Posts Tagged ‘mojo’

I have never been big on New Year’s Resolutions.  I find them to be somewhat silly – seriously, if you want to do or change something, why not do it the moment you think of it? Why wait for the turning of the calendar?

That being said, I must admit, there is something about wiping the slate clean and starting anew.

While I was out for a run on Saturday, I spent my time contemplating 2011 in terms of running and fitness.  I started that year with a bang, averaging nearly 200 miles per month for the first 5 months.  But then something happened.  I interpreted it as losing my mojo, but if I’m going to be completely honest with myself, I think I just burned myself out.  Even with big races on the horizon (Around the Lake in July, the Vermont 50 in September and the New York City Marathon in November) I just couldn’t get myself motivated and back into a rhythm.

I kept telling myself, “next week…next week I’ll get back into it”, but it just never happened.  I ended the year probably averaging less than 50 miles per month over the last 3 or 4 months (that’s including the races!).

As I ran my quick 4-miler on Saturday, I looked back at 2011 with some regret and disappointment.  For a year that started off so promisingly in regards to running, competitively it ended in the dumps.

But now, it is 2012 – nothing has changed except the number at the end of the calendar.  Nothing has changed, yet maybe everything has changed.

I now have a clean slate.  2011 is gone.  2012 is here.

I don’t know if I have it in me to ever hit 3:15 in a marathon (what I need to get back to Boston as a qualifier).  After pouring so much energy into reaching Boston in 2011 as a qualifier, maybe that fire is gone.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t try come May at Sugarloaf.  My 18-week training plan starts next Monday.  My plan is to train hard, but not burn out – for that reason I am going to stick to the Pfitz 18/55 plan as opposed to the 18/70.

2011 ended in a mess – my running was haphazard and inconsistent at best.  2012 won’t start off with the explosion of miles that 2011 did, but hopefully, I will be able to find a steady, consistent pace…that IS what running a marathon or longer is all about, right?

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Last week I awoke one day to a message on Facebook from my friend Sue.  She had sent me a link to this —>

, saying she thought of me when she first saw it.  Little did I know that Jess had posted that same video on her blog just the day before.  I urge you to watch it, but I warn you, have some tissues ready.  After initially seeing it, and wiping away many tears, I sent a “thank you” to Sue.

The next day I got a note from my friend Logan.  He was speaking on a podcast called Geeks in Running Shoes previewing a presentation he was going to give to a group from Google on the nexus of running and social media.  During the podcast he spoke of reading this blog and how it completely changed the way he sees autism – or more to point, that he now SEES autism and is less inclined to judge a family and their “misbehaving” child.

Later I received a response from Sue.  She told me that she and her family had done the Autism Walk in her hometown due in large part to the regular posts both Jess and I put up on our respective blogs.

Each of those things, the video by Lou, the presentation by Logan and Sue’s initial thought of me and response would have individually made me feel pretty inspired, but it was the rapid fire impact of those three that hit me like a Mack Truck of Good Feelings.

Suddenly my brain was in high gear, jumping from one project to another that has fallen by the wayside over the last year or two – the books I want to write (one about running, the other completely unrelated), the motivational tools I want to produce – I became even more motivated in fund raising for Autism Speaks and the spreading of the message of awareness.

But the biggest impact was on my desire to run.  It is no secret that I have been struggling to find my mojo since May.  My runs have been uninspired at best.  This past weekend I ran on both Saturday and Sunday for the first time in a long while.  I went back to basics on Saturday, pulling out my old Vibram Treks and did a nice little 5-miler into town and back.  My calves were almost immediately in pain when I got home, but I LOVED it!  On Sunday, I put on the more traditional shoes and went out  just to “run for fun”.  Shortly into my run I came across an entrance to a trail, shrugged my shoulders and went for my first trail run.

What fun!  The only downside, if there was one, was that I ended up getting lost, ending up at the same bridge over a sea of 4 foot tall grass three times before I finally figured out how to get out of the woods.  My only real worry was the 93° heat, otherwise, in the wise words of my friend Lisa (@runlikeacoyote – you should follow her if you are on twitter), it really wasn’t getting lost, it was just exploring.

Bottom line is this – I am pumped, full of energy and raring to go (though I did come to the conclusion that I am in no way ready to take the plunge on a 50-mile run through the mountains of Vermont – especially if it’s 93frickin’°!!!). Still, I feel good – terribly sore, but good!  My calves really hate me right now, but it’s good.

I’m looking forward to putting words to paper (already 1200 words in), I’m re-thinking my “why we run” project, I am setting up an appointment with a graphics designer, I’m looking forward to this October’s Autism Walk with Autism Speaks, and I have renewed motivation for spreading awareness.

AND running is fun again.

How incredible is it that one can spend months trying to find their mojo only to have it reappear thanks to three apparently unconnected, yet intricately related people.

Thank you Lou for your vision, thank you Logan for opening yourself up to awareness and passing it on, and thank you Sue for your open heart, your kindness and inspiration.

Finally, for all those who have seen Lou’s video, here’s his thank you to you.

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Why do you run?

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Everything moves in cycles and that includes our motivation. Sometimes the speed of the cycles is steady, sometimes it varies.

As some of you know, my mojo has been at a nadir for some time now. I have been unable to get myself going – there’s always a half-decent excuse, which is great if you believe in half-decent excuses…unfortunately, I do not.

But this week I do feel it coming back.  It’s a trickle, but I can feel it, building slowly.

Two things have helped move me along.

  1. On Sunday I was fortunate enough to receive a Garmin Forerunner 610 as a Fathers’ Day gift.  (inevitable review to follow).
  2. Yesterday, a free pair of Brooks’ Green Silence – I won them by winning my buddy Doug’s —>36K for Miracles virtual race <— – arrived in the mail (another inevitable review to follow).

On Monday, though normally a rest day, I had to take the watch out for a test run.  Tonight or tomorrow (whenever I can squeeze in the time – school letting out has thrown the schedule out of whack) I will be taking the Green Silence for a test run as well.

I am working my way back to my marathon training (I had better! there are just over 5 weeks to go) after 10+ days off.  The Mojo ain’t flowing freely just quite yet, but these two items have provided an external spark that I think are just the trick for getting me back on track.  My mind is taken off of the fact that my self-motivation is low and focused squarely on my two new toys.

Which brings me to what I have been preaching since the inception of the blog (if not longer) – by whatever means possible get yourself moving one way or another and then let momentum/inertia take over.  If it takes an external push to get going, fine! Use it until the internal engine kicks in.  It’s like a stick-shift car with a dead battery – get some friends to push the car, pop the clutch, finally get the engine started and then you’re off.

I’ve got the car in gear, clutch engaged, and am slowly rolling down the hill.

Will my Mojo in a Box work?  If I pop the clutch, will the engine start?

Check back next week.

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Why do you run?

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