Sunday, June 15, 2008

It's all in your head!!!

First of all, Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there. I was able to have quite a nice Father's Day. I started it off with a 12 mile run with Ben at 6 am this morning on the Suncoast Trail. When I got home, my wife and kids presented me with cards with beautiful words... as always. We got Chinese food after everyone got home from church, and they presented me with cake and ice cream and sang, Happy Father's Day (Birthday style!!).

Running with Ben during my long runs has been very beneficial for me. First thing, is that it is allowing me to run without an Ipod... which I plan to do for my marathon. I enjoy talking with him, and he has so much great information to offer.

Today we talked about sports on a whole, and the mental training that it takes to succeed. We both felt as though we could do much better in running if we had a better mentality when it comes to "gutting it out". When I read stuff on message boards on Runner's World, and people give their race reports on marathons that they have completed, if they don't do well, there is almost always an excuse of some sort.... "too hot", "too hilly", "too flat", "didn't sleep well", "garmin wasn't working properly"... and I am no different...

As we continued to talk about it, we came up with a conclusion on why we mentally fade when the pressure is on.... most of us can't handle the fact that if we run a marathon (or train for any other sport for that matter) and give it everything we have in training... and fail? Well, we just can't handle it... we don't want to accept the fact that even your best effort at times will still not be good enough... that's a tough pill to swallow. Ben even said that when he didn't get under 3:00 hours in his marathon, he said he knew (while running the 26th mile of the race) that he would get a little sympathy because of all the excuses that he had... valid excuses... but excuses nonetheless.

For me, it's the same thing... Disney was because of poor preparation with hydration before the race (the water is not at fault...) I screwed up.

Lance Armstrong's coach was interviewed about 3 years ago on the Jim Rome show, and Jim Rome asked him if Lance did not get cancer, did he think he would have won 7 Tour DeFrance titles...
He answered, NO!!!! He said that when Lance realized that his life was nearly taken away, he said that he was no longer afraid of giving it everything he had, and was able to deal with the consequences of failing and just not being good enough.
Today, I watched a tennis match in which the #2 player in the world played the #3 player in the world. It was a very tightly contested match, but the #2 player won.
During the post ceremony speeches, the #3 player wanted everyone to know that this was only his 2nd tournament played on a grass court, and that he was very happy with his result.... again, I know his result weren't bad, but that was a bunch of nonsense.... he knew he could have won, but just didn't... because the other guy was better... but he had his string of excuses lined up to kind of sugar coat him not winning the match.
As I am typing this blog, I am watching the final round of the US Open golf tournament... and I just find it ironic how every time Tiger hits a bad shot, the announcers blame his knee as the culprit... but when he nails a ridiculous shot... he is just the best mental competitor of all time (which he is, IMO)... but my point is why are they trying to make excuses for Tiger if he happens to lose???? I mean, if he wasn't able to play, then don't play!!!

Okay, I don't want to go on a rant and get side tracked here, but at the end of the day, I realize, it's all in our heads...for the most part. We just have to believe in ourselves, and not be afraid to fail... and if we do fail???? Oh well.... try again another time... no excuses!!!!