Sunday, August 22, 2010

Babylon Dirty Sock Run and the Skinny On

I ran a 10K race this morning in Babylon. Weather was great. Overcast and a bit of light rain on and off. Running is a great way to feel more connected to the elements and to come to respect how small of a range we are comfortable in.

I love the race route. Through a woods on a wide trail and around a lake. The only obstacles are dodging the odd horse manure (horses use the trail sometimes) and parts of it are sandy which makes it hard to run (the key is to try to find firmer ground).

My final time was a disappointing 53:56 (my slowest 10K ever) a minute and a half slower than I ran the Dirty Sock last year. Still finished in the top third which I guess is OK.

Running a race is a very inefficient way to run a 10K (or any other distance). It kills a morning which is much longer than the actual time running. But there is something to be said for race culture during the pre and post race. I see friends and acquaintances and the more I race, the more people I know.

Then I had an afternoon nap which would be OK except it was more than 20 minutes. 20 minutes is a perfect time. I awake refreshed and not draggy. Longer and it is more of a sleep than a nap.

I think the race, travel and hay fever made me tired. Perhaps I need to read a good book on Willpower (see below).

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This afternoon, I read a series of books today called "The Skinny On". My expectation was not high when I got these but they really pleasantly surprised me. The material and ideas in most of them were right on.

The books are short. For example, "The Skinny on Time Management and other life challenges" was only 110 pages although it likely had less words than my 80 page book "Time Leadership - Using the Secrets of Leadership for Time Management".

These books are more like a series of PowerPoint presentations than an actual book. There are 2 slides per page. This format makes them very easy to read quickly.

I read "The Skinny on Time Management", "The Skinny on the art of persuasion - how to move minds", "The Skinny on Networking - Maximizing the power of numbers", and "The skinny on Willpower - How to Develop Self Discipline". All topics that interest me.

Most of what is covered is stuff I know but I like reading things that reinforce good knowledge and inspire action.

The one on Willpower had a list of 15 points for improving willpower and self discipline:

1 - Be sure you are totally committed (This one I believe. I have fond the goals I do not achieve are the ones that I lacked commitment. One trick I use with goals is to drop anything off my goal list that I am not prepared to spend at least an hour per week on)

2 - Prepare for a difficult journey (I do not like the negative connotation here)

3 - Reduce incidents where you need to exert willpower (this is one of my favorite ways. I eat right if the garden is overflowing (as it is now) with good vegetables)

4 - Identify specific goals and define a process. (of course I like that one)

5 - Break the challenge down into small pieces.

6 - Maintain vigilance over thoughts.

7 - Control your dominant thoughts

8 - Frame you challenges as pleasant not painful. (I love proper framing)

9 - Pick your spots

10 - Visualize the end

11 - You already have more willpower than you think

12 - The more you use willpower, the more you will get.

13 - Turn positive activity into habits. (of course I am a big believer in success habits)

14 - Self Discipline is not Self-deprivation.

15 - Strong Willpower can take you to new heights.


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