Our flirtation with running began on a whim and a prayer as I no longer wished to see the shadow my large body was casting combined with the fact that I had become far to sedentary for my active wife and my inertia was creating a dangerous disequilibrium in our relationship.
Our evolutionary heritage is one of fight or flight. It's the subconscious brain's way of keeping us alive. For most of my life the anticipation of an event paralyzed me and caused me to avoid many experiences that scared me. That avoidance kept me sedentary and safe. Since taking control of my health in the last few years I am trying everyday to resist the old fearful me--the boy that only knew how to flee.
In the last couple of weeks I've been feeling like I'm being pulled in a multitude of directions because so many different aspects of my personal and professional life were demanding for attention around the same time; it is difficult to keep your head in your training when life gets in the way.
The long run is a staple of any marathon training program. It is a weekly opportunity for you to prepare both your body and mind for the stresses that 26.2 miles puts on a person. For me the long run is also a spiritual experience, it is my church providing me a chance for my mind to focus on something beyond the troubles of this world by not only pushing my body but also experiencing the beauty of the world around me.
The demon that you can swallow gives you it's power, and the greater life's pain, the greater life's reply~Joseph Campbell
When explorers ventured off the European mainland they would have to bring a cartographer, a map maker, along who was to plot out the new locations and place them on a map in relationship to known locales. For an area that was not explored the cartographer would embellish the map with images of sea monsters and dragons to warn future explorers that this area is unknown and the unknown is to be feared because here be dragons.
I've had a difficult time calling myself a runner when I first started. In fact there were times that when I would use the word I would feel like a fraud.
There's something I need to admit to everyone--I'm a planner and control freak. Now for some of you this may be a shock because I play it off as if I take everything in stride--no worries. One of the reasons I can play it so cool is because I plan--I prepare--I anticipate various outcomes so that I am ready--I am in control.
I like to think of Lydiard's idea as very similar to Malcolm Gladwell's concept of 10,000 hours. In Gladwell's book Outliers, he lays out the premise that there are no experts born into a certain field, but rather to become a master at a particular skill, someone has to spend around 10,000 hours of preparation to become truly great. Now greatness and success are relative terms that some define through society's lenses and others based on their individual goals.