Here are a few pics from this morning's jogging. 12.5 miles slow and relaxed. And yes, I did run an extra 1/2 mile to even out yesterday. More drivel below the pics...
My baby boy Oliver is sick and was fussing all night long. At 3:00am I got up and made coffee. I'm operating on 5 hours of very broken sleep and my mind races when I don't sleep so this post might ramble.
I worked for a couple of hours then drove down to Golden (Boulder 2.0) and was foolish enough to run back woods trails in the dark (my head lamp is busted). GZ posted about running on ice with out traction devices (microspikes, yaktrax, etc.) and today I got a taste of this. I'm so used to running dirt roads and they are never bad up here. I ran out (uphill) with no difficulty, but on a short icy section I busted my ass and realized that I still needed to get back (I had every intention of this being a 21 mile run). I normally would suck it up but as you can see from a few pics, there were sheer drop offs with a skinny sheet of ice for footing and I didn't feel like running for 6 hours (yet). We were at a dinner party the other night with our neighbors and they said they pulled in to their house one evening last week and a mountain lion sauntered across in front of their car. They said he/ she simply walked casually and glanced over at their car. No fear. This is just 3 doors down from us. So I was kind of creeped out. Although I am dying to see a pooma, and I will, I want at least to have one useless defense at my disposal. You'll never hear it, or smell it. You'll probably feel it and I at least want to see it.
Something that I've been rolling around in my head for the last week is a comment that GZ made in regards to the blogosphere possibly being too positive. That's what I read initially but not what he said. It got my dander up (wtf does that mean anyway?) and blinded by my ego I failed to comprehend what he meant. He said something to the effect of: the blogosphere is often too positive to provoke thoughtful banter. Today I found myself going from being irked to completely agreeing with him. I'm not sure exactly what he meant, but this is my take.
I went through an extremely insane training period in 2004 where I was just shelling myself with volume. I was training more and possibly harder than any other (clean) Ironman athlete ever has. And something that really bothered me years later was that the friend that I trained often with commented that he saw me completely going over the edge. But he never said anything. This story (in my mind) relates to GZ's comment directly. We are often times scared to make comments to people that aren't completely positive for fear of offending or we don't think it's 'our place'. A couple of years ago I made an effort to improve myself and become a more positive (in the past I lived on hate) person for the sake of my children. When I did this I realized that my skin became thinner, which I still think is the best way to be. People with thick skin tend to allow haters to dwell in their lives (on their back). I get offended when I get an anonymous post, almost no matter what is said (but that's another issue) but I think I have been OK in welcoming constructive criticism. What I found myself doing recently for the very first time ever with one of my athletes, was not telling them the truth because I knew they only wanted positive feedback. They only wanted to hear what they wanted to hear. I begged this athlete to communicate with me more often and they felt slighted and accused me of bitching at them. So I backed off. They ended their Boston marathon build by getting severely (think hospital) sick. I could have prevented this had they allowed me to and I still have huge guilt from this.
My point of all of this? If we can't rely on our friends and fellow athletes to tell us when we are fucking up then who will? Most of us don't have a coach and our spouses often times won't get involved because often times they don't understand or they don't want to interfere with our 'hobby'. I read a few blogs and I see people doing what I feel (and know) is fucking up, but how do we tell them with out offending? I read the comments and it's all sunshine and puppy dogs and no one is stepping up with the truth as they see it which really could help or at least make them THINK. GZ of all people knows I speak my mind, but I think he's a bit unique in being able to listen and not be offended (much). I could easily just say 'great job' when the person isn't doing a great job. But how do you say 'you could be doing better'? I'm perplexed. And I also think when we get offended by truth, the truth will elude you. Meaning that if you get pissed when someone says 'you're messing up', then in the future that person will probably just lie to you or not say anything at all.
I think GZ is absolutely correct, but I also think the criticism need to be thoughtful and useful. If you post anonymously and start off with 'you're an idiot' then ya, people get pissed. Something about the whole anonymous thing I just have no respect for. But useful criticism is invaluable and telling me that I'm doing great when I'm not is just insulting and mean.
This turned in to more of just a rambling rant about what was going through my mind today.