Thursday, January 14, 2010

Overcoming Inertia (Part III)

(Yes folks, there's a part III...refer back to Part I and Part II if you have to...)

But what about me? I thought to myself as I'm riding on the 7 express on my way home that night. At every stop the street lights flicker and the commuters ebb and flow to the rhythm of the moonlit sky. Am I being true to myself? Am I being true to Amy? Is this connection between Glee, inertia, and a happier healthier life applicable to me?

The superficial answer to the rhetorical question is obviously not. I am definitely not overweight or obese (in fact, if I could gain a few pounds, that would be ideal!), I run just about everyday, I walk everywhere, and about to start swimming lessons too. So the problem of inertia for me as it relates to exercise and activity isn't learning how to start moving, like it is for Amy. It is actually learning how to stop!

But in a broader sense, the issue of inertia isn't just about finding the motivation to start. It is also about maintaining a certain pace and direction of travel and having the courage to change course if the projected destination is no longer acceptable or desirable. For what good is it to walk and run and train and work hard to be active for the sake of being active if the end result isn't really what you want?

For me personally, it was this last question that I struggled with the most coming home from the office that night after seeing Amy. Although I was scheduled to start my sixteen week marathon training the next day, I was ill-prepared to do so because I hadn't yet settled on a plan. To be honest, I was initially planning on using use another Pfitzinger program as the basis for the genesis of my own training program just like I did in years past. But after experiencing a plateau in my marathon times the past two cycles with the various Pfitzinger plans, I have doubts whether I should be following Pfitzinger as blindly and closely as I did before. After all, do I want another 3:02 or 3:04 in my next marathon, or do I need to overcome my own inertia and try for something better? I know we all know the answer to that one. (I'll have more to say about this in my next post where I plan to reveal, discuss and evaluate my training plan for the NJ marathon in relation to what I've done in the past.)

The general point though is that even for those of us who treat running and athletics as a way of life, we still need to constantly examine and evaluate our training and our goals to ensure that they are compatible with our needs, our objectives, our schedules and where it is we want to go. If we find that one or more of these parameters are obsolete or no longer applicable, we must be flexible and adjust our training, goals, and expectations accordingly.

As you can see then, the problem of inertia and overcoming inertia is always there whether you're moving at 6 minute miles, 10 minute miles, or no miles at all - just as Newton predicted it would be more than 500 years ago! The question is whether we are personally and collectively willing to accept the challenge of overcoming the inertia in our own lives as well as inspiring others to do the same for theirs. When the time comes, I hope we are and I hope we do!

15 comments:

D10 said...

"The question is whether we are personally and collectively willing to accept the challenge of overcoming the inertia in our own lives as well as inspiring others to do the same for theirs." Absolutely love this.

Haliku said...

So true. This applies to life in all aspects not just running. Cheers!

marathonmaiden said...

great post and so true. i can't wait to see what your training plans are either

Kevin said...

Excellent writing.

Glenn Jones said...

So true. Newton's First Law holds not only in running - but in life as well.

Baby Raine Drops said...

I love the way you write Lam. Even though I have never met you - I feel as if I have known you for years. I switch up my training programs every year to constantly challenge my body. I also don't know if I told but I am now a RRCA certified running coach. I highly recommend taking the class if they hold one near you any time. Now I have the confidence to come up with my own programs and know they will work!

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

ooops....I posted that from the wrong account ;) It's Dorothy from mileposts

Xenia said...

Really loved this series of posts. Much to ponder.

runningcommentaries said...

You are so right. Inertia doesn't do us any good if the direction isn't specific and helpful.

As far as training goes I think you should check out Jack Daniels Running Formula. My friend that used it went from a 3:02 marathoner to a 2:45 marathoner and swears by it. I've also used it and loved it. It's definitely challenging, but I think you're up to it. If anything it will make your training feel fresh or give you some new ideas.

Ms. V. said...

What about Newton's 2nd & 3rd laws??? I'm sure somehow running is involved here, metaphysically as well as physically.

Great post!

Julie said...

Hi Laminator,
You always leave me with something to think about and ponder:) There are so many things about running that we can directly connect with life! I am sure that you will be up to any challenge that comes your way:) Have a good one!!

Morgan said...

That last line really leaves you with something to think about! Great series Lam and I hope your patient figures it out, betters herself and someday comes back to thank you!

Teamarcia said...

Thought provoking and inspiring at the same time. Thank you for that Lam!

bill carter said...

Hi LL

This really deep stuff. And you made me think about my day to day interactions with other people. Lam, I actually had a guy at the gym today ask me if I was a professional runner! I turned red, thanked him as I said "not even close", and all of a sudden that recovery run got a whole lot easier. Anyway, intertia is a really cool thing if you can get it going your way.

I've got to believe that you and I are both going to have a great
2010. I know we both didn't quite meet our stretch goals for '09, but the new year brings the hopes of that perfect race where everything goes right.

Take care and best of luck!

X-Country2 said...

All good stuff. Don't lose the joy of running in all this though. :o)

 
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