I was proud to get up to 30 miles last week. I did it again this week and felt good about that. But ramping up the miles took its toll. Soreness, fatigue, random pain all came out of the woodwork. I thought the main reason was because I had run two long runs in a row. But I was reading the post of a friend who said she had run 220 miles in June and it started me wondering how many miles I had run. I knew it wasn’t anywhere near that far but checked just out of curiosity. My June miles were 120. That isn’t all that much for a marathoner but then I checked that against my May miles and it was more than double, from 55 to 120. That gave me a longer view of my progress, beyond day by day or week by week.
Another element of my training this time around has been a regimen of stretching. I am terribly unlimber, have been my entire life. But if I want to be able to increase my stride length and go longer distances without me tightening up, I really felt like I needed to be stretched out. My goal? To touch my toes. NOT an easy thing to accomplish for me! Month after month it really seemed like I was making no progress. But just recently I have been able to touch my toes in two different ways! I am not at the point where I can just bend straight over and do it, but I can do it sitting down on the floor and stretching out and I can do it with one hand to one foot. So, I am making progress after all!
People more limber than me!
I think we easily get stuck in the short view, that if we can’t see progress in the immediate present we can’t see it at all. We end up thinking none is being made. But that is a mistake. We are making progress, it’s just sometimes on a longer scale than it is easy to see.
I am currently in Colorado on vacation. I am at 9,500 feet and have a whole new set of running challenges ahead of me!
In the meanwhile, Have a happy Fourth of July!
My wife Linda once did this for a stranger. The car in front of her wrecked getting off a freeway and she was the first on the scene. She tended to the driver, who was seriously injured. She held him and let him know she was with him until the ambulance arrived. She found out later he died. She also found out later that he was the brother of one of her co-workers. His family was quite grateful to know that she was there with him and that he didn’t die alone. Linda felt good knowing that even as she was sad about the death.
Recently she was leaving church when two woman at a bus depot across from where she parked her car screamed they needed an ambulance. Linda didn’t see anything that led her to believe they really needed an ambulance and kept walking. The women started yelling and screaming at her, spewing hate and anger. Linda turned around and asked them if they really needed an ambulance. One of them yelled, “I need some food!”. Linda went across the street and offered the woman a protein bar. The woman said, “I don’t want that. I want a ride home!”. She then proceeded to throw the protein bar into the street toward Linda, who had started back towards her car. She got in and left. Linda felt bad at getting that response.
Two acts of kindness, two different circumstances, two different feelings. But that’s the thing about kindness.You have to do it because you just want to be a kind person. You can’t be kind with the expectation of a specific result. If that is the case you will quickly be disillusioned and bitter about being kind.
Drawing and commentary © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
“No one ever became poor by being kind.” – adapted from a quote by Anne Frank
The Right Thing
Have you ever felt like your reason for doing ‘the right thing’ is because of what others would think of you if you didn’t? Think of how many areas that happens; giving in church, volunteering, forgiving someone, wearing something ‘appropriately modest’, dating only people in your age range, your choice of careers, etc. The list goes on and on.
What are we worried about? We are worried that we will be judged. At the least we will be judged ‘less than’. At the most we will be judged morally corrupt. We don’t want to be judged. it’s painful, it’s embarrassing, it’s shameful. And so we behave. And that is good and bad. For example, It’s good if your conscience keeps you from doing something hurtful and destructive but it’s bad if it keeps you from pursuing a lifelong dream.
Knowing God’s Will
For those of you of a religious bent, when I first became a Christian I heard a sermon called ‘Knowing God’s Will’. I expected it to be some tirade about sacrificing and doing what you didn’t want to do to prove how much you loved and followed God. It wasn’t. What the preacher said was basically, Whatever you want to do is God’s Will. That surprised me and has kept with me ever since. What I took it to mean was that God has instilled in you a desire to do or accomplish something and he is not interested in creating a desire in you only to condemn you for following it. If you love creating art, then create it with the full assurance that your desire was put there by God. If you want to be an aid worker helping victims of disasters, do that with the full assurance that your desire was put there by God.
Knowing the Difference
But how do you know whether what you want to do is ok or not? Simply and honestly ask yourself this: is what I want to do going to hurt myself or others? If you are going to go have an affair, then guess what? That is hurtful. It’s called cheating for a reason and there is a valid moral judgment on that. If you are going to pursue being a park ranger, even if your family doesn’t understand why, that is not hurtful to you or others. There is no legitimate moral judgment on it.
No Matter What
But guess what? Someone is going to think what you want to do is a bad idea. They will say you won’t be able to support your family that way. Or you will be putting yourself in harm’s way. They will say it is trivial, or shallow, or not important enough, or this or that. Someone will judge you. But your conscience, if it’s screwed on straight, will know whether what you are doing is harmful to yourself or others. It will know if you are rationalizing or are lying to yourself. Looking inside at that instead anticipating the opinions of others is key to living the life you want to live.
Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
“Conscience is, in most people, the anticipation of the opinions of others.” – Sir Henry Taylor, 1800 – 1886, British Playwright
Thanks for continuing to read of my progress in my marathon training this summer. My goal for week 3 was to run 30+ miles and I did it. Depending on how I want to count it I also ran 40+ miles! That is because on Sunday (usually a rest day) I ran 10 miles as a pacer for a friend who is doing a fundraiser. Kevin Shank, a long time runner in one of my groups, is focused on his own Marathon training this season. He is running the New York City Marathon (Nov. 4th). He didn’t get in with the lottery but his wife Amy did. So he decided he would do the charity route and raise money for one of the causes the NYC marathon supports. Many people get into marathons that way and it’s a fantastic method to raise funds.
Me, Don Brough, Kevin Shank
Kevin was running a 25k to raise money and his plan was to have at least 1 pacer per 5k distance. I was going to run the 4th leg but arrived on the scene as he was just about the start his 3rd leg with Don. I decided to join them for that. Then I ran my own leg and after at that point I could either run the 5k back to my car, or run the last 5k with him and another pacer to the finish line. They had breakfast tacos waiting so it was a no brainer. Thus, my 5k turned into 16k (10 miles). This was on top of the 9 miles I had run the day before that brought me to 30 miles for the week.
One thing I am focused on during this season is proper pacing. After my surgery and weight loss I am much faster than in previous years. But faster at what distance? Just because I can run a certain pace doesn’t mean I can run that for 26.2 miles. I need to figure out what is my realistic pace for a marathon. There is a formula that can be used to decide that but the problem is it is dependent on recent race times at lower distances. I have a recent 5k and 10k, but my other races are from before and they aren’t really accurate reflections of what I could do now.
TIred Leg Technique
That brings me to the back-to-back runs this weekend. One training technique that some use is to run on tired legs. This simulates what it might be like later in a race when you are indeed likely to be running on tired legs. My Saturday run was at a 9:24 pace for 9 miles. I felt great until the last mile or so then I could feel myself tiring. The Sunday run with Kevin was a good test of running on tired legs. How would I respond to another long run? Knowing we would probably be slower than Saturday made me decide to test this theory out.
The result? Overall I felt great. My ankle that had the surgery let me know I was pushing it, but not terribly. The last mile I was starting to tire, but also not terribly. I could have gone further. A whole 26.2 miles? Not likely yet but I am on target and that feels good.
I learned a couple of things. One, my ankle can handle it. This morning it feels not much different from if I hadn’t run yesterday. Two, I have 2 paces to compare, the 9:24 of Saturday and the 11:00 of Sunday. I have more confidence now that my pace can be closer to the 9:30 pace than 11. I am starting to focus on 9:45-10:00 being a realistic pace for the marathon. But, this is still early in the training and I am not sold on it yet. It’s a benchmark I will keep in mind, that is all. Three, I loved running with Kevin and others to help him complete his goal. It was a beautiful morning with great company.
I also started using a pretty cool new app called ‘Relive’. It takes your GPS statistics and makes a video of your route over layed on a satellite map. It’s pretty cool. Here is the link to our Sunday run. RELIVE
That’s it for this week. The upcoming week will be a bit different because I have some coaches out and I have some marathon training informational meetings I need to lead when I usually would be running. The week after that we are going on vacation over 4th of July week and that will be a new set of training challenges.
If you have any questions or suggestions, by all means let me know!
Thanks for following my progress!
See you running,
Have you ever looked back on money leaving you and realized you were hurt by it? Perhaps you were scammed or lied to about something. Perhaps you spent money recklessly or maybe it was just bad luck. The saying ‘Buyer’s Remorse’ comes to mind. What is buyer’s remorse but regret about money leaving you?
When I was a young man I got a small settlement in a lawsuit of around $9,000.00. I had to decide how I was going to use the money, whether to invest it or to use it for Graduate school. I chose graduate school. I put the money in a money market fund and took it out little by little. It allowed me to work part-time while I went to grad school full-time and it lasted long enough for me to graduate. I don’t regret it and I don’t feel hurt by it being gone. But I do sometimes think what if I had instead invested that money in a relatively new local company where I lived. What would have transpired if I had invested in Apple in 1981? That $9,000.00 would be close to $2,000,000.00 now.
My Parent’s Money
One of the reasons I was conservative and deliberate about what I was going to do with my money is this story. My mother got an inheritance after her mother died of about $30,000.00. My parents used a good chunk of it to by a very nice boat. We had a lot of fun on that boat for a little over two years. I really loved living and working on the boat for my high school summers. It seemed worth it. But in the end, it blew up and I was burned on 70% of my body. At that exact same time the oil embargo hit the US and the aviation industry, which my father was employed in, went in the tank. My mother meanwhile had a brain hemorrhage and spent almost 9 months in the hospital and in recovery. The result was our family having a big change in financial fortunes. We didn’t go into dire poverty by any means, but it did make for a drastic change in things. My college bills couldn’t be paid and I had to leave school. I moved to California with some high school buddies and made my way on my own from there. The boat was nice but the loss of that money really did make a difference later. I look back and am amazed at how much stress my dad must have been under during that time.
Ah, 20/20 hindsight, right? It’s hard to say what would have happened. Maybe I would have invested in Acme Computer instead of Apple Computer and lost my shirt. My parents may have done the same with their money. All one can really do is learn from others and from experience and try to make the best decisions about where your money goes. It isn’t easy but one can become educated about how to handle money wisely. It’s worth it.
“That money talks, I’ll not deny. I heard it once, it said ‘Goodbye’.” – Richard Armour, 1906-1989, American Poet and Author
Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman 2017