Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Do We Really Need 'A Kick Butt Thought Of The Day?'

Day 22 -- Aug. 29, 2012

Today I am 194.6 pounds of rolling thunder -- and proud of it.

Late last night while I was pulling in the last of the Hurricane Isaac stories for the television websites in New Orleans and Jackson, Miss., an interesting email popped into my in-box. It was my "kick butt thought of the day" from my friends at Runner's World.

Somewhere in all those little check boxes you go through to find something on a website I must have clicked the one that said, "Yes, send me kick butt thoughts of the day."

So Tuesday's thought was "Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement."

At about 1 a.m., Pop Tarts and Mountain Dew were the fuel in the furnace of personal survival.

Obviously, author Brian Tracy had a little more high test in his tank when he penned that thought then I did as I slogged my way through the final paces of my work day.

Maybe that's what's wrong with my running. I have no goals. I'm not planning on going to race. I've accepted my place as the world's slowest human. 

Or perhaps my goals are just couched in different terms. Yes, I'd love to weigh about 20 pounds less (I can feel that furnace heating even as I type) and running is a means to that end.

And yes, I'd love to be able to run farther and faster, but life will go on if I don't.

For years as a cyclist I'd set my training goals based on making a week-long 500-mile trip in early June. It was the kind of motivation that got you out on the bike in February and March when you were more like a rolling sleeping bag than a bicycle rider.

It also helped you keep mileage logs and back away from desserts as the first day of the trip approached. It helped you to work on defying gravity by losing more weight so the climbs would be easier (but gravity still sucks, no matter how low your weight gets).

So having the date on the horizon served as a much more tangible goal and a primary motivator as opposed to things like weight loss and general fitness which seem to be residual effects of my running.

My run on Tuesday took a little different track than usual. It had been a long time since I ran with weights. A lot of coaches don't approve of running with weights in your hands because it can affect your gait, form and strain your upper body.

I find it a good way to train your upper body at the same time you are working the lower half. I don't carry much weight, maybe a pound or two in each hand. But after an hour that weight can seem like a ton, especially out in the heat.

So I rolled through my workout, a little shorter in distance but a more intense overall body workout. 

I guess one of the things I love about running is the time you can spend solving problems in your mind. In some ways I guess that stokes your internal furnace in a different way.

I just wonder at what age I realized that cynicism is the ash produced when the fuel of hopes and goals have been burned away by the furnace of good intentions? Maybe I'll share this thought with my new friend, author Brian Tracy.

OK, you know the drill. You see the world's slowest human out running/walking, give me a wave.

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