Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Run - Mental vs Physical

I am not really a deep thinker.  I spend most of my "deep thinking moments" on the potty - sorry if that was TMI.

When I am out running - the times when I don't take the ipod, which is about 50/50 - is the other time when the deep thinking moments take place.  Admittedly, I struggle to stay on a train of thought when I am running, be it due to the surroundings or whatever.  I could be running thinking of the family, or something work related - when for no apparent reason my thought process is interrupted.  Be it by running into a tree, falling over or just rounding a bend in the trail.  But when I run - my mind runs too.

So, yesterday I was wanting to run up Barr Trail to A-Frame.  Didn't happen.  I tried.  I failed.  I started at the Cog depot and went out slow and steady.  Within a few minutes I was done.  At least mentally.  Physically I was feeling okay - going up the W's was having a definite physical impact, but I was really physically okay.

My brain / mind checked out.  I was done. 

Mental failure 1, Physical achievement 0.

It was about then that the internal argument started.  The (mental) compromise I came up with - was to keep going but only go to the sign for the "bottomless pit" - about halfway between Barr camp and A-Frame.

Mental failure 1, Potential Physical achievement 1.

That lasted all of 3 minutes.

Mental failure 2, Physical achievement 0.

How about just going to Barr Camp?  Sure.

Mental failure 2, Potential physical achievement 1.

That plan - at least mentally - too lasted only a few minutes.

After a considerable amount of walking, some running, some more walking, then running etc - I finally settled into a rhythm and did make it to Barr Camp.  Mentally beat, physically not the greatest either.  I made it but sat down for a few minutes and wondered: was that worth it?

Was it really mental versus physical?  How much does one impact the other positively or negatively?  Is being mentally "strong", better than being physically strong?  I dunno - seems like the little green guy from Star Wars (Yoda for those who can't figure that out) would have an opinion on it.  It's probably really not that important to anyone else. 

I have a theory - involves not just mental or physical. 

Along similar lines of the concept of "if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck - then it probably is a duck", goes my theory:

In order to maximize your natural ability and succeed in whatever you do - in this case, running - being mentally able to deal with what lies ahead, as well as what you are doing now - requires more than being physically able.  There is a "formula" - for lack of a better term with ingredients including, but not limited to: Ability, Competitiveness / Desire, Experience, Fatigue and likely Diet - all contribute to the mental and physical "games".

Everyone differs, so one persons "formula", is different than another's.  All I know is there are sometimes that you can achieve success (based upon what YOU would consider success), without all the ingredients of the formula being optimal.  But then there are other times, the result is defintely considered a failure. 

If the formula was perfected - it may result in succeeding in the physical achievement, but if there is a mental failure - is it really successful?

Yesterday afternoon I made it to Barr Camp - at the time I could care less as I was more frustrated with a lack of being mentally in the game.  Was left to wonder, if I was mentally stronger - just how much better of a runner could I be?

Then I remembered I needed to run 6 1/2 miles back down the trail.

Mental failure 3 - Physical achievement 1 (but I made it back down okay - so that score ended up being a 2 and I am ready to go running again today, so lets bump that up to a 3.  Therefore the final score is 3 to 3.  In other words, a tie and I am nowhere near further along mentally or physically than yesterday.

Eh, time to find something to read and go sit on the .........

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