Running With Eric - Satisfaction Over Desire

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort reported a foot of new snow this morning.  With fresh snow brings warmer temps, humidity…..and wind.  This means its time to get out of town and head North to find colder temps and good snow.  But first, I needed to fire off a few coaching emails, so I drained my double espresso and popped open the laptop.  I typically get a few emails each day from readers of The Cool Impossible and today was no exception.  One I received this morning started out with the usually, "thank you for writing the book, I love it.  I have been doing the strength work and run program and feel great."  But this one then took an unusual turn as he was writing me to ask if he could buy a training program because he just registered for his first 30k trail race in June.  

He went on to say that he was at week 5 of the Cool Impossible foundation program and was 'stuck' because it was too hard for him to get his long runs in during the winter and he was not motivated for the treadmill during the week.  Did he know I lived in Jackson and winter here is fifty nine months long!?

My response to him was that I felt the foundation program was ideal for this 30k race, sequencing perfectly for a June race.  I also mentioned that no coaching program can provide motivation or change the weather for him.  That a "new" or different program was not the solution to the challenges he was perceiving to have in being 'stuck' with the program.

When faced with challenges, we often think if something was only different it would change things:  "If only it wasn't so cold", well, wear something warmer.  Cold air is not harmful, not being prepared can be.  "There is too much snow", well, see it as a time to build more strength, rather than quit or turn around and head back to the usual road course with cars whipping past you.  "It is too icy to run outside", slow down and use it as a time to work on form.

Every challenge offers us an opportunity to improve and get better, but it takes a mind shift sometimes. Things will not always go the way we want them to and the more we resist this, the harder it will get.  Resistance creates stress and a desire to change something external only leads to more stress.  Acceptance of the situation gives way to learning and ultimately leads to great satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment.

Practice the mantra: satisfaction over desire.

Running will not always be fun and most times over-coming a challenging workout or 'bad' weather creates an unbelievable feeling of satisfaction.  And, most times, having the need or desire for running to be 'fun' leads to just the opposite outcome.  Just like wanting the 50 mile race to be over with when you are at mile 20.  Satisfaction Over Desire!


Email done, a quick strength warm up on the slant board, and then off to run.  I decided to head North of Jackson past the Town of Kelly and to the Gros Ventre.  The workout plan for the day was to get in 10 miles with some long, sub-threshold climbs.  The Gros Ventre is great for this because I can run on snow covered roads with a variety of climbs.

The Gros Ventre

I chose to wear very minimal shoes to work on micro-strength in feet/calves/glutes and they offer great traction so I could run fast up the climbs on the perfect layer of snow sand.  

Settle in and Climb

The Gros Ventre Corridor is steep in history and is the location of Slide Lake, where a massive landslide occurred back in the 1920's creating the lake. Eventually, the dam broke, desimating the Town of Kelly with a flood.  

Gros Ventre Land Slide

500 Mile Expedition

The First Runners

At the time, Kelly Wyoming was the major town in the valley due to its proximity to the Gros Ventre River, but after this flood, settlers moved to Jackson and Kelly today is only a small, eclectic town of yurts, log cabins, and million dollar ranches tuck into the side of the hills.

Welcome to Kelly

Well, my run did not disappoint, time flew by with my focus on hitting all the climbs in HR Zone 5 to help build my threshold endurance and improve my fat burning efficiency, which is vital for bigger mountains to come in the Summer.  Legs felt very strong, which is my focus right now.  My climbing intervals came out to this:

1st - 6:30 min

2nd - 4:50 min

3rd - 2:40 min

4th - 7:00 min

5th - 6:40 min

Total Miles: 10

Average HR: 143

Max HR: 163

Zone 5 Climbing Time: 27:40

Views: 205

Tags: running with eric, training

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Comment by Eric Orton on January 10, 2014 at 3:51pm

Hey Rich - break up the run tomorrow and do two, one in morning and one afternoon.  Find a creative way to accomplish what you need to, but to add a fresh motivator.

Comment by Richard McGaha on January 10, 2014 at 3:38pm

How serendipitous, I have been struggling with this very issue, I usually train in all weather unless it is very windy, with all the trees here it is just too dangerous, but the last couple of weeks I have been making some weak excuses and that is not going to cut it if I want to do 100 miles in August with 20,000' of elevation gain and 21,000' of loss!!! Thanks for the kick in the butt Eric.   Sadly tomorrow is my long run day and it is supposed to be 40-60 mile an hour winds all day.  There is always Sunday!!!! 

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