State of Running – June Edition (It’s All About Choice)

During a staff meeting a couple of weeks ago, one of my co-workers (whom I also consider a friend) spoke about employee engagement.  There were a lot of good points (and some staggering statistics) about the percentage employees whom are fully, partially, or not engaged on a daily basis.  In a nutshell there is a very small percentage of the workforce that is at least partially engaged – leading to decreased productivity and work output.

What struck and stuck with me after I returned to my office was one word that was repeated throughout our meeting – the word CHOICE.  Specifically, how those choice(s) you make on a daily basis can keep you on track or completely derail your goals. Choices II

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In reflecting on this I realized that my “work talk” could easily be translated to “running talk” and made me think about the choices I make on a daily basis when it comes to my current training cycle.

I am currently training for a marathon on September 11th, so I am faced with choices from the moment I wake up until head hits the pillow.  Literally, the first choice I face is when the alarm goes off and I think to myself- do I get up and get my run/workout in before work or hit the snooze button.  We’ve all hit the snooze BUT it’s how often we hit the snooze button that makes the difference.  As much as I hate it – I have to remind myself I have x number of days until September 11th and more often then not I drag my butt up and out the door.

However, decisions and choices that I make does not stop I start my workout.   I have to choose whether I warm up properly and even AFTER that I have to make sure that I don’t just “go through the motions”.  Focus can be a hard thing at 5:00AM but dialing myself in to a workout (and not focusing on the myriad of other things that flows through my mind throughout a typical day) is the choice that I make to ensure that come race day I know that I have done all I can to get me to the start line in the best possible shape (mentally and physically) I can be.

And that is the way it continues throughout the day because really it’s all about the myriad of choices we have to make.  It’s really like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book – Do “A” to get to the finish, or  Do “B” where you might be eaten by zombies.

In a nutshell here is what it boils down to and what I try and tell my self every day –

How can I do the best so I can be the best to my ability to make myself do, what I should do, when I should do it, whether I feel like it or not. Or put another way – What Can I Do Today To Be Successful?

So now that I am in my “marathon” training cycle – here are the four choices that I am making, so that on September 11th I give myself the best chance to have a successful marathon.

  • No Unapproved Races – I love training but there is something about race day (the medal, the shirt and the comradery) that I also love.  It also provides a bit of a “break” from the weeks and weeks of solo miles that I inevidably run. However, coach and I have decided (actually more like I was gently told) that for the next 8 weeks we are going to be building – so no races. Blerg!!!Race - Choices(Source)
  • Follow the Training Plan – So this co-incides with the above point.  I tend to not take rest days like I should by “cross training” or doing some other type of activity. I know a marathon training cycle is all about building, and I also do not want to get injured (something I have avoided in 2016 – knock on wood).  That means no extra miles and making sure Mark checks in with me to see what I have on the schedule that week to keep me accountable.
  • Don’t Be Lazy – Yes this means sleeping through my morning alarm and possibly skipping a workout BUT this also means not going through the motions of a workout AND also not blowing out my paces.  Yes – it’s great to run x seconds faster than the “plan” said to run (and I do feel bad ass) BUT there is a method to the plan and I have to “trust the plan”.Snooze Button - Choices(Source)
  • Improve Recovery and Maintenance – I been improving in this area (see prior State of Running posts here and here), so I continue with my weekly physical therapy sessions even if my plantar fasciitis feels “ok” because I know the pain and discomfort I felt until very recently, and I don’t want to go back there.  It also means massage to work out the kinks both by a professional and with my trusty foam roller.  The power of stretching – it’s amazing!  And lastly – it means after each of my easy runs – I head into the basement for a bit of strength training.  This is the first time in a LONG time that I have been consistent with working my core – I know I have a long way to go but its so much better than last year.Choices - Weights

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So that is where I am this month – On Ward And Up Ward – Fueled By Good Choices

Choices

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