Thursday, January 6, 2011

It’s Just You

As I’ve ventured down this path of fitness I’ve leaned on and learned quite a bit from a dear friend of mine named Dave whom I affectionately call Jumbo[1]. Jumbo started down the same road about 2 years before I did, and is wise beyond his years. One of the biggest lessons Jumbo has tried to drive into my head is “The only person your competing with is yourself.” And as I approach the end of my first year down this path, I finally understand what he means.

What drove it home was a posting recently from another friend of mine who’s done amazing things in her life. Over the last year through good eating and exercising she’s lost 75 pounds. 75 pounds. One year. I can’t even fathom that concept. And yet for my birthday she felt compelled to post on my wall, “Happy birthday!! You keep me on top of my running game..don't ever think I will be able to match your run times, but a girl can at least try!!”

The first part of that I loved. I was thrilled to find out that someone looked at what I was doing to find inspiration to help themselves. I honestly can’t think of a bigger compliment. And I now find the second part very interesting – she’s trying to keep up with me.

Someone who over the last 52 weeks lost 75 pounds is trying to keep up with me? Not hardly. You do that and that trumps what I’ve done. By a lot.

But does it really matter if she’s better than I am, or if I’m better than her? Not really. There are still people that have lost more weight in a healthy manner, and there are people that can run much further and much faster than I can.

All that really matters is this – that I go out and I run, keeping to my schedule. That every time I go out I work on improving myself. So that at the end of the week, the end of the month, the end of the year I’m a bit stronger and a bit faster than I was when I started. And that’s all that matters for her. And that’s all that matters for Jumbo. And that’s all that matters for you.

What someone else does shouldn’t depress or discourage you; you might not be able to keep up with them. It doesn’t matter if you can or can’t – it’s still all about you.

But if you can use it to find inspiration, then by all means – “go get ‘em!”


[1] The nickname Jumbo has nothing to do with his size. Next time you see me buy me a beer and I’ll tell you the story. I love telling that story.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lessons Learned

I’ve been meaning to post this for quite a while now, and it’s high time in finally did.

Over the last 10 months I’ve finished two obstacle course races and two half marathons. And over that time I’ve learned quite a bit about succeeding at accomplishing a goal.

Nobody else is going to put in the miles for me

Ironically enough, this hit me not when I was out on the road by myself but when I was doing the Warrior Dash with my great friend Jumbo. Jumbo is more fit than I am, so when we started the race he went off well in front of me. This left me “alone” to just run the race. As my feet pounded the ground and I could only hear the sound of my breath and those around me I realized that it’s just me. Jumbo wasn’t coming back to help me along. Nobody else in the race was going to carry me to the finish line.

I have to do it for myself

With the above thought in mind, the next lesson I learned was that it has to be for me. Whatever the reason is – lose weight, get fit, accomplish a life goal – I have to want it for myself. I can’t do this to fill someone else’s desires for me. They’re not going to put in the time, effort and energy. If you don’t want it for myself, no amount of motivation is going to keep me going.

There will be times when I just don’t “feel it”

Over the last 10 months I’ve been blessed to run in many great areas. My run through Sydney in August was just amazing, if very hilly. I’ve run along the Mississippi river in Minneapolis. I’ve run along the water in San Diego many times.

But I’ve also been stuck in areas where the best place to run was through an office park. There’ve been times when I’ve left work with little energy and even less motivation to get out and run. There have been many, many times when I just didn’t “feel it”, or, frankly, feel like doing anything.

Those are the toughest times, but there really is one solution – lace up your shoes and get out the door. The longer I sit there, the more that feeling is going to set in, and the harder it’s going to be to overcome it. I need to remember – when I finish, I’ll be glad I did it.

Make the decision

I really want to expand on this point later, but for right now I’m going to post it here. Everything I do in life is a decision. Hitting the snooze button in the morning is a decision. What I eat is a decision. Working out is a decision. And it’s not a one time decision; it’s a decision that must be made every time the opportunity arises.

Four times a week now I make the decision to get out for a run. No less than three times a day I make the decision on what to eat. And every morning I make the decision on the snooze button. Do I make the right decision every time? With the exception of the running, no. But I know it’s my decision.

I’m not a victim. Bad habits don’t own me, I own them. I make the decision to let them get the better of me.

And now, far more often than not, I’m making the decision to live better.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Running Log

Week of 17May

Day Distance Terrain Time
Monday 4.56 Flat 50:10
Wednesday 3.50 2% Treadmill 40:00
Total 8.06    

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Running Log

Week of 10May

Day Distance Terrain Time
Monday 4.00 Flat 42:39
Wednesday 4.00 Flat 43:27
Saturday 10.03 Flat 1:51:15
Total 18.03m    

Monday, May 10, 2010

Running Log

Week of 3May

Day Distance Terrain Time
Monday 5.02 Mix 57:44
Wednesday 5.03 Mix 54:00
Saturday 6.06 Hills 1:07:22
Total 16.11m    

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Running Log

Week of 26Apr

Day Distance Terrain Time















Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Running Log

Week of 19Apr

Day Distance Terrain Time


Flat 50:02


Flat 50:11


Flat 37:58