As we again move into the summer, then life ,as is often the case, throws up little surprises and hints of promise. It is a lucky man who is able to follow whims and chances of adventure, to be free from the normal shackles of life, all entirely inflicted on ourselves, and feel excitement at what may be just around the corner.
Until then its the mundane. My terrible run at Woodhall has energized me this week, given me an extra slice of motivation that has been lacking somewhat on the comedowm from London. Negatives forming a positive, reaffirming my belief that , with the correct attitude, all negatives can be viewed as positives if the right lessons are learnt and acted upon, which , in turn, mean negatives do not really exist! I'm back to twice daily training. Despite my attempt to get a run in early morning, they haven't materialized. I love sleeping, love waking and knowing that I can nap for another couple of hours, so I figure why deprive myself. The two runs therefore take the form of a mid day run and then a run at about 7/8 o'clock.
I've spent a few hours this week reading the excellent blog of U.S runner Nick Clark- Dirt Mountain Running. I don't know why it is but I find the blogs of these american trail runners just so much more inspiring than those of British based runners. Its interesting to read of the basic speed that Nick has. This year at New Orleans he ran a 2.36 marathon and he is expected to be at the sharp end at The Western States in a couple of weeks. A definite darkhorse to watch for. Even though he predominantly runs distances over 50k, he does at least one interval session a week on the track, running reps of distances from 300m through to a mile. Very interesting and something to definitely keep in mind.
Another interesting thing about Nick is that he has a definite interest in the cost of running. I've decided to follow Nicks example and log the actual ' Cost of Running' for an entire year. This will include money spent on anything to do with running,from shoes and kit, to race entries,transport,and costs involved through participation with my running club. It will be interesting to find out. It is in my interests to keep this as low as possible, alleviating the need to work too much and if this means cutting back on racing etc,so be it!
Another interesting read was the competitive life of U.S triathlete Scott Molina. He detailed his life in the 80's and his constant search for competitions which offered prize money. He would forgo certain higher reputation races if a less established race offered him the chance to win money,and hence ensure he could maintain his lifestyle of training and competing, which he loved. As always the time spent running, in this case ,an easy 10 this morning gave me ample time to think. Lately I have rallied against athletes selling their souls for the cooperate dollar, but, on reflection, is this a bad thing. People who devote large amounts of time to any particular activity normally do things because of a financial incentive. Why not runners? The amateur ethics of the sport which were not really broached until the mid 80,s may be a curse. Athletics in this country is suffering precisely because no money can be earn until elite standards are reached. Compare this to football where even lower league players can earn decent living. Of course to attract money one has to attract sponsors, and to attract sponsors one has to attract viewers. Maybe things need to change. Clubs are faltering because they cannot attract coaches/ officials/ whatever because these activities are carried out purely on a voluntary basis. Instead of thinking that this is the right and noble way that things should be carried out, should clubs be run as a business instead of a service?