Friday, February 27, 2015

Thank You For Being Honest

I went to see my chiropractor today, Dr. D, and he thought it was most likely a fibula bone issue too, so he sent me on my way free of charge and seconded the other doctor's recommendation to see the specialist, Dr. C. 

While I hate ambiguouity when it comes to an injury, everyone is being quit helpful in the process. Despite my poor attitude at the time thank you to the two doctors, three nurses, chiropractor and massage therapist that have worked with me in some way this week. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How Often "Should" You Reach Your Goals?

People ask me if I am getting excited for the 24 hour world championships in Italy. I keep saying, "yes and no." Yes, I am excited to be on my first team USA. I am excited to have a partially expense paid trip to a foreign country to do an event that I happen to be rather good at. However, every day that goes by with this injury, and thus me not able to train as hard as I would like just over six weeks away from the competition, I get nervous that it could go very poorly. I may not reach my goals for this race, any of them.

This brings up a good question, how often should one reach his or her goals?

I think it was Alberto Salazar or Jerry Schumacher, both Nike coaches, that said the goals should be achievable about 50% of the time. If you are reaching goals 100% of the time, you're not aiming high enough. And if you never reach your goals, you aren't being realistic. I could easily say, 50%, that's a good target, but I'm not sure that it is right for everyone. The more difficult the goals, the less frequently they will be met.

I feel I should be totally happy. I am representing the USA at an international event. How many people ever do that, 1%? Maybe only 0.1%? Maybe even less? Yet I can't help but be dissapointed that my build up is not giving me the confidence to reach more of my goals at the world championships.

Motivation is a finicky thing. It may be the basis of long term health as related to athletics and hard training, yet without those other two, motivation can diminish. This blog is a great thing for me. I can whine and complain all I want, and no one has to read it, yet I feel like I have expressed myself. One of my three major running goals was to be on team USA, and it has happened! And yet I am not satisfied.

"For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." - James 3:16

I don't understand most things. What did I do wrong or differently this training cycle to get this new injury? What lesson, or lessons, do I need to learn from this experience? I did not get to the place of honor and priviledge that I am in alone, and I will not reach "my" goals alone either. Sometimes when I think of goals, mine or others (and Lance Armstrong is good example here), I wonder how that goal helps anyone. I hope to help inspire people and motivate them to get off the couch and move around a little. I hope to be an example of nothing being impossible. Perhaps I already am, although I don't feel like it. I don't know what will happen tomorrow. I have no idea how the world championships will go, I may very well get last place. The little I do know, I am extraordinarily blessed, I do not deserve all of the great and wonderful things that happen to me, and regardless of the outcome in Italy, it is a priviledge and honor just to go.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


The x-Ray didn't show the problem. So I have an appointment with a podiatrist or something... On March 11th!

Some days I just want to quit. Give up. Hang up the shoes. Yell and scream and swear until I fall asleep crying. I don't understand this situation, and I don't like that. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It's Not Good

Here in the next couple days we will learn of my leg injury diagnosis. It's not looking good. 

The positive side is, once the problem is identified, the correct and fastest healing can be implemented. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 192

I wonder how long I will live in Iowa. Another 192 weeks? More? Less? Highlight of my week might have been doing my taxes. It takes a couple hours and I'm getting a fair amount of money back this year (mainly for taking six weeks off of work and being taxed at my normal rate the rest of the year) which is nice. Work was work. I didn't work overtime this week, at least I didn't fill out the paperwork to get paid for it.

The good news is we are getting into the nitty gritty details and however emotional it might be at the time, we are making the product better. In many ways we are fortunate to be working on the details we are working on. It's the big stuff that can really stop a program, but a 2 mm interference on a door? Ha! I can show you three different reasons it could easily be a 4 mm interference. We'll get there. Whether I have a heart attack first is anyone's guess. 

I ran 49.5 miles and then took Saturday "off" and did a 30 mile bicycle ride on a cold 30F roads in a light snow. I even rode past a farm auction and had plenty of stares (witnesses) so yes, I really spent just over two hours on my bicycle in sub freezing temperatures. I was on my bicycle because my legs have been hurting. Yes, the same leg/ankle pain I've been complaining about for seven week. It's not going away. Yes, I'm going to see the doctor and I can attest like a typical male I don't like it because it makes me feel weak. Also, like a bad patient I'm the type that researches everything and comes up with my own diagnosis, which doctors probably hate. It just seems like a waste of time to me when the majority of my injuries are running overuse injuries which is not normal. Doctors don't know what to do with the person that runs 3000 miles a year. On top of that, my blood pressure will probably be through the roof, thank you employer and 60 hour weeks. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Next Step

The next step is sometimes the only one you can conceive of taking. Anything larger is just too hard to conceive. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Anger

I did not work overtime last week, in part because the more I work the poorer my attitude became. Also, fundamentally I cannot change things by simply working more hours. Once I escalate an issue, that's all I can do. I can't turn every wrench. I can't say "stop, let's fix this issue now before it compounds" and expect anyone to listen to me. 

I mentioned at work that I quit caring. And when I said it, I suddenly felt terrible. So I've thought about that some more, and it's more complicated than simply quitting caring, but it's also basically quitting caring. What I mean is, I want to design a great machine, that can actually be manufactured and assembled repeatably with consistently high quality. However, I can't do it all, and there is no point to ruining my health getting all emotional over the things I don't directly influence, I more or less get paid by the hour to do a job. In other words, I could say, I have chosen to only care about a very small number of issues. 

It's really interesting to go through this process. The product design world is one where gravity is often ignored. Yet when assembling a machine gravity must be left turned on. Another side of it is, communication is critical. With so many different people and teams of people converging together to do a job, any failure to communicate results in poor quality. Part of my recent emotional negativity has to do with frustration over lack of communication. I suppose the way I have mitigated that on my side is let everyone know what I think they need to know, although I haven't been perfect at that either. What they do with that information, I don't care. 

It's a roller coaster. The highs are high but the lows are low. Soon enough this phase will pass, the weather will be warmer out, and one of my great hopes is that we are able to understand each other better and use that understanding to produce an extremely high quality product. Then I hope we don't forget these mistakes the next time around.