Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Painful Runs

I did a two mile run this past weekend. It was very painful, but I finished under 20 minutes, so I can't complain--I didn't run in almost four months.

My friend and I have a serious competition going, and the past I never failed to be a little bit more motivated than I was this time. It was also the first time that my friend beat me. We did about eight runs in the past, so I still have bragging rights, in a way.

I now know that overconfidence is very painful. My bedroom is on the second floor. Monday morning was very painful for me, and I had to walk down the stairs sideways so that I wouldn't tumble down them. My legs were so tight and sore that I spent a lot of time thinking about why I was so foolish and didn't try to get a few runs in before Saturday's run.

I am a fan of history, and I believed that since I used to crush my friend, well, this time would just beat him by a little. I really should have listened to him when he said that he was running about twice a week. Sure, he was running on a treadmill, but he was still running. I should have listened to my wife when she said I should go for a run. I should have listened to my little voice telling me I needed to go running.

It isn't easy to lose, but I didn't train because I was too confident. It is a lesson that at my age I should know is a painful lesson. I know how my body responds to training runs and adding extra miles. I know how my body responds to adding some speed training, my body isn't a fan. I also know that over the last couple years I haven't run as much and so I added a few extra pounds. Weight I lost years ago, but sadly put back on over the past two years.

Weight gains were the reason I took up running. Racing against my friend gave us both a little extra motivation to run more than would have done on our own. The weight gains have also slowed me down to the point that I am running at speeds that I ran when I first started running.

This week I started running on the treadmill, and I have run 1.5 miles everyday, because this is about as far as I can run without feeling really winded.

I do realize that running on a treadmill isn't the same as running outside, but I do run at 1.5% incline to help take away some of the advantages of running on a treadmill. The treadmill is nice for trying to get back in shape because it isn't as hard on the legs like running on the road.

I have a treadmill and wasn't using it. I know that is sad, but I wonder how many people have treadmills and don't use it. I also have a trainer for my bike and hardly use it. I have the equipment to help me stay in shape, but it is just a matter of using it.

The point I am trying to make is that a person can find a lot of reasons for not doing something, but the truth is that even a doing a little bit will help you avoid the real painful outcomes in the end.

Mike Hastings Stuck in Neutral

A journalist job is to print the truth, and hopefully their editor will have the guts to print what the journalist finds out. Mike Hastings will no longer be an embed journalist in Afghanistan. It appears he won't be returning to the front line because he wrote down what General McChrystal said about the president.

Leaks seem to be a big issue when it comes to the war in Afghanistan, and the war effort will only be hampered by more reports of generals and other officers bashing the president.

The other issue is the war in Afghanistan isn't going the way it should, and some of that could be because McChrystal's rules of engagement that seemed to protect the Taliban more than his own soldiers. A fact that he wasn't a popular general because of his policies only seemed to get more attention after his Rolling Stone article.

Mike Hastings may have stepped over some imaginary line when he published General McChrystal's comments, but was he doing it as a way to save the lives of American soldiers or as a way to make a name for himself?

The article gave Hastings's media recognition, but it also caused him to lose his job in Afghanistan because the people in charge can't trust him.

It does appear that Hastings' is casualty of timing. If WikiLeaks hadn't published secret documents about the war in Afghanistan, maybe Hastings would still be an embed journalist.

The United States seems to be fighting a PR war in Afghanistan, and can't afford stories that show generals dislike for a policy or that the United States doesn't trust the corrupt Afghanistan government.

Hastings did what he thought was right, and maybe he shouldn't be shocked that he won't be going back to the front lines. It does appear that some fear he might print more secret talks or print something about what he sees in the front lines. It is censorship because Hastings isn't afraid to tell the truth, and now he won't get a chance to report what is going on in Afghanistan right now.