Sunday, January 07, 2007

A lazy Sunday and the power of preparation

The Monk dog has a gift for imitating my mood. We both are making good use of the first Sunday in a long time without a long training run. Slept in, made coffee, stood on my back porch while Monk tracked squirrels and I contemplated installing a bird feeder. Then it was back inside to scour Bloglines, my version of the morning paper. When I'm on my computer, Monk's head is normally on my thigh/lap. Much to his annoyance, I moved, which obviously called for a dramatic yawn, a few paces around the office, and now back to his doggy bed, where he's found a rawhide bone.
So, we're enjoying the human/canine version of a lazy Sunday morning. The Houston Marathon is a week away. By this time next Sunday, God and lactic acid willing, I'll be nearing the end of my marathon and Monk will be pacing the kennel at his doggy hotel.

Sitting here with coffee, poached egg whites and a snoring dog, I'm thinking about preparation.

I read a great post from The Final Sprint blog this morning. On Lance Armstrong's preparation and now rough recovery from the great one's New York City Marathon. Titled, "A Classic Case of Too Much, Too Soon?" the post goes through Lance's less-than appropriate marathon training, his successful sub-3:00 finish (punk) and the stress fracture he now has to nurse. I'm a big fan of Lance, but I'm stumped by how such a successful endurance athlete could have ignored one of the biggest tenants of endurance sports: preparation.

Lance's much-publicized training program included a long run of only 13 miles, according to his ex-wife Kirstin, who wrote a great wrap-up in this month's Runner's World (not available online) titled "Oh. My. God. Ouch. Terrible." after Lance's post-finish text message. I require at least four 16-plus mile runs, normally two of those are 20 miles or more, to prepare for a marathon. Even more puzzling is how Lance's training program (assembled, I'm only guessing, by some of the world's best training/medical minds) didn't account for the bone density build-up marathoners must complete to manage the impact stress on the musculoskeletal system. It's almost a beginner's mistake, which really baffles me.

Lance's story is a good example that all of us, in any field or endeavor, must allow for preparation. It's a necessary part of success, but one that, in our rush-rush culture, often is cut short. We seek the action. The moment. The payoff. The "finish." Ignoring the necessary steps, trading details for shortcuts is irresponsible. Irresponsible to your client, your business or your co-workers. What are your professional versions of Lance's stress fracture? What are the goals, big and small, for which you must constantly prepare?

Listening to: Catherine Feeny, Hurricane Glass

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Blogger Jeff said...

I have no doubt you are prepared for Houston next weekend. Your marathon running is one of the many things about you that I admire - good luck!

And don't get me started about the lack of adequate preparation with some church folks (staff and lay)!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Before installing a bird feeder, I would recommend a thorough scouting for cats. While I have an almost-phobia about birds, I do enjoy watching birds feed and socialize and scuffle from behind glass. We never had bird feeders growing up because it would have been a booby trap/free lunch for our murderous cat. Just a thought.

P.S. You'll own the race. Will be thinking of you!

7:54 AM  

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