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June 21, 2006

sabotage, pt ii

so the last sabotage post was specifically about training and how we damage our efforts to be better athletes. but there's another aspect of sabotage and training that i touched on lightly but i think warrants it's own post. i think we all desire to be better athletes, or to at least find out what we're capable of, and we dream big. reading other blogs and watching sporting events can only inspire us to explore the realm of possibilities.

but how often do those lofty goals conflict with reality? do we not need to balance our athletic pursuits with the other aspects of our life? does setting that sub four hour marathon goal require you to cut into family time? and does cutting into family time sabotage family and your training as well?

that last sabotage post was challenging us to examine our training and what we're doing to derail it, but i think it is equally important to set realistic goals. i may want to run a sub 3 hour marathon, but i know the intense training that it would require. do i go ahead and set that as a goal and end up sabotaging my training because of higher priority items in my life, or do i take a good look at the balance that needs to be struck in my life and back off and focus on a more realistic time or distance?

i think it is easy for us to get carried away with the enthusiasm of others and jump on bandwagons, when in reality we need to find our own harmonious training ground. you may have plenty of time and flexibility to train for a full ironman, or you may have an insanely busy schedule that only allows for running a handful of 5k's a year. if the latter is the case, then setting that goal of a marathon finish might just negatively impact family/work/volunteering/etc which in turn throws that wrench into the marathon training.

so, train smart, train with focus and train with passion, but train for goals that have been well thought out and that don't put that training in jeopardy from the start.

Posted by jeff at June 21, 2006 8:52 AM

Two great posts Jeff! Very thought provoking and insightful. I'm just now training for my first marathon and can already totally relate with what you're saying. I can also see how as I travel down the road of running this could become a greater and greater challenge. Now is the time to keep it real and make the hard but all too important decisions.

Posted by: Heath at June 21, 2006 10:13 AM

we must be on the same wavelength. this feeling of wanting to focus clearly on my 50-miler just hit me. i have a lot of questions for you, amigo.

Posted by: matt at June 21, 2006 10:15 AM

I am finding that it is important not only to weigh my goal setting realistically with my other commitments, but also to keep a calendar in mind too - I may not have a certain commitment this year that I will next, so now is the time to run the race, or I might not let myself run another marathon until I am done with this degree program - that sort of thing.

Have you been reading Susan's blog recently?


Posted by: SD at June 21, 2006 10:56 AM

wow, another thought-provoking post. (Have you been reading a.maria's blog lately?) It's so important to keep all aspects of life in balance, and it's very hard to do that working 40 hours a week, and training for a marathong-bam, right there, it's thrown off time for family and friends! I have to start thinking thru my priorities more carefully--and being more realistic, i think.

Thanks for making me think!

Posted by: jeanne at June 21, 2006 11:09 AM

yeah, I was going to ask if this was for Susan...but I think it appplies to MANY of us:)

Posted by: susie at June 21, 2006 11:46 AM

I like to think you've been reading my blog lately....

Long time no chat. Sorry, amigo. Hope all is well on the left coast.

Posted by: jank at June 21, 2006 11:51 AM

I hope some of the bloggers who seem to have their priorities out of balance in pursuit of a certain medal and claim will read this.

Posted by: Anne at June 21, 2006 12:45 PM

Ah, geez...does this mean I have to start showing up for work and spending time with my family now? My training was going so well when I was unbalanced.

You're so #!*% level headed - thanks for the reminder.

Posted by: Donald at June 21, 2006 12:53 PM

another great post. i think we all know it to some extent and you are right, how do you get that perfect balance? it's not easy that's for sure.

Posted by: Go Girl at June 21, 2006 5:06 PM

Good post topic, Jeff. Guess this is the area in which my lack of a life is a benefit :) More seriously, balance is something I've had swirling around in my head that I need to get around to posting about before I forget it.

Posted by: Marisa at June 21, 2006 5:31 PM

Great couple of posts Jeff. There's a lot here that can be applied to lots of other areas of life.

Posted by: Craig at June 21, 2006 6:46 PM

well said Jeff.

Posted by: Julie at June 21, 2006 8:35 PM

Good topic, Jeff. This has been on my mind for a long time. I tend to try not to set performance goals that would require more of my time, e.g. I'm sure I could run a sub-4, maybe even a 3:30 marathon, but it would require a time commitment that would steal from other parts of my life (e.g. family). For me it is not worth it, but we have to decide for ourselves.

Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2006 11:17 PM

setting a lofty goal and trying to attain it is a process, like life. it is true that "if you fail to plan (or have a plan) you are planning to fail". it is very impotant to remember what one gains by making the trip, or the attempt, not just reaching the destination. running, and life, is not destination oriented. it's all about the trip. my take is: setting a goal and failing to reach it is not a failure in every sense.

Posted by: massoman at June 22, 2006 5:31 AM

great post -- i agree that sometimes it's so easy to let someone else's goals or accomplishments seep into your head as what to strive for . . . when a balance really is necessary. i am trying to keep my running FUN -- i will know i have messed up the balance when it feels more like work.

Posted by: sarah at June 22, 2006 7:19 AM

great post -- i agree that sometimes it's so easy to let someone else's goals or accomplishments seep into your head as what to strive for . . . when a balance really is necessary. i am trying to keep my running FUN -- i will know i have messed up the balance when it feels more like work.

Posted by: sarah at June 22, 2006 8:20 AM

This is an AWESOME post. I struggle with this a lot. . . I *wanted* to do a 70.3 this year, but realistically, I don't have the bandwith for that kind of training volume.

Fortunately, running and triathlon are both life-long sports, and I've got lots of years ahead of me to train.

Posted by: Veeg at June 23, 2006 6:28 AM

Hi Sweetie - What a great post!! I think it's time to start taking credit for raising you and giving you such a great mind and spirit!! Just kidding of course. We did some things right, but we give God ALL the credit!!

Such joy and pride I have in knowing you're MY son!!

I love you Jeff,
Mom :)

Posted by: CC Smith at June 23, 2006 8:03 AM

Well said. One can hinder the other...or enhance the other. She's a fine line b'y!

Be well Jeff!

Posted by: Robb at June 23, 2006 2:24 PM

I have to stop reading your mom's comments. Every time I nearly tear-up because they are so sweet. :) Great post Jeff.

Posted by: aprilanne at June 23, 2006 2:43 PM

Whoa - this is exactly why I didn't go to med school. Sabotaged my time with friends and family.

Well, that and I don't want to be a doctor.


Posted by: tracy at June 23, 2006 7:41 PM

Good Stuff Jeff, I love your mind!

Posted by: christine at June 23, 2006 9:34 PM

Good how you mentioned the boomerang effect of how badly-planned training that upsets our other-lifely balance can come back and thump the training.

Being the "default parent" - the one who is not paid full-time, or for shifts (as opposed to the other one, who does), my scheduling has to be the most flexible. Succumbing to that and the siren of the couch+remote-control are my sabotage.

The best security strategy against myself? Planning out loud. "On this day at this time I will do this."

Posted by: karen in calgary at June 24, 2006 4:01 AM

I have been thinking right along these lines with respect to my Half Ironman in August. I definitely was jumping on a bandwagon and now that wagon is close to losing its wheels because realistically the Olympic was the perfect distance for me to keep consistent training and live the rest of my life how I want it. Am going to post about it later tonight :) Thanks for writing so elequently what is going on in my head!

Posted by: Elizabeth at June 24, 2006 4:42 PM

Funny a few of us think you wrote this directed to us. I look at this years goals and *sigh*. I really thought they were realistic. And they might have been had my parents not both been hit will illnesses. Ah such as life.

I've been rethinking where I went wrong and what to plan for next year. Its so hard when you've been bitten by the "racing" bug to back down sometimes, to do shorter races or set different goals. I'm thinking next year I really need to stick to 5 & 10k races. I've done halfs and a even a full. Maybe I should put those longer runs on hold until I "master" the others and lose the weight. Doing that will bring the others back into line with a much better outcome.

Good posts. Thanks for making us think about where we are going instead of just doing.

Posted by: Dawn (aka Pink Lady) at June 26, 2006 3:26 PM
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