Tag Archives: goals

Beyond the usual

My usual run is four miles at a steady pace.

Sometimes I do a faster three, or a slower five or six, but on a typical day, it’s four – two out and back. I strive for negative splits, each mile faster than the last. But I haven’t focused on overall pace in ages.

In the past couple of months, I’ve added some interval training. So some days I do my steady four and others it’s sprint work, or longer faster bouts, with periods of low intensity to recover. I selected a fat burning plan, rather than one for speed building. That said, it’s reasonable to expect speed gains when you put your newly optimized lungs and legs to the test.

Monica Hargrove being badass.

I haven’t done that.

On my four-milers, I take it easy on purpose. I warm up the first mile, and lock into a comfortable stride for the next three.

But last night I reflected on that.

I’m stronger and more flexible than I’ve been in years. Yet here I am, still doing these slowish/easy runs. I can go faster like I used to. I think I’ll try…

This morning I arrived at the greenway in the same state of mind. Walking toward the start I thought, Every run can’t be conversation pace. And off I went. I wasn’t after a tempo run, but I was going for a push.

My first mile was faster than usual, but still within range for my warm up pace. I locked into a zone and began to kick things up a notch.

Mile two, faster.  In fact, nearly 40 seconds faster than my usual pace for mile two.

Mile three is where I usually slow things down. Typically, I have to concentrate to maintain my pace. If I don’t run negative splits, it’s usually because of the mile three bust. But I kept pushing, and when I heard the Garmin chirp, I’d dropped another 30 seconds. I’d run a minute faster than my usual mile three pace.

By mile four, I decided to take breathers. I pushed the pace but stopped the clock when I needed to rest. That said, I dropped another 50 seconds from the previous split, still a minute faster than my usual pace for mile four.

I felt great! For one, I accomplished what I set out to do. And two, a strong workout feels great when you’re up to it.

Now I’ve got my work cut out for me… I have a new target pace for non-stop runs. Because every run can’t be conversation pace.

Get ‘er done!

Dig deep. Get ‘er done!

Sometimes the day just slips away. Or the hours of the day more specifically. Today was one of those days.

I can’t exactly say I was productive – at least if we’re only considering deliverables or output. Simply put, I don’t have products to show for my time.  But I do have mental space cleared and three project plans in the works.

Moreover, I updated my goal list, transforming it to include bigger, yet more concrete goals. I even changed the name, now calling it a Victory List.

We’re nearly halfway done with 2016. It’s time to get it cracking! How are you doing on your 2016 goals? What will you do to make them reality?

Puzzle Pieces

lotus-304976_640If you pursue a question or an idea and are open to the myriad whispering voices in your midst, it’s almost miraculous how you’ll begin to receive information, encouragement, something to bring you closer to understanding.

Almost miraculous, but on further reflection, it seems more of an equation. The first part, of course, is the question itself. The curious mind, the curious heart, desires to know; to understand. If there is no desire, even if the information is close at hand, it remains invisible. Undiscovered. Present, but ultimately useless. It’s a glass of water for one who has no thirst presently, and none approaching.

So a seeking spirit is the first key.

Aside from the question, there’s the matter of receptiveness. This is related to a curious heart, but it’s a separate consideration. Many people express interest in this, that or the other, but due to trauma or maybe ego or the like, they can’t receive. She thirsts. Water is plentiful. But it’s as good as invisible. She cannot drink.

So openness/receptiveness is the second key.

But what of wisdom? It’s of no use to to seek jewels and collect them, never realizing their true value. This is when one foregoes the offered water in favor of something sweeter or bubbly, but ultimately unsatisfying. It may be yummy, but does not quench the thirst. You must be able to discern the truth when it comes, whether you read it in a book, hear it or overhear it in conversation, or simply come to know it in the silences of your mind.

So wisdom must be the third.

I jotted these ideas today over lunch, after receiving a few puzzle pieces this morning. What, if anything would you change or add? 

Next steps

sesimbra sidewalk
Nic taking steps in Portugal.

I long held on to something that was once a good stepping stone and source of support but it turned into something… much less productive. After a couple of years it became a crutch. And over the past few months, and most clearly the past couple of days, I realized it was more like an anchor.

In Nichiren Buddhism, once you realize you’re in a less than ideal situation, you seek to understand your role in it. You take responsibility and try to transform it. Hendoku iyaku, or changing poison into medicine, is a powerful approach. But it doesn’t work if you try to transform the wrong thing. You can’t change other people. You can only change you.

I’ve felt stagnant and frustrated for quite some time, but ultimately, I was allowing an external situation to weigh me down. I was the one holding on, and in effect, creating my own stagnation. My outlook and resulting actions were the poison I needed to change.

And so, Thursday, I resolved to let go. And Friday, I started the wheels in motion. Today I am overjoyed, looking forward to next steps.