Friday, June 28, 2013

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.

"Improvise, Adapt, Overcome."  

I love this quote.  One of the first times that I had ever heard it used was by my previous boss at my first coaching gig after college.  He was a former marine, and this quote has seemingly been adopted by the US Marines.  Also, for those of you movie watchers out there, this quote is used by Clint Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge which is a fantastic movie that I would recommend to anyone.  

Also, wanted to give a shout out here to LCPL Jonathan Collins, son of Jack and Angel, who sacrificed all for our country along with many others as part of our armed forces.  

Another quote that I have learned to love despite the fact that I was not a huge fan of the book that we were forced to read in high school(although maybe I would appreciate it more now), is 

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Often go awry" from a  Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse" and in the novel Of Mice and Men

I know I had mentioned previously that this next post would entail a race report from my first 70.3 in San Juan, but events from this morning have made me change my mind, so we will deal.  

This morning my family and I woke up to a great smell of our toilets leaking into the basement.  This sucks for a few reasons:

1. Smells really bad
2. Throws off everyone's plans for the day- Dad has to stay home, Mom has to go in later to work, I was leaving for Dubuque, Iowa for one of my best friend's bachelor parties.
3.  It really does smell awful

For my workout for the day, I had planned on getting in an interval run in early, shower, and get on the road,  However, showering was no longer an option in the house unless I wanted to contribute to the stench that was lurking about.  

A few months ago, this would have been a major issue in my life.  I am already a person that runs of routines, and when the routine is broken, I normally get thrown off.  In order to prepare for my first Half Ironman, I had spoken with a coach and laid out a weekly plan that would enable me to reach my goal of completing it with a decent time.  If something came up that threw off the plan, I would STRESS OUT.  I would get agitated more quickly, I would get quiet, and sometimes I would even get depressed and worried.  

After completing the first race, I was able to learn that it was not as big a deal as I was making it out to be.  You could miss a day or two or three of your plan, and life would still go on.  You would not lose all the fitness that you have been working to get.  In fact, sometimes after these stretches of random rest and adaptation, you would actually have some of the best workouts of your life because your body is rested and ready to work!

I think that this is one of the biggest mistakes that endurance athletes and people in general make.  Again, I am very new to this and my opinion could be completely invalid.  However, I think that having too rigid of a plan and structure that does not allow you to adapt and work around will only lead to stress and frustration.

Some days, you wake up at 5:00am planning on doing a morning tempo bike ride outside; however, it is pouring rain, so you go for a run or swim or hop on the trainer instead.  Some days you start your workout and your legs just don't have it, so you either adapt the workout or enjoy the extra rest and kill the next workout.  Regardless, at the end of the day, most of us are not professionals and do not need to do this to make a living.  We do it because we love the way we feel after a 3 hour bike ride on a Sunday morning before anyone besides triathletes and drunk party-goers from the night before has woken up.  

By the way, I am proud to say that I have been both of the above mentioned early-risers in the past month.  

Anyways, I ended up getting in my interval run which actually went pretty well, showering with the hose in the backyard, and getting out to Dubuque as planned.  Adapt, Improvise, Overcome.

In conclusion, life does not go as planned.  You can either adapt or stress.  It is your choice; Choose wisely!

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