The Little Engine Who Couldn't and Then Did

You know the story, "The Little Engine that Could?"  I used to love hearing it as a kid.  Over and over again.  Maybe it rubbed off a bit on my personality. Today on my long two-hour run for the week, I was The Little Engine Who Couldn't.  I couldn't motivate because I was running alone early in the morning on my normal day off from training.  I couldn't elevate my heart-rate to the usual zones based on the usual activity level -- I was off by at least 10 bpm.  I couldn't travel much faster than the walking horses on the dirt path, and my run quality smelled like them too.

And then, I saw one of the strangest things in all my time training.  As I passed the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot in Griffith Park around 8 a.m. on my first of two loops, a man in corporate attire was playing the bagpipes next to his Porsche Cayenne.

I can't make this stuff up.  I'd say only in LA, but really, maybe it's only in Scotland?

The man belted out "Amazing Grace" as a horde of high school cross-country runners jetted past, waving, laughing and saluting.

Perhaps the man was paying tribute to a fallen comrade, or even rehearsing to do that at a funeral at the nearby Forest Lawn Cemetary.  Maybe he was just inspired.  Either way, I found my lost stride, my passion, and ultimately my speed.  I ran the second loop seven-minutes faster.

This further proved to me how the mind affects the body in training and racing.  I didn't want to be outside this morning.  I wanted to be in bed and it showed in my performance.  But once I committed to the run, truly and fully, my performance soared.  Well, it soared compared to where it was when I started.  Anyway, you get the idea.

The next time your engine is running a little slow, consider why and what you can do to change that in your own mind.  You might be surprised at what happens.

60 days and counting (btw, I know this isn't true and that once again my numbers are off!  I'll change this tomorrow!)

PPS: Tomorrow I hope to review the Fuel Belt R-30 (three-bottle holder). In short, OK but not great.  I'll tell you why.