Friday, September 19, 2008


I don't even know where to start. We were scheduled to run 15km this morning. I and a few others ended up running 17km. Because we got lost.

We were running the trails today. The trails behind Moshavs Aderet, Roglit, Massua, etc. Until now we have run a route back and forth, ending where we started. Today we took half the cars to the end point of the run and then half the cars loaded up with everybody to the beginning of the route. When we would get to the end, we would take those parked at the beginning back there and then leave.

Man plans and God laughs.

We made plans that whenever there is a turn in the route off a trail onto a different one, someone from a fast group would hang back to show the next group which way to go. After about 11km or so, we lost track of the people ahead of us. They had waved from afar to show us which way to go, and we saw them. Then we made a turn, but could no longer see them. And then the path ended and became a field. I thought we should still go that way, because that is the general direcytion they had been going, and there would probably be a path up a head. Someone else insisted it must be the way of the path.

So we went the way of the path, which ended up curving in the other direction. So, instead o ending up behind Moshav Roglit, we ended up behind Moshav Neveh Michael. After unning along the fence for a bit, we got to the highway and ran back to Tzomet Aderet where the cars were parked. Because of our detour, our run ended up being 17km instead of 15km. After that we still had to go looking for some people who had been behind us and also gotten lost in different places.

The run itself was great. beautiful scenery. We ran through fields and vineyards, with the sun rising ahead of us.

I noticed something in todays run though, and I think, by me at least, it has been that way in other runs as well. These numbers will be estimates:

0-1.5/2km running is great and strong. Very motivated.

2-4km is fine. technicals. Getting into pace.

4-9km(give or take) was very difficult. Parts got boring. Motivation goes down. Working hard to run.

Suddenly at around 9km or so, the run gets easier and more fun. I feel stronger at that point -kind of like getting a second wind. We stopped at 17km because that was the end, but I could have even run more.

I think things in general work that way. In life you start a program, something long term. You start off motivated and it is easy to stick to. Then the excitement dies down and you have to work hard to keep going so that you accomplish your goal. Then, if you have kept going long and worked through the low times, suddenly you look up and you see you are not too far from your goal. So you get this burst of motivation and energy again and you fly right through to the end.People who do not succeed in accomplishing their goals, it is often because they give up after the first period of excitement. As soon as it gets hard, they don't put the effort into working through it.

I remember it was like that when I learned daf yomi. 7.5 years is a long time to commit to a program. I had tried a number of times before and dropped out after a bit. Many people drop out after a couple months. The last time though, I stuck it out, despite there being times where I did not feel like going, and all that. In the end, it was easier because I knew I was almost done, and the acheivement was right before me.

The same is with the run. On the specific run, I start off excited and motivated. It is easy. After a bit it gets tough. If you work through it long enough to see towards the end, you get that motivation back. The trick is to somehow find the way to push yourself through the tough part.

And it is true with the general marathon training program as well. At the beginning I was highly motivated and excited. It was easy, and I wanted to do it. I think now I am heading into the tough period. Times where I think I am too tired and what I am doing this for anyway. I tell myself I have already proven I can do it. In 7 weeks I have built myself up to running 17km straight without stopping, so I know I can succeed, so why bother. Things like that. Overall motivation goes down, and it gets tough to follow through. If you work through it, and don't let the thoughts get you down, the acheivement will really be right before you. It is not just training yourself to be able to run a lot and once you see you can do that, no need to continue. You have to train yourself to follow through and finish to acheive your goals. And when you get that far, you (I) will get that additional burst of energy knowing the accomplishment is right there.


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