Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pinhoti 100M. 4 weeks away. Oh boy...

Oh boy....

Well, that's just about all I can say at this time regarding Pinhoti. I find myself thinking about this race constantly. Whether it be while driving, at the office, at 3 in the morning when my old friend, Mr. Insomnia wants to have a chat, or the most ferocious time, when I'm at home at night realizing that I didn't get in a run that day. Those times are quite brutal. The conversation in my head typically goes something along these lines:

"Son of a...."
"We didn't get in a run today."
"I know. It's ok. We had a long day. There was no time."
"I don't think it's ok. We have Pinhoti a few weeks from now."
"Son of a...."
"Yea, that's what I said."
"I don't think we're ready."
"We sure as hell won't be ready if we don't get on the trails enough."
"Maybe our tenacity and dogged determination will get us through?!?!?"
"What? Have you lost your mind? We're not talking about some 50K or 50M. It's 100. ONE HUNDO. MILES. Twice as far as we've ever gone."
"I know, I know. But we REALLY are stubborn."
"Yea, I don't think hard headedness will get us through this one, you nitwit."
"Is it too late to back out?"
"Uhhh, NO! EVERYONE, and I do mean EVERYONE knows about this race. We are SOOOO not backing out.  The utter embarrassment.  Geez.  No. Not at all!"
"Yea, crap is right."
"Ok, we just have to make time."
"You're an idiot. Why haven't we just 'MADE TIME' so far?"
"No need to be mean. Ok, so here's the deal. Tomorrow morning, we're waking our arses up at 2:00 a.m.   That way, we'll train for night time running, plus we'll get in the mileage."
"Hey genius, we said that yesterday too."
"Oh boy."
"Oh boy."

It's generally a bit more animated than that and I'm sure a few more expletives are thrown back and forth but nonetheless, I think you get the gist.

One might ponder why I signed up for this race if I didn't think I would be ready. Seems like a logical question. Recently, I took a personality test (corporate life) that might give insight into why.  It's a test that helps people identify their strengths instead of isolating and trying to improve weaknesses. The premise is, we should simply focus on our strengths and utilize them to their maximum? My results were this:

Competition is rooted in comparison. When you look at the world, you are instinctively aware of other people’s performance. Their performance is the ultimate yardstick. No matter how hard you tried, no matter how worthy your intentions, if you reached your goal but did not outperform your peers, the achievement feels hollow. Like all competitors, you need other people. You need to compare. If you can compare, you can compete, and if you can compete, you can win. And when you win, there is no feeling quite like it. You like measurement because it facilitates comparisons. You like other competitors because they invigorate you. You like contests because they must produce a winner. You particularly like contests where you know you have the inside track to be the winner. Although you are gracious to your fellow competitors and even stoic in defeat, you don’t compete for the fun of competing. You compete to win. Over time you will come to avoid contests where winning seems unlikely.

The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, "What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?" This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path—your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: "What if?" Select. Strike.

"Where am I headed?" you ask yourself. You ask this question every day. Guided by this theme of Focus, you need a clear destination. Lacking one, your life and your work can quickly become frustrating. And so each year, each month, and even each week you set goals. These goals then serve as your compass, helping you determine priorities and make the necessary corrections to get back on course. Your Focus is powerful because it forces you to filter; you instinctively evaluate whether or not a particular action will help you move toward your goal. Those that don’t are ignored. In the end, then, your Focus forces you to be efficient. Naturally, the flip side of this is that it causes you to become impatient with delays, obstacles, and even tangents, no matter how intriguing they appear to be. This makes you an extremely valuable team member. When others start to wander down other avenues, you bring them back to the main road. Your Focus reminds everyone that if something is not helping you move toward your destination, then it is not important. And if it is not important, then it is not worth your time. You keep everyone on point.

"When can we start?" This is a recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. You may concede that analysis has its uses or that debate and discussion can occasionally yield some valuable insights, but deep down you know that only action is real. Only action can make things happen. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act. Others may worry that "there are still some things we don’t know," but this doesn’t seem to slow you. If the decision has been made to go across town, you know that the fastest way to get there is to go stoplight to stoplight. You are not going to sit around waiting until all the lights have turned green. Besides, in your view, action and thinking are not opposites. In fact, guided by your Activator theme, you believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result, and you learn. This learning informs your next action and your next. How can you grow if you have nothing to react to? Well, you believe you can’t. You must put yourself out there. You must take the next step. It is the only way to keep your thinking fresh and informed. The bottom line is this: You know you will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten you. It pleases you.

Excellence, not average, is your measure. Taking something from below average to slightly above average takes a great deal of effort and in your opinion is not very rewarding. Transforming something strong into something superb takes just as much effort but is much more thrilling. Strengths, whether yours or someone else’s, fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps—all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it, and stretch it toward excellence. You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means that others see you as discriminating. You choose to spend time with people who appreciate your particular strengths. Likewise, you are attracted to others who seem to have found and cultivated their own strengths. You tend to avoid those who want to fix you and make you well rounded. You don’t want to spend your life bemoaning what you lack. Rather, you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed. It’s more fun. It’s more productive. And, counterintuitively, it is more demanding.

So, the way I read this is, I'm an impatient, competative narcassist who clearly must be in control of everything. This, my singular reader of this blog, is why I signed up for Pinhoti.

I will not wait the two or three years I should wait and train to do my 1st 100. I clearly believe like I can control the outcome of this race with simply the power of my mind, regardless of overall physical ability.

And as far as the Competative Narcassist part? Well, maybe that's what drives a lot of us, the long distance and ultra runners out there, to try these things that most wouldn't even dare to try. Maybe that's what makes us get that little giddy feeling inside when someone says, "You're absolutely crazy to try that", when we know deep down inside, they're really saying, "Crap, I wish I could do that."


So, in finality.  Hopefully, I can get the miles in by Nov 3 and be ready for this thing.  If not, I'll still toe the line and I'll give it all I've got. 

Maybe, just maybe, with my Hokas, my headphones blaring  DMB - #41, the people I care about in my head and heart pushing me on, and that Competative Narcassist thing, I just might.....

1 comment:

  1. I believe in all you are and all you do. I will be there to cheer you on and will be proud to my core of every inch you run for I am your mom and I love you dearly. I am also aware that you can do this because you have always fulfilled the jobs you have done with the highest marks. RUN DAN RUN....