Saturday, January 1, 2011

A fresh [re]start

My resolve lies in the same place that it did yesterday, to train and race well.  However, after today's 15 miler, I was struck by the zeros in the training log.  The MTD and YTD were reset to zero.  I felt as if the zeros were taunting me.  It was a "what have you done lately?" kind of taunt.

Plenty of people start out the new year trying to accomplish something that they have not accomplished in the recent past.  I think that any motivation to improve ourselves is a good one; however, we all know what often happens to new year's resolutions.  The attendance at health clubs soars, diet plans and quitting smoking aides have record sales, and marathon registrations soar. OK--I made the last one up.  Nevertheless, using the calendar as an impetus for change is rarely successful. 

Marathoners know the secret.  One day is inconsequential.  It is the culmination of days, months, and years that affect change.  When we strive to change our lifestyles, it starts with a single day, but that change is not realized until it becomes habit.  John "The Penguin" Bingham speaks of the courage to start, and I commend everyone with that courage.  But change is glacial.  One day, one week, one month at a time, we carve out a new lifestyle.

As I ran today, I thought about the new year and change.  I posted my first blog post yesterday, but does that post make me a blogger?  I am not so sure.  I think I need to stick with it a while.  Resolutions are good, but resolve is better.  My exciting new year's eve consisted of re-reading Running with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear.  The book follows the University of Colorado's cross country team in their pursuit of the NCAA title in 1998.  There is a scene, near the end of the book, when the harriers are about to start the NCAA championship race.  One of the runners starts to freak out an his teammate says that everything they are experiencing at that moment is bullshit.  The preparation, the training, is what is real.  While the pressure of the race and the expectations for that event surely have weight, it is what we have done, not what we intend to do, that is real.

Go out there and do.  You can look back on those accomplishments with pride.

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