279 days: I am a Polyanna

I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Almost three months in and so far we are a bit ahead of schedule. Raised so far: $3,090!

Last Friday was brutal. It is still brutal. And I’m still confused… sad… angry. And I am still processing it all. We are all still processing it all. Lauren and I sat on the couch watching the President’s speech from Newtown last night… and shed tears as he read the names of the teachers and staff. And cried again as he read the names of the children. Heck, we even shed a tear at the beginning of the Sunday night football game as flares were shot up into the air in memory of each soul that was lost on that day.

As painful as that day was, and continues to be, for our country and the world, there are no easy answers. There is no charity we can contribute toward or volunteer for that will bring those victims back. No single policy or law that our country can change that will take this all away.

But… there are things we can do to help prevent these things from happening in the future. Will tragic events like this happen again? Unfortunately, yes.

It won’t be easy. It will take a shift in our culture from the “me” to the “we”. It will require us to work hard… to be educated… and to be kind to our neighbors. Our neighbors next door (yes, even those loud, obnoxious ones). Our neighbors in our community. Our neighbors across our country… and across the world.

It will require empathy. It will require us to work together with others, to listen, to understand, when sometimes that is the last thing you want to do.

For example… this morning I have a big meeting with co-workers to discuss a set of deliverables that were communicated almost 5 months ago… and are two weeks overdue, without a clear path to getting their tasks done. I could go into this meeting and start yelling (I’ve done this in the past). I could go into this meeting and express my extreme disappointment (I’ve also done this in the past). But I won’t. I want to understand the issues… and offer my help to make them successful.

It is a lesson that I need to remind myself about more often. A harsh word can get results, but a smile can be even more powerful. A slap from the hand will have a result, but a pat on the back or handshake from that same hand can garner better long-term results. With my friends and family, at work, and with my neighbors of the world.

Yes. I am being a Pollyanna here. But instead of being cynical about that… I challenge you to ask yourself, “How can I be a Pollyanna, too?”

Now, back to the grind. The Monday rundown as part of my Commit portion of the TFAC plan for the week of Dec. 10 to Dec. 16:

Monday: 3-mile recovery run
Actual: 3.7 miles @ 6:08/mile. Not much to recover from, since the previous day was a volunteer day at the CII Holiday Festival without a long run.

Tuesday: 5 x hill intervals.
Actual: 3.8 miles of hills @ 6:43/mile.

Wednesday: 4-mile run
Actual: 4.4 miles @ 6:28/mile.

Thursday: 40 minute tempo run (slow, build to very fast, end slow)
Actual: Wiped out… took my rest day one day early and plan on this workout for Friday.

Friday: REST
Actual: 5.8 miles @ 6:47/mile. This is the tempo run I should have done the prior day.

Saturday: 8 miles at race pace (planned marathon race pace is 6:30/mile)
Actual: 8.2 miles @ 6:28/mile. This felt good… particularly after doing a tempo run the previous day.

Sunday: 16 miles at a slow pace
Actual: 18 miles @ 7:13/mile.

Grand total of 43.9 miles out of a planned 39 miles at an average pace of 6:48/mile. 5,891 calories burned.

Surprising bit of trivia: according to my training logs, this is my highest volume week of run training… ever. The training plan I’m using for this marathon training cycle is a bit more aggressive than I’ve used in the past. But not as aggressive as the triathlon training cycle I was on while preparing for the Lake Stevens 70.3 last summer. Several weeks in that training cycle I was burning over 11,000 calories per week… that is a lot of swim/bike/run!

So… why did I go nutso this past week while I’m still recovering from that freak ankle injury? I have 37.5 miles on deck for this next week, capped off by 8 miles on Saturday and 17 miles on Sunday.

But I won’t get anywhere near that this week. Why? I have a date with a group of folks on Thursday afternoon that are going to give me some good drugs and shoot lasers at my eyes. No, I’m not going to pull a Timothy Leary and then go play laser tag. We’re talking vision correction surgery and they recommend I not do any activities that could get sweat in my eyes for a few days after the procedure (well, they actually said one week… we’ll see how THAT goes). And you can be certain I will be blogging about this experience!

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One Response to 279 days: I am a Polyanna

  1. svzrth says:

    Handshakes and pats on the back are great, but hugs are even better!

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