Anthony Famiglietti is one of my favourite runners (even if he did run like a tool at the USA Track and Field Champs this year). This is a recent post from his blog which I am taking a lot from:
The life of a runner requires traveling to many races nationally and internationally throughout the year. We spend a lot of time flying around the country and it can get to be tiresome. I've learned to take the extra time when flying to reflect. I reflect on past races and examine races that I'm traveling to or the training I've done. Sometimes I look at my life and the bigger picture focusing on where I've been and where I'm really going.
I was admiring the landscape below as I flew home from a race recently and had a realization. It's interesting how my concept of things can change when I look at the world from a new perspective. If you've travelled on an airline and looked out the window you may have noticed the many rivers cutting through the rugged terrain below. You'll notice the river bending left and right sometimes with long sweeping curves as it travels the country side. It's an image I've seen many times when flying, but this particular trip it struck me in a unique way. I asked myself, "Does the lay of the land direct the flow of the river and determine it's direction or does the force of the river push through the landscape and ultimately determine its own direction?" After a moment I realized both are true. The lay of the land initially pushes the river in a particular direction twisting and turning it as it passes high and low points mountains and plains. But over time the force of the water will carve through the mountains and valleys and determine its own direction to a great degree.
The same is true for life. The landscape of your life is the environment you were born into and the immediate circumstances of your situation. You may be rich or poor, physically or intellectually talented or challenged in some way. You may have people supporting and encouraging you or you may be on your own. You may have doors opened for you and opportunities in front of you or you may have to create your own opportunities and open your own doors through hard work. Whatever the situation or landscape the important thing to know is that your drive, passion, will, discipline and focus can push you through any situation and help you carve your own way.
The people who are successful in life realize this early. The earlier you embrace this the more time you have to work towards your biggest goals and dreams. Time and patience are important factors in pushing to your goals. The Grand Canyon, one of the worlds greatest wonders, was carved by a river, but you should keep in mind it took millions of years to happen.
There is good news though. Whatever your goals in life and whatever landscape you may find yourself in, there is nothing you can't carve your way out of in just a few years. If you have dreams of finishing a marathon, setting a big PR, becoming the best runner on your team, or winning a championship race and the terrain looks daunting, just remember the river. Step back for a moment, take a deep breath and change your perspective. Look at the bigger picture, see things for what they truly are and realize you can push through anything.
This morning I had scheduled an 8.4km recovery run but decided to run a 12.8km general aerobic run instead. Ran easy/moderate for the most part but picked it up a bit for the last 3kms. All up 53mins (4.08/km pace).
21.5km medium long run tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it already.