Saturday, November 05, 2011
I had a lot of good things happen today. It was one of those things you can't predict. I took my daughter to swim practice in the morning with the intention to run at the gym because the temps were in the mid 20's at 8 am. The gym wasn't open so I decided to visit the outdoor track of a nearby University. When I got there the sun had not come up and it was still only around 28 degrees F. I took 15 minutes to warm up and by the time I was ready to run the sun had come up.
I was the only person on the track the whole time. Since I had not had time to run the last two days and I had several hours before my daughter needed to be picked up I decided to do a longer run. Surprisingly I had a really fun time running on the track. Because the track was empty I had a very peaceful time running and could changed direction every couple of loops. Having such a smooth, well-maintained surface to run on let me focus on my form and, once I got in a good rhythm, on my thoughts. I felt blessed to be running in the sunshine away from traffic, knowing that I have a couple hours to myself.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere I had what I see as a revelation. It was about goals - goals for my running, goals for my life. As I thought about it some I found they fall into three different categories which are different than most people usually perceive them and than I had usually perceived them. Short term goals, medium term goals and long term goals.
The short term goal was to fully experience the present, my running at that time, writing this blog right now, because the present will not wait, we have to take advantage of it now. Many people thing of short term goals as goals for today or for this week, but those goals are really still out of reach and often we have very little control over our circumstances in even the very near future. The medium-term goals for me are a lot further away then I used to see them, not weeks or a few months, but 2 years away. In two years I want to have run a marathon, done enough strength training to where I can easily throw 50 lb bags of feed and 70 lb hay bales around. I could make those goals with the intention of reaching them in 5 months, but I'd have to work very hard to get there and may not enjoy the process of getting there nearly as much.
Then there are the long-term plans, what I call the 5-year plan. These are goals that I'm very far away from reaching right now and I really have no idea how long it would take me to reach them. In this category falls continuing to raise my daughter, a career change that would be fun to pursue, building long-term friendships. It's kind of like the stock market, you invest but know that it could be at least 5 years or more until you see a significant return. If you want to invest for only a short time the stock market is the wrong place.
The short-term goals I want to immerse myself in while the moment is here. I don't want to get distracted by things in the future that I may not have any control over. The medium- and long-term goals are like my beliefs, I want to hold them lightly, knowing that circumstances or my opinion or my knowledge might change, because I will learn more and have new experiences.
How does that all relate to running, nutrition and overall health? I can learn to go with the flow and enjoy opportunities as they present themselves. But I can also learn to let go of hopes that don't come true knowing that something better may be waiting just around the corner. Only God knows what is coming my way and the more open-minded I am the more likely will I see it.
To get back to running:
I ran 6 miles today at an average heart rate of 131.
Mile 1: 14:03 min. 4.2 mph
Mile 2: 14:57 min. 4.0 mph
Mile 3: 15:30 min. 3.9 mph
Mile 4: 14:30 min. 4.1 mph
Mile 5: 14:10 min. 4.2 mph
Mile 6: 13:20 min. 4.5 mph
avg. speed : 4.1 mph
This run was interesting because I slowed down first and then sped up. I'm wondering if it takes extra effort to run in very cold weather.
In the afternoon we went ice skating. I was able to join a set of group lessons at a discount because there was a lack of interest. I ended up having a 45 minute private lesson because of the lack of students enrolled. I finally learned 3 ways of stopping properly on ice skates and also learned a one-foot spin and a waltz jump. It was a blast and I'm hoping to get the chance to practice once or twice before next Saturday.
By the time my daughter and I were taking a stroll through the mall my legs felt pretty tired. Now sitting down at the computer is a treat.