I love it when a plan comes together! - John 'Hannibal' SmithAre we success junkies? I used to work in management – a long time ago. When I had to fill a position there was always a length interview process and all of that stuff. But most of the time it came down to the person. You can teach most anyone a skill set. It is much harder (near impossible) to try and change someone’s basic philosophy. Are they a ‘go getter’? Do they take pride in their accomplishments? Do they attribute their failures to external factors? I was late again because of the traffic, I did not get the report done because … we it doesn’t matter – the bottom line is you did not complete the task.
Anyway, I digress. I think most of us in this same blog-o-sphere like to succeed. We put ourselves in positions so that we reach our goals. And I am not talking about little easy goals like getting out of bed or holding down a job. We set goals that are out of our reach – goals that would have been impossible weeks, months, or years ago. But we plan them out and we achieve them. We do this because we like to succeed. And, as we know, success breeds more success. You meet you goal for a 5k and the next thing you know you want to go faster. Now you want to go further and faster!
On Thursday night I failed. I had planned on running home from work – about 6 miles (funny, I say about six miles but I know exactly how far it is – it is like someone asking you what your PR is for whatever – Oh yeah, my ironman was something like 11:18:14 – something like that – I can tell you the splits - lol). I set myself up for failure. I put this workout at the end of the day when I know I am statistically less likely to be successful. On top of running late in the day, after two prior exercise sessions, this would be a demanding workout – I wanted to run home and I wanted to run fast.
I ended up skipping the workout – failure. I was given an opportunity to get home and I took it.
This affected me Thursday evening. I mean, I was not devastated but I was disappointed in myself. I needed a victory. Instead of Adult Swim this morning I put the run back on the docket. I was going to run into work and I was going to run fast. Oh, wait a minute – this was going to be a hard workout and what if I failed? I need to ensure success but it still had to have some meat to it – it could not be a walk in the park. Well, I did a quick evaluation. Tuesday night (yes night – after work) I had some success. I ran 6 miles and 4 of them were fast – miles 2, 3, 4 (that was the success – 3 consecutively fast miles) and mile 6 (6:30 minute per mile is fast for me right now). This was a hard workout for me. I decided to call up the ole virtual nemesis on the GPS but I was going to be successful – I need 5 consecutive ‘pretty’ fast miles. I plugged in the numbers for 5 miles at – wait for it – 6:45 pace. What? Slowing it down? I think it would have been difficult to my ego to fail on this run. I don’t do this often but sometimes success is more important than breakthrough runs.
Anyway I started out and very little warm up and me and the nemesis were neck and neck. I started to put some distance between us. I was running comfortably hard but I was not overdoing it. I was cruising along. The gap between us widened some and then he started to fall back a little bit. I never looked at my pace but I knew that I was a little faster than 6:45. I was able to keep the pace for the entire 5 miles. This was a solid victory. I was back on track. I had almost guaranteed success. I need a win.
After the run into work I looked at my pace for the 5 miles. Well, they were all faster than 6:45 and many were faster than 6:30 – I ran the 5 miles at an average pace of 6:31. This was huge. This was a very solid run at a very solid pace. Now, I have to ask myself, “What would have been the results if I had needed to run 6:30 for success?”
I needed a W in the win column and I got it!
Sometimes you have to alter the goals – remember it is the big picture that we are after and these are just the day to day steps to get there. This running thing really is just a mental game.
Are you a success junkie?