Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Remember Me?

Well look who's back blogging! I can't promise for how long, nor can I really say it's for you.

In my opinion, people blog for themselves. They blog to get things off this chests. To put in "ink" things that have only appeared in their thoughts. Reasons for needing to do this are as varied as there are bloggers.

So, anyway, for what it's worth, here I am again, for now.

This week I've been spending another great week with family, including my hot wife Snookie, in the family resort town of Ocean City, New Jersey. So much for kids to do in his family oriented DRY county and we have been taking advantage of many of them. Enough to make the local economy happy I think.

With temperatures beginning each morning in the low 70's and climbing to the high 80's, I have been looking forward to doing what every runner thinks about while on vacation, RUNNING!

This place is a great running town. A 5 mile boardwalk with sights and sounds that could keep any runner occupied, waves pounding the beaches, and completely flat! What's not to love!

If I to turn the clock back to last November, which I HATE doing, I'd be employed at a company I worked for for the last 32 years and making more money than I probably deserved. My running would be at one of the high points we live for, running 6 days a week, averaging 6 miles and a pace somewhere close to 10 minutes miles using a 4/1 run walk ratio. For me, this was as good as it’s been in a long time.

All that was turned upside down after a 30 minute meeting with the HR department. Long story short, telephone companies are not doing well these days and I was a casualty. Think about it, how many of you have kids out on their own and a land line?? Damn those cell phones!

I have no intention of rehashing the last 10 months, but suffice to say there was a lot of suffering. Among the victims were my mojo, my running, and my weight and waist line.

Ahhhhh, the snowball from hell. It starts with a little depression. Being depressed leads to not wanting to run. Not running leads to weight gain. Weight gain leads to greater depression..... Need I go on?

So let's skip ahead to present day, August 2012.

The past months have seen a lot of miles added to my log, but virtually all "junk" miles. Shoes on, out the door, and 5 miles later heading to the shower tired and sweaty but probably not in any better shape for the last hour of my time.

I begin writing this on Friday, August 17, 2012, the last day of our family vacation here in beautiful Ocean City New Jersey. On this vacation, I have run 4 of the last 6 days. Up early and out the door at 6:30 in the morning so I can be back in time for breakfast with the family. It is during these runs I have come to the revelation that prompts me to blog once again.

My runs the last few months, including especially the runs here on the boardwalk, have been less than expected and hoped for. Not only has the pace been very very slow, I've been thinking of nothing but the finish line during what should have been perfect runs in paradise. Heavy breathing, more walk breaks than planned for, and 50 minutes of wishing my Garmin would hurry the hell up and get me to the 5 mile mark!

Here's the part that REALLY gets me going: there are two kinds of runners I see here, everywhere actually.

The first kind I call the "effortless runner". The effortless runner glides along at a pace that looks to other runners as Kenyan-like. Feet barely touching the ground, smile busting out all over, without a bead of sweat. These guys and gals really look like they could run like this forever and guess what, that's exactly how THEY feel! We have all had that run. Mid-way through a run you suddenly realize how darn good you feel. We all live for these runs!

The second type of runner I see is the "labored runner". This guy just looks miserable. He's running because he knows it's good for him. He runs so he can eat more for dinner, so he can have a few more beers this evening or so he can be cool and say "I'm a runner". Don't get me wrong, ALL great reasons to run. Perfect reasons to run actually. MY reasons for running.

But really, who the hell wants to be a labored runner? Who wants to suck wind, stare incessantly at your Garmin hoping the run is almost over, or add so many walk breaks you end up REALLY adding run breaks?? Not THIS GUY!!

So, I guess the real question is: If I am a labored runner, how do I become an effortless runner?

For me, FOR ME, I have been doing this long enough to know how to do it. The answer is far easier than the execution.

Let me put the answer this way:

Things I am doing when I’m a labored runner:

• I skip workouts

• I eat anything and everything I see, as often as I can. That includes way too many sweets.

• I fail to “watch what I eat”, meaning making sure I am eating the foods that make me feel good. That includes fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. No shocker there huh?

So what’s the BFD? Why do I find myself yo-yoing between the two every couple of years? Why would I do anything that would screw up that perfect run feeling? Let’s not go there, because honestly it just really makes me angry to stop and think about it. But before I move on, I’ll say one word…… WEAK!

Eating right, maintaining a healthy weight, and working out ALL lead to feeling great, period. But for some reason, I continually let all those benefits be eaten up, literally. Makes NO sense.

But the GOOD news is, I can’t FIX the issue until I define it. So, Issue, consider yourself defined.

Next obvious question is: Now What?

Ahhhhh the old now what question. Well that’s as obvious as the problem. Simply take all the things I do when I’m a labored runner and reverse them. Do the opposite. There, problem solved. Now to write a book and become a billionaire.

So if the solution is so obvious, why is it so damn hard to achieve? Or put a better way, what do I need to do differently, or add, to succeed? Know what I think it is? Know what I seem to add every time I am successful? ACCOUNTABILITY AND ANGER.

The anger part is the easiest. I just finished a vacation that was 99.99% perfect. The .01% all had to do with my lousy running in an area that should have been paradise to run in. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

So what’s left is the accountability. That’s where this blog comes in. As I said, I’m doing this for me. Selfish Kevin! I really have no illusions that anyone other than me will actually read this stuff, but knowing that it’s out there for the entire planet to read does add a bit of accountability, and I need that badly to succeed.

So, I started a “diet” yesterday. Made a plan on what I would eat and when, and got through day one. *Pat on the back* This plan is easy. It’s a no brainer. Calories in vs. calories out. The devil on my left shoulder against the angel on the right.

From time to time, the plan calls for me to write an update on this blog of how the fight goes. What I have learned, what I have done right, and of course what I have failed at. Accountability.

So here goes. And may the best imaginary figure on my shoulders win!

6 comments:

Susan said...

Thank you for sharing. I can totally relate! Keep on sharing. :)

Kathy Runner said...

I'm reading this and rooting for you! Been there myself-same age too!

Lisa W. said...

I am so glad I read your post. Last year, I was on it. Training like I should, eating what I should, run/walk was all consuming. This year, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. I would rather sleep and be lazy and eat what I want than get out on the walkway. Yesterday was my first day back at watching what I eat. Exercise will come, once my nasty cold leaves my body. I am not happy you are in the position you are, but it helps me not beat myself up so much for letting myself go. Knowing someone else is feeling EXACTLY the same as me, makes this situation a bit more manageable and isn't the end, only the beginning of another chapter:) Thanks Kevin!!!!

Lisa W. said...

I am so glad I read your post. Last year, I was on it. Training like I should, eating what I should, run/walk was all consuming. This year, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. I would rather sleep and be lazy and eat what I want than get out on the walkway. Yesterday was my first day back at watching what I eat. Exercise will come, once my nasty cold leaves my body. I am not happy you are in the position you are, but it helps me not beat myself up so much for letting myself go. Knowing someone else is feeling EXACTLY the same as me, makes this situation a bit more manageable and isn't the end, only the beginning of another chapter:) Thanks Kevin!!!!

Wags said...

Thanks for sharing Kevin. care to share what exactly you are eating and when

Chad T said...

Kevin. What a great post. Was kind of feeling the same this week myself. To many sweets for me too. Plan on submitting to TEMPC soon. Great pic of the family by the way. Gosh those kids are growing!

Chad