Cleaning-Up This Ramshackle Runnah

Photo by David Colby-Young
Photo by David Colby-Young

It is time to clean-up this ramshackle runnah and get myself back to running consistently.

How in the hell are you going to do that Harold?

I keep writing and talking about how I am going to improve my running, change things that need to be corrected and yet I never do. It seems when I get near to being successful or close to my goals, then I suddenly change directions again, so I can’t meet them.

It is almost like I am scared of succeeding or doing well.

So I have a LOT of work to do, to get to where I want to be both physically and mentally with my running.

That Ramshackle House

When things get bad enough at that neighborhood ramshackle house, the town or county forces the owners to clean and and fix it up the property.

They might bitch and moan and say “hey I have the right to do whatever I want with my property”, but at the same time the powers that be, (in most locales) have the authority to make the owners clean-up their frigging yard.

Even though it might be a battle and take several interventions or what seems to the owners to be “official” meddling before the yard get to where it is acceptable or looking good.

In other words it doesn’t usually happen overnight and more often than not there are setbacks, backsliding and lots of whining about “why do I have to do this?”

How does this relate to running?

I know very well that I can run any way that I damn well please, but at the same time what I have done definitely is not working very well for me.

Now for most of us recreational runners, there is no local running governing body, sponsors or coaches to go out and force/coerce/entice or cajole a runner to clean-up their running – you know hold a runner accountable for their actions or inactions.

It is left up to the individual runner to muddle through things, gain running experience, break things, not be able to run and when things finally get bad enough they figure out that they need to do to “fix” their running.

Especially if they want to get off the injury-run-injury-run cycle, that so many runners seem to endlessly get on.

How to do it is the question and I have a few ideas to help me, which might help someone else as well.

Get off the injury cycle

I have reached that point – I know that I need to clean-up and fix (well at least as much as I can within my age (yes it is a factor), budget and ability) my running.

Over next few weeks I am going to:

  • set real goals for my running
  • work towards being as pain-free as possible for an old fart with a lot miles on the body
  • investigate the possibility of using a running coach
  • put together a training plan that will work for me and my goals (hopefully,with the help of a coach)
  • looking more closely at the mental side of running
  • finding a race schedule that works with my goals

Now like the owners of that ramshackle house in the neighborhood who have lived a certain way for so many years, I don’t expect my efforts to clean up the mess of a runner that I have become, to happen overnight or be a perfect fix immediately – that just is not realistic, as much as I would love for it to happen that way.

I expect that I will:

  • do a lot of grumbling
  • be resistant to change
  • be scared of doing things that I know that I need to do
  • find excuses to not do things the way they need to be done,
  • be impatient
  • attempt to find short-cuts
  • keep trying to do everything myself

The reality is that

Acknowledging that I haven’t been too successful at running consistently and figuring out where to start picking up the pieces in a midst all of the debris lying around has been the hard part, so I have decided to just start.

I know that I have accumulated a lot of crap and baggage in my 40 plus years of running that I need to work on, change, fix or get rid of and it will take time, effort and most of all perseverance to work my way through this mess.

So off we go and this post is the beginning.

I know that I will have setbacks, periods where my attitude towards this “improve my running effort again” – will suck (I still have a lot of the I just want to run ‘tude), even after so many years of running there is so much that I do not know, so I still have a lot to learn and finally, what probably is the hardest thing for me is that I know that I have to be willing to ask for help – I can’t make the changes that I want and need to make to my running by myself.

After all my track record for doing the right things to improve my running has not been very good.

Sometimes I really think that trying to improve my ramshackle running style is like trying to herd a bunch of cats – damn near impossible, but it can be done, if I am willing to work hard to do it.

How about you, do you or did you have problems with your running that you don’t seem to be able to fix by yourself, what did or what would you do?

6 thoughts on “Cleaning-Up This Ramshackle Runnah

  1. There is the old saying ‘if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten’. And I think that in spite of KNOWING that, we all do it!

    I know that my training routine means I am increasing my endurance more than speed, and last year I decided I was fine with that! It is all about setting our goals on multiple levels … then sticking to them and not sabotaging them! 🙂

    Looking forward to you removing the spit and duct tape and rehabbing your ramshackle ways! 😀

  2. I think that is also the definition of being crazy ;-). hehehe.

    I know that I need to set my goals both long term and short term, keep them and not constantly change my training plans. to meet my spur of the moment great ideas. Now to do it.

    Yeah the duct tape needs to be put back on the shelf, the only spitting while I am getting rid of lugeys and focus on rehabbing this old ramshackled body. I did start to do some of the pre-leg work this morning, but more on that later 🙂

  3. We all seem to go through the cycle, over and over again. Start training for a marathon, over train, ramp to fast, run too hard, hit the hills to hard, on and on. Then we get hurt.
    Ask any runner, I bet not a one can say they have gone though a marathon training plan and not spent some time icing something.
    I think parience is what we all lack. We also seem to forget that if we take time off or cut back on the miles, we can’t just jump back into a bushel of hard miles. We need to build up all over again.
    Patience grasshopper!

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