I got a promotion at work that comes with a lot more responsibility and stress, but it's actually not a bad thing for my running. I think after all the different situations I've been in, this is the first time that I have the skills and responsibility to be accountable for very tangible success and failure. It's teaching me that an environment that has more immediate rewards and repercussions for your actions puts a heightened degree of honesty into your preparation. As a student, I understood that I would get a degree with As, Bs, or Cs on my report card. That's a really weird feeling compared to the business world where your deliverables really require you to do A+ work all the time.
If you don't want to lay people off (which I have been) or get fired yourself, you have to strive to be successful every quarter. I think that idea of a "range of success" made me more complacent as a runner and an engineer, whereas an ultimate "demand for success" makes me feel really engaged in my new job and plans for 2014. It can be tough, disappointing, upsetting, and stressful, but it can also be rewarding, exciting, passionate, and beneficial for many other people's careers. That human element is a big part of my job.
I spend probably 60% of my day talking to people. When you manage people after being managed yourself, you know that what your coworkers are really looking for is meaning in their job. More pay is always nice, but a real reason to wake up and come to work excited is worth much more. The quality of that reason comes down to the feeling of being utilized for your strengths and not punished for your weaknesses being exposed. Personally, my favorite thing is changing someone's work environment for the better and putting a smile on their face. It's empowering to free someone's skill set, which makes me realize that I can do that in my own life. It shatters the perception that the "rules of the world" allow us only a range of success. In that sense, the extra hours, the stress, the heartache, the worrying, etc. is completely worthwhile to me to engage my passion for success.
To compete on the next level next year, I feel a real determination coming into my psyche to gradually add mileage, eat healthy, cross train, and do hard workouts consistently. I think this is why I got into ultras in the first place: I wanted limitless success. I don't want to go through the rest of my life believing I can only run so fast based on my last 26 years, I want to run like I'm building a campaign for my most sincere belief that I can do anything.
I've been off the blog for awhile due to not much going on in my running life. Things fizzled out as I went through my first couple weeks on the job setting things up. I know what I truly have to do to nail a 50 miler and, I'll be training longer and harder than normal for a good showing at Sean O'Brien 50mi in February.. This is week one of training.
If you habla espanol, check out this Spanish interview with Abel. If you don't google translate does a really bad job, but you can gather my basic message. Kinda.
I really like the mellow Mutual Benefit tunes. Very honest stuff.