Sunday, October 26, 2014

Training Blog: 10/26/14

I need a good solid run. I have not been in a few days and I'm starting to feel the effects mentally of not running. Work has me feeling tired and worn out and I know if I maintain a healthy diet and exercise, I'll have more sustainable energy. Today for lunch, I had a bag of chips and salsa.... not what I would call healthy. Now I'm upset with myself for eating it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Just Saying Hi

We live busy lives and amongst the hustle and bustle of our lives, we often forget the simplest form of communication and quite possibly the easiest way to improve this world we live in. That's just saying hi to someone.

There seems to be new high rise condos and apartment buildings going up on every corner, bringing people closer together, but there seems to be a gap between us that's as big as the pacific ocean. Who's your neighbor? I bet a lot of you don't even know. And through our busy lives, we may never see those neighbors ever...

Coming home from work today, I saw a new neighbor moving into the condo next to where I live. I thought to myself, "I wonder if they need help?" So I went and introduced myself to them and offered my help. They'd decline, but we had a lovely conversation. They were from the Midwest and really appreciated me coming to say hi.

I'm not trying to make myself out to be some holier than thou person, I'm simply trying to... I'm hoping I can inspire someone out there reading this to start changing the world on a daily basis. We must to start small and simply saying hi to someone can really make a huge impact. With so much negativity in the world, we need to start filling our lives with positivity. I know this is a choppy post and has nothing to do with running or triathlon, but I really really really believe we can make this world a better place one smile at a time.

Here's my challenge. Every day, please just say hi to someone in passing. Smile at a stranger. Let's all unite and the this world for the better.

I love you all.

Mark.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Curb The Attitude

It takes a lot of courage to get off the couch and get active. So snide remarks about how a person looks while staying active could possibly hurt them on their journey. We should be encouraging instead of ridiculing someone. Everyone starts somewhere and this hateful epidemic will only continue to grow unless we start within and curb these negative thoughts that constantly come to the surface. Every little bit counts. So please, instead of making fun of a biker, hiking with his or her bike up the side of a mountain because he or she wasn't able to complete the climb, offer words of encouragement and provide friendly words that help motivate that person. And if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Together we can inspire. :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Take To The Trails!!

Running on the black stuff people called asphalt or pavement, I become bored. Your run is so repetitive and normal. Runners often describe their morning runs out on a pathway or roadway as hell or "having to go for a run." Why would you do anything you don't want to do?

Now don't assume I believe running on the road is horrible, but compared to taking to the trails, I would rather experience the joy and connection to god, life and myself that I get from a meditative trail run over constant laps around Tempe Town Lake. Don't get me started on that.

Every run has a purpose and the repetitive nature of loops around a lake makes me bored and question my intentions and negative thoughts regarding running start to appear more. Basically, I allow my brain time to trick me into quitting more often.  A trail is constantly different, always changing. You have to have your wits about you, quick thinking to survive a descent down a hill. One misstep and you're toast. I don't know about other trails outside of Arizona, but the trails here are littered with jagged rocks and could spell trouble if you take a spill, especially if you're all alone.

I've talked about depression and the relation to running and what running means to me. Now, I'm just learning about how the brain works in terms of creating both happiness and sadness so bare with me here.

A long stretch of road is routine, and safe. This is where sadness breeds. A trail is constantly changing, new and can breed happy thoughts. That's why you can often hear me laughing or giggling during a run as scrambling down a mountain feels like jumping on a trampoline and I revert to my childhood memories. It's play, it's fun, it's exciting.

I'm able to connect on the trail to both god and myself. I challenge myself every time I'm on the trail. Running a road, it's just challenging to enjoy myself.

I don't ever want running to be a chore I HAVE to do. I want it to be something I enjoy, something I look forward to. Maybe that's why entering races isn't a top priority to me. Anyways, I love to run.

Sorry for the choppy post, my brain works on mysterious ways.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Soak It In

Every now and then, I find myself at the end of a trail, sitting. Before I head back to the trailhead, I like to soak it all in. Sometimes it's my way of absorbing everything I thought about during the run. Sometimes I just like to sit and listen to nature, becoming closer with life.

I think there's often a misconception of what you see or experience during a trail run. People often think that since you're running, you're not seeing things the same as if you were out there hiking, stopping to take pictures. You'd be surprised what is trail runners see and experience during our time running. Just like any other hiker or trail goer, we see things that become very personal to us, very intimate experiences with nature.

For instance, not to long ago, I came in contact with a rattlesnake. It wasn't bothered by me and I was not scared of it. There was almost a sense of respect by both of us. We bonded so to speak. Afterwards, we went our separate ways.

My point is, trail running is a place to meditate, be one with life. So much is going on in our personal/professional lives that we often forget to live. We get so caught up on social media and what's going on in the lives of others that we neglect our own. Trail running, for me at least, helps me reconnect with myself and provides a sanctuary from everything going on around me. So while I'm out there, exploring, I'm taking in everything and I'll sit and sort through everything I saw and experienced. To put it in some terms, I find answers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cheaper Than Therapy

Overwhelming depressed feelings can be curbed by simply going out and experiencing the outdoors, running, hiking, biking, walking. Problem is that leaving the safety of ones bed can be a daunting task. The times you don't want to leave your bed are the times you should be outside.

These past few weeks of battling whatever it is I've been dealing with, expressing the desire to stay in bed have been times I should have been forcing myself to go outside and play.

"Play" is a new word brought to my attention from Donna, describing what trail running really is to me. It's play time, time to go out and have fun. There are times I don't particularly enjoy the run, but after I feel cleansed, wanting more. Play is a great term and a perfect description of descending mountain, hopping from rock to rock, flying down with reckless abandon.

Next time I feel like wasting the day away, you'll find me out on the trail, running all day, enjoying what has been a godsend. It's cheaper than therapy.