right for you.

2.  Just Try It.  Starting is the hardest part.  No one wants to fail or come up short.   But you really never know if you can do a 5K, 10K or a marathon if you don't try.  Andria recently posted this quote that she saw on a group of runners at the Disney Marathon - I think it sums it up perfectly - Dead Last Finish beats Did Not Finish which trumps Did Not Start.   What is the worst thing that can happen?

3.  Lots of Little Things Turn into Many Big Changes.   Especially if you are a later in life new runner - you know the power of evolution.  For the first few runs you think you will die or want to die and wonder if it will get easier.   And then over weeks and months the distances get longer or faster.  You find your eating and sleeping habits changing to match your goals.  Over the next few years, you find a hobby has become a lifestyle.   It happens gradually but with lasting impacts.

4.  Life and Running don't always mix.  Expect training plans to be derailed and kicked off course because of work, family, sickness, weather, celebrations, holidays, friends, tragedy, celebration.... heck, just about everything.  The key word is "plans".  Adjust them, plan something different.  Be flexible and adapt.

5.  Speed and endurance can be obtained, but rarely at the same time.   For us average runners, trying to get faster while running longer is a too much to mix.  It can be done - but you need to be in a really good zone.  Which can be hard due to #4.

6.  Perfection is completely relative.  While almost every run is enjoyable, very few are perfect.  There have been only a handful of races that have had near perfect conditions.   And training runs...well, using the last 10 as a judge - the weather is never perfect.   And add to that the complexity of our own physical readiness, mental capability, and challenging schedules - somedays it amazes even me I can finish a run.  Don't bank on perfect - bank on reality.

7.  Talk to other runners to learn the good stuff.   The runner on the trail with you, the runner you work with, the runner you live with....they are all experts in their own rights.  I have learned the realities and possibilities of running from ordinary runners.  They tell me the really good stuff.

Flickr picture by kxlly

The body can do amazing things

This weekly Tuesday post is being devoted to beginning running.

So if you experienced runners are now planning to excuse yourselves from reading here, please don’t. Supporting beginning runners is the privilege and responsibility of experienced runners, and this blog needs your abundance of ideas, training plans, advice, stories, and inspiration to support new runners.

Youre_amazing But where does beginning running begin?  How do experienced runners, who are some of the most helpful, wisest, and selfless people on earth, begin to pass along the wisdom of getting started running?  Rather than start with a list of tips about how far, how fast, what shoes, stretching, form, hydration, injuries, racing, and so on, I think getting started running begins with something more foundational.

Above all the vast information to be learned about running, there is one timeless lesson about running that comes first.  This lesson is uplifting and miraculous.  It’s consistent and predictable.  The number one lesson that I would share with a beginning runner is that the body can do amazing things!

The sports scientists call it the Law of Adaptation.  When we apply an effort or a stress to our body, we’re creating new capacity and capability.  Literally as soon as we finish a run, the body is already adapting to the stress and getting ready to recover and increase what it can do. 

But in my mind—which is filled with every bias imaginable about running—the number one way we can advance the enjoyment and success of our sport is to help beginning runners with their mindset.

Whether beginning runners are embracing a new sport, managing stress, transforming a lifestyle away from inactivity, managing weight challenges, seeking new direction, or building confidence, (whew, that’s a mouthful), my first getting-started message is the same to all.  The single-most important message I want beginning runners to understand and believe is the phenomenon that the running body can do amazing things!

While each of us would scoff at saying we’re impressed with our own running, I’d guess all of us deep down have been amazed with what our running bodies can achieve.  That’s what we need to pass along to beginning runners.

Be sure to drop off some advice on Take It and Run Thursday.

Pay it forward with a beginning runner and assure them how much they can accomplish with their bodies and with their running.

You're Amazing! on Flickr by Skonen Blades

Advice from an Expert Beginner (Runner)

Yep, that's right.  An expert beginner runner.   It's this time of year that I feel like I am "starting over" again.   December and January are my toughest months for running.  The weather is more conducive for excuses versus running and it is usually very busy at work.  So my running suffers.  Usually I end up stop running completely, turning into a holiday Cookies cookie slug, and eating my way into my fat clothes.  Seriously, at the end of the holiday season, I no longer need to wear perfume because my pores ooze the sweet vanilla scent of fresh baked cookies - yes, I consume that many.

This year, I am on a bit more on top of it.  I fell off the running wagon for a few weeks in December, but not a complete full body splat - more like one leg dragging off the wagon and the rest of my running body begging to stay on and not lose much more momentum.  But, there is still an element of starting over.  And because I have been here year after year, I am getting pretty darn good at it.  I know what I need to do and how to go about it.   

Here are a few of my "expert" beginner runner rules.  Now, just to set expectations appropriately low - these aren't the technical useful ones you will find in some of the really good books like The Complete Book of Beginning Running or Running for Dummies.    These are home grown, ordinary runner kind of rules developed by a runner who has been a beginner more times than I care to remember.

Beginner Rule #1:  Runners aren't built on running alone. 

Running is good but it can't be the only thing you do.   Especially when you are starting out (again). You need off days, you need cross training days, you need days when you run for fun or no reason. 

A balanced runner has a dose of strength training and stretching to keep the new running body happy.   Running is a repetitive motion.  Repetitive motion works very specific muscles but not all the muscles.  Don't forget a few stretches and strengthening, especially for the those hips, knees and feet.   Not only will you run better, you will ward off injury.  The times that I have resorted to running alone, I usually ended up with one of these three unhappy endings to my season - injury, boredom, or lack of motivation.

Beginner Rule #2:  Don't make up rules you don't need.No_rules_sign_2

Mother Nature and the Natural Laws of running provide enough challenge for us runners.  The cold, the heat, the humidity (remember when we all complained about that), winds, hills, snow, ice, gravity, bodies built for anything but runninig, races without tunes, spandex...all these things provide resistance and challenge. So, why create any more rules for yourself.  You know what I am talking about.  "If I am going to be a real runner, I need to run at least 3 miles each time."   "I must get below 8 minute miles to have a good run."  "I need to run everyday."   "I need to run a race to be a real runner." Goals are good.  Keep goals.   But silly rules that only increase frustration- ditch those.   

Beginner Rule #3:  Find a crazy-o-meter.

Otherwise known as a running friend or coach.   I have been known to try some really crazy stuff in my beginner mode.  I am not sure if it is due to all the pent up energy that poisons my brain or if I stupid from not running. My craziest?  7 weeks after having my first child I ran a 25K.   Why was this crazy?  Well, I had gained 60 pounds, had to stop running a Crazy_meter month before, I am not that great of a runner, and in no way should have been training that soon.   I can look back now and admit this - but my friends will tell you that they tried to talk sense into me and I just wouldn't listen.   Don't make that mistake.  Find a running friend and tell them about your running plans.  They will tell you if you are crazy.  You just need to listen to them.

Beginner Rule #4:  Beginners build a base first.

A base is simply getting comfortable within a certain distance before jumping up to the next level.  There are many formulas you can find - but using common sense and listening to your body is the best.  Cramming doesn't work.  Trust me on this one - I have earned by black belt in running cramming.   I have shortened many training programs due to an overabundance of running enthusiasm.  I once heard that losing a pound equaled running 10 miles.  I am sure whoever told me that didn't intend that fact to be integrated into my training program - but I did.  Running progress takes time - there isn't much that replaces it.

Beginner Rule #5:  Do something you enjoy.

Pick a race, a training plan, a trail or time of day you enjoy.   It makes it so much easier.  Not to say that you shouldn't stretch yourself or challenge your level of fitness - but find something that is exciting to work towards as you begin.   

Beginner Rule #6:  Rest when you are tired.

By tired, I mean the tired you get from too much training.   Not the legs getting a little tired during a run, but the I-am-really-cranky, I-really-don't-feel-like-running, I-just-want-to-veg, kind of tired.  Trust me, you will know the difference.   Running when you are already over trained will lead to less than stellar results.  A good test of over training is going out to do just 10 minutes and 10 minutes seems 9 minutes too long.  If you are still unsure of what kind of tired you are - see Rule 3.  Talk to a running friend about your schedule - they will tell you if you have crossed the line.  Friends don't let friends over train.   Rest once and a while.  In fact, build rest into your training plans.

If you are an expert beginner like me, tell me what rules you live by and good luck on your "new" beginning.

Cookies on Flickr by mamahoot

Crazy Meter by not halfway there

Photo of Edison quote by nonetfirst




Natural Law: Overcoming Inertia

Inertia -  An object remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force. 

It is a powerful force.   You can't work against it - take it from some of the smartest guysLaw_of_nature  that ever live - Newton.  So powerful he named it the First Law of Motion.   

So it is only fitting that Newton's law would contribute to a Natural Law of Running.  Especially this time of year when inertia is a common topic among us runners and bloggers.   It starts so innocently.  One missed run to get in some shopping.  Then another because of the weather.  Then another one passes due to the flu or cold.  And then it is its a family gathering.  Before you know it you are staring down the barrel of one or two weeks without a step of a run.  You start to wonder if you will know how to run if you ever find time.    A few days after these thoughts you realize that the break is ok.  Maybe a few more days of hanging out in your baggy sweats with the holiday candy will be just fine.  You don't really feel like heading out there in the cold or getting up extra early to squeeze in a run you know you need.   BANG!  The natural law of inertia has inserted itself.  Forward momentum has been replaced by an object now at rest.

Natural Law:  The only cure for a long break in running is just getting back out there.

Getting going again can be tough.  You beat yourself up for the break, you remember only the hardest parts of the runs that you should be doing, and there are so many other things that seem important.   But, you know running is important - you just need a little nudge to get going again.  A bit of a push.   Here is a sampling of some "external forces" in case you are feeling of the effects of this law - (aka - a kick in the pants):

1.  Do anything for 10 minutes.   Walk, run, jog, hike, meander, really doesn't matter - just do something for 10 minutes.   97% of the time you will keep going.  For the 3% of the time you don't - don't worry - tomorrow will be another day.   I personally beckoned this technique today after dreading time on the treadmill.  My 10 minute walk turned into a 40 minute run.

2.  Put on your skinny clothes.  There is nothing more motivating to getting back at it and regaining you running body than being constricted by clothes that should fit.   

3.  Pick a new trail, new race, or new adventure.  Whether it is for that day or you set you sites on a new race for 2008 - pick one that is coming up in the next 8-12 weeks so you feel the need to get out there and go.   

4.  Think about how tough you are.   Especially if you live in the colder and rainy climates, get out there and brave the elements and think about the deposit you are making in your toughman bank, as a recent post on Cool Running suggests.    This will be appreciated later in the year in your races or as the runs getting longer, harder, or faster.

5.  Borrow some inspiration from other runners.  Maybe it is some of the runners you read about this year, like Brad Alsop who ran 131 marathons in as many days, or Paul Staso as he prepares to run across Montana, or Brad Niess who ran across Iowa in 2007 and is planning on doing it again in 2008.    Or maybe it is someone you know like Ovens2Betsy or Katie who have stayed true to their Disney Marathon training schedule and have been putting in their 20+ milers in the middle of this festive season.

6.  Or do it to be a role model - for your kids, your neighbors, friends or family.   Inspire others.  There is nothing quite as motivating as motivating others.   If you haven't seen this video clip  on Runners World of the 13 year old girl that ran the JFK 50 miler with her mom.  She was inspired to run by her mom.  I guarantee it will give you a spark of inspiration as well. Be her today - show others it's not that hard.

Now - just go!

And remember the other golden natural law of running. The first mile always sucks is hard.

When you get back from your run, let me know what force got you going today.

Photo of board by Fallacy 

Natural Law: Manage Your Risks

As part of my Human Resources job, I am helping lead a project to change the way we deliver HR Services to our company.  Part of my job is to figure out how to help the HR teams move from point A (today) to point B (future model) as successfully as possible.  I help them spot the potential issues that might occur and find a solution so those "issues" don't become problems.

Let me tell you, it hasn't been easy trying to keep all the teams headed in the right direction.  They all have different issues and are moving at different speeds.  Great_ideaIn a meeting yesterday, I launched into a running analogy to help drive home this point for this group. I explained that this big transition was just like we were all of running a race.  It went something like this... "We will all finish, get there at different times, and in order to finish well, each group has a slightly different set of muscles that we need to build.  We just need to figure out which muscle group is the weakest and how to make it stronger so we don't injure ourselves in the process...." 

And then I trailed off...I had a revelation about my running.  I haven't been managing my own running "risks"!  Sure, I look at how to get to point A to point B with my training plan - but I don't take the time to think about my risks (my hip, my back, my knee...) and then I get injured.   This summer, my subconscience knew that skipping my strength training and stretching would cause my back to hurt, followed by my knee.  But I seemed to selectively forget about these trouble spots until I was in trouble.  And you know as a runner, that is the wrong time to start to think about them.  I violated a Natural Law of Running:

Natural Law:  Manage the "risks" of your running or they will manage you.

If I could go back in time and take a more rational approach, I know that I would have done a core set of strength training and stretches to compliment the running and biking.  And, I would have scheduled "maintenance" appointments with my chiropractor.  I would have been smarter about the training schedule. I would have made time for the nonrunning essentials.  I would plan for the fact that a runner like me can't live on running alone.

But I took a risk... a big risk... ok - a big, stupid risk - instead.  I did complete both the triathlon and the duathlon.  But I paid for it big time!  I took me over three months to return to a semi-normal state of running and that was after ALOT of recovery, doctor's visits and missed miles.   Those risks ended up managing me for 92 days.   That is a long time of being told what to do!

I am finally back into a regular running schedule.  I am going to take the lesson and thow away the experience of the last 92 days. I am going to adapt and improve.  I am going to act on the solutions for each of my risks: 

I am going to strengthen my hip, back and core. 

I am going to stretch my back, hip and knee. 

I am going to return to a better running weight. 

I am not going to "cram" miles.

I am going to manage my running a bit smarter because I am a whole lot wiser.  I will not let my "issues" become problems.  No more injuries, no more pain.   This time, I am going to do it right.

Photo of Oh my gosh! on Flickr by theveryquietroom


Natural Law: The Same Thing

I'm still all smiles!  It's a little crazy that I remain on Cloud 9 three days after finishing almost last at a race.   I was so happy to finish and to be able to run.   Those race endorphins hung on until about 5 hours into meetings on Monday but then the back started to get a little sore.  By Tuesday night, I realized I probably shouldn't run.  And Wednesday?  Back to the chiropractor. 

The good news is that my back is ten times better than a week ago.  But its definitely not 100%.  I realized last night that I am able to run.  I could go for a run.  But that might put me back where I started.   Nope - it's time to grow up and be a little smarter. I need to regroup and decide how I am going to fix my back once and for all. 

I took a deep breath last night and realized that I won't be talking about fabulous long runs or fast times or cool races that much in the next month or so.  But instead I need to starting getting in great stretching sessions, pumping my tiny little dumbbells, doing some easy runs and working on my core.  With that realization, I started to whine and complain and think about how hard this will be for me.  And at that point I realized I had run smack into another Natural Law.    

Natural Law:  The same thing that got me into this injury is the same thing that will get me out.

I don't mean my liberal use of stupidity, pigheadedness, and outright bad decisioDeterminationns.   I mean my healthy dose of determination that helped me complete a bike ride or run when it didn't feel good, or it was hell hot, or I was dead tired.   I need to be disciplined and focused on all these not so sexy things that are good for me.   I will go after my strength and flexibility issues no different than I would preparing for my favorite race.  Negativity, grumping and complaining isn't the ticket.  It may be fun to pout and stomp my feet, but it really isn't going to help solve the problem.

And just like any new training plan for a new distance or event, I will figure it out as I go.  But I am focused.   It's ok to be pigheaded when you use those powers for good.

And good luck to a few other runners out there who aren't running like Laurie, Doug, and Michael (and he has a great/funny reason).

Photo by thekermanns

About Runners' Lounge

  • We are ordinary runners sharing our favorite passion – Running
    The lounge is our escape for conversation and connection to our favorite people – Runners.
    Join the conversation today at

    Runners' Lounge
    An on-line community where runners Connect, Share, and Discover to more fully enjoy running!

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