Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I think one of the most amazing things this winter is that I haven't gotten sick (knock on wood). Kinsey had the stomach flu a week ago and Katie had it last weekend. She still has loose stools (I guess it's technically not diarrhea unless she's going 5 times a day) so I'm home from work today, along with Kinsey.

Last night I ran for 75 minutes with my training group. The run wasn't as fast as I would have liked, but we did run 4 or 5 nice hill repeats. I suppose if I want to go faster I have to run better on the hills and stay up with the leaders.

A few things have inspired me to change the focus of my blog a little bit. No, I'm not talking about changing from quantity to quality or changing to 5Ks or ultras. I'm talking about focusing on the mental side of the sport. Mike Platt's article that I posted the other day got me thinking. Then Curly Su's post got me thinking some more.

We hear how important the mental aspect is all the time. But what do we do about it? Do you think Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods just turn it on and off whenever they want? Or do you think they practice their mental skills? I'd say the latter. And if it's good enough for Michael and Tiger, it's good enough for me.

I know these skills can be improved with practice and I know I should do them, but I rarely do. Why? Probably because it's hard to see them working. It doesn't feel like I'm doing anything. And there's not enough time in the day already. I'm going to use this blog to help "force" me into practicing my mental skills. I have a bunch of books on the topic that I'm going to re-read and I'll share what I re-learn here.

So with this post being about kids and mental fortitude, today's quote of the day is actually a poem by children's author Shel Silverstein. If I teach my children only one thing, I hope this is it.

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me -
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.


Trisaratops said...

Really cool post! I love the poem! Looking forward to hearing about mental training....I could definitely use some help in that area! :)

E-Speed said...

I truly believe that mental prep works. I am totally guilty of neglecting it in road races, but before every triathlon I go over in my mind exactly what the outcome I want is, and how I am going to achieve that. I walk myself through the race in my mind, starting with getting dressed all the way to the finish line.

Every race I have done this for I have achieved the desired results despite any mishaps (forgetting sunglasses on bike, goggles leaking, tipping the bike over in transition). I really think that mental prep (including going over what to do in case of mishaps) makes a huge difference.

If you put in the training, the only thing keeping you from realistic goals is your mind!

brent said...

sounds good to me-- i've been digging all of your posts lately, they are motivating.

Susan said...

I LOVE Shel Silverstein. I look forward to your mental posts. (that sounds funny) I need some motivation right now.

Chad said...

Thanks guys. Not sure where this "new focus" will go but there's only one way to find out.

Liz, sounds like you're on the right path. Do you do relaxation exercises? That's tomorrow's topic.

Also, hopefully "realistic" goals will be pushed back by mental training.

E-Speed said...

zeke I do utilize relaxation techniques sometimes. mostly to help fall asleep the night before something big. i usually try to focus on breathing and then on relaxing my whole body starting with my toes up to my head. sometimes it works, sometimes not. It is hard to turn off your brain sometimes!