Monthly Archives: December 2013

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 12

At San Dieguito Park-Solana Beach, California

I’ve had a lot going on with my day job since I last posted.  It appears I may have a breather as we head into the weekend, so let’s see if I can finish this and post it today.  We shall see….

While I have been busy with my business, I have been thinking about running in the spare moments – and when I have actually been running.

One major theme that has come up for me is the mental part of the entire gestalt of running.  In the October, 2013 issue of Runner’s World there is an article which places extreme emphasis on the mental side.  If you would like to read it, please click on this link:  Train Your Brain Hard0001.  For me, this is radical, not gradual.  I believe the strongest and longest lasting method is steady, gradual development, both physically and mentally.

 I recommend the book Psychocybernetics, by Dr. Maxwell Maltz to give you a better idea of this longer term approach to the mental side of life, including running.  This book was the foundation of the mental approach to training I learned at Stanford University when I was in school eons ago.  Dr. Maltz was a plastic surgeon who noticed over the years that many of his patients who had improved their appearance physically through surgery had not improved their internal self-image.  Negative “self-talk” continued to dominate their thoughts. 

He ultimately discovered that positive thoughts, vividly imagined in the mind’s eye, are perceived by the mind to be every bit as real as actual events.  He believed a person’s outer success could never exceed one’s internally visualized success.  From this he developed a template which his patients could customize to codify areas of life they wanted to improve.  Here are some of the positive affirmations we used on the track team:

  1. I am a relaxed, fast runner.
  2. I enjoy my workouts.
  3. I am a winner.
  4. I am a good student and I complete my assignments easily.    
  5. I focus on my breathing to distract myself from pain during strenuous workouts and races.        
  6. I enjoy doing my affirmations every day.                                         

We were instructed to find a quiet place, close our eyes, and relax.  We then repeated each affirmation aloud and focused on evoking a vivid mental picture of ourselves in action, executing the affirmation in as much detail as possible.  For example, when you repeat “I am a winner,” see yourself coming down the final straightaway, pumping your arms, legs strong and churning, then leaning forward, first to break the tape.  Of particular importance is seeing yourself enjoying doing your affirmations every day, because this ultimately overcomes the negative thought that doing the affirmations is a waste of time.

This approach is alive and well today.  Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 12

Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life-Episode 11

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 11

For the last several weeks, I have been doing a modest amount of running, but not feeling prepared to write about.  I’m still tired much of the time, and I’m stiff the days following the gym workouts, interval training and the tempo runs.  I’ve cut back to these two running days and one gym workout per week.  I do some walking and easy running on the other four days, but most of them are rest days.

But I really feel good when I am running, and for several hours after the workouts.  Some of this “feel good” phenomenon is the endorphins my body produces, but I think the majority is just the relaxed movement.  I think in former times, every stride was tense, and probably I had muscle groups working against each other.  Now I try to relax my stomach, keep my elbows tucked in slightly, shorten my stride, and land mid-sole.  I feel more fluid, and I really enjoy this kind of movement.  Perhaps I’m just fooling myself, but I haven’t sustained any injuries since I resumed training six months ago.  This is the longest I’ve ever gone after a layoff without injury.

Stanford Oval View Of The Quad
Stanford Oval View Of The Quad

Continue reading Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life-Episode 11