The Journey – 560.0 Miles, Peach Springs, Arizona:
Leg 0099 - More Arizona DesertToday’s leg of the A2B Journey continues down Buck and Doe Road towards Peach Springs.  The road switches back and forth between dirt and gravel with lots of embedded rock along the way. With the sometimes steep and rolling terrain, actually running here would be a challenge!

This stretch of highway is owned and controlled by the Hualapai Indian Tribe.  There are occasional road signs that remind travelers (and runners) that the reservation is closed to general exploration. Exploration of side roads is only allowed with a permit, which can be obtained from the tribal authority in Peach Springs. (Exploration in this part of the reservation means climbing!  A lot of it!! Nothing here is flat.)  Reservation officials, both Fish and Game and Police, appear to patrol this road.  So, you could be fined if caught sans permit.

The Run:
First run with the new Mizunos!

IMAG0104I have had this pair for a few days now.  To break them in, I wore them around the house and while running errands for the past week.  (Running in new “unbroken” shoes is one of the best ways to get the most fantastic blisters!)

Even after breaking them in, it always takes a few runs to adjust to new shoes. Having no wear on the sole, they strike the ground and roll differently than yesterday’s shoes with 500 miles of wear.  The un-stretched fabric and laces hold your feet more tightly. There is less give.

Given all of that, I paid extra attention to my feet and shoes throughout the run (which turned out to be longer than anticipated). I wanted to be sure that my shoes weren’t rubbing me the wrong way . . . . literally!  But I also enjoy the feel of running with a fresh pair of shoes!!  It’s as if they have more energy!

Plus, they look fast!!     (I love that part!)

The Mind
Note: This morning’s run was sort of an angry run.  I typically do not like to write about anger and other negative emotions.  But like all emotions, I believe that anger can serve a purpose, if you choose to let it.  So, I decided to open up little bit more than normal.  Feedback, if any, is appreciated. 

For the past few months, my day job has been more like a day AND night job. In other words, it has been all consuming, for a number of reasons.

While I enjoy my job and absolutely love the people that I work with, the extra time and focus has been a huge distraction to my desires and goals.

It is beyond time to have a True Up Review, where I check to see how closely (or not) my current actions are aligned with my goals.  I decided to use today’s run for this purpose.

To begin, I looked back over the past few months.  From the vantage point of hindsight, it is easy to see where and how I chose to apply my time, my energy, and my focus.  What I saw was not pretty!

As I forced myself to take an honest look at the very large chasm which I have allowed to open between me and my goals, I tell myself that I should not be surprised.  But still, I am.

At first, I felt apologetic. To whom, I am not sure.

Then I got very angry with myself.  Rather than stew in it, I decided to use it to help me focus.

For the next few miles, I concentrated on two tasks. The first was to create a plan that will correct my daily focus. This involves a short list of daily “To Do’s” along with methods to prioritize and/or cutoff activities.

The other task is more long term and requires more thought. I switched from my pre-planned route to a long-run route.

I am disappointed. How did I let myself get so distracted? As I quickly re-scanned the past few months, I think much of it has to do with some recent new responsibilities.  In this part of my new role, I have found myself constantly reacting to a continuous and seemingly never-ending stream of issues.  I have little time for my productive work. I am not sure what to do about it. It is not something I control.  It just happens.

But it cannot continue.

From this perspective, it reminds me of something I read once in a book (by Steve Chandler, I think).  Life can just happen. Or Life can be created. We choose each day which one.

I need to make a way to be sure that I am continually moving and creating.

There is no “one run” solution to this bigger issue.  But as I start making my way back home, I define a starting point and a direction.  I come up with an initial list of ideas and parameters, along with a few people I need to talk to for guidance. This will get the ball rolling.  Slowly at first, but rolling just the same.

In the last mile, I let my anger and frustration rekindled my desire to reach my goals and my determination to maintain the right balance with my professional life.

I did not cross today’s finish line happy and excited. But I was satisfied to be once again, running in the right direction.

How do you stay running in the right direction? Please share!!
Or in the comments section below.