Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ayn Rand as my running coach

All things in life relate to running
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

I sometimes experience good runs that are followed by a mediocre workout. It's almost like a tease. When I think I've made a breakthrough, I'm often disappointed the next time I run. There are many reasons for that, but I'm beginning to believe it all comes down to self determination. As Ayn Rand has put it, "The question isn't 'who is going to let me'; it's 'who is going to stop me'."

While I'm not an "Objectivist", I do agree with the idea that we control our own chances for success. That was my mindset this morning when I took off on my run. I was determined to prove that yesterday's measurable improvement in performance wasn't a random event. Just for a change, I wore the Spira XLT's, and as I moved along the first section of my route, I noticed how similar it felt to yesterday's run.

It's easy to run lazy. The fact that you are running will boost your self esteem regardless of how hard you're pushing the pace. I often fall into that trap, telling myself it's okay that I'm running slowly because it's really all about doing the workout. Instead of pushing myself hard enough to achieve my pace goals, I often default to running at a speed that feels comfortable.

Today I ran my regular route ten seconds faster than yesterday and a full three minutes faster than I usually cover it. That's two in a row. Ayn Rand would be pleased that I rejected the easy path and pushed myself once again to good results. But if she was my running coach, her expectations would go far beyond this level of improvement. For now, stringing two good runs together is defining success for me. Hopefully tomorrow I'll make it three in a row.

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