Run Long and Prosper: Mister Spock Denconstructed

Smashing through the boundaries, lunacy has found me, cannot stop the battery.” – Battery by Metallica

This song makes me think of Mister Spock from Star Trek.   “Why?” you ask me as if I have two heads.   Because Spock did not appear to worry one way or the other about too much.  It was almost as if he was a machine, powered by a battery.   Cue Metallica.

I explained the above-quote in an old post, but I felt that Mister Spock or “Spock Mode” needed to be further explained.

During a long run with my wife, I tried to describe to her what it is like to train for and run a marathon in an attempt to qualify for Boston.   I did this because, at the time, she was attempting to qualify for Boston herself.  I told her that you can’t get too high or too low emotionally during the training or the race.

You can’t worry about the weather or your belly.   You can’t retreat during the tough moments of nearly four months of training.  You especially can’t retreat during the tough moments of the 26.2 mile stretch, and yes, expect there will be a few of those moments.   I told her, you almost shouldn’t care one way or the other about a potential obstacle.  Obstacles will be always be there. The key is moving past them without expending much mental energy.

I am not suggesting to run without passion. After all, Spock’s mixed human-Vulcan  heritage allowed him to show yet control his emotions.  I am simply encouraging runners to attempt to be “emotionally detached” from roadblocks or obstacles.  This prevents or limits panic. It’s about energy conservation.

So, during that long run, I actually told my wife she needed to be like Mister Spock.  Highly Illogical?  I think not.  She qualified. She is now a disciple of Mister Spock.  Furthermore, if you read the quote on her Road ID, it will remind you that she is in “Mister Spock Mode.”

“Spock Mode” doesn’t have to be limited to a BQ goal.  Actually, the goal can be anything: Your first 5k, a Half PR, an Ultra, returning from an injury, etc.

John Gorka, a singer-songwriter from New Jersey, wrote a song about his home state and accurately described New Jerseyans; however, the following line from the song is more consistent with my point:

“…If the world ended today, I would adjust.”

This is related to the Spock mentality.  We have goals, and inevitably, something will challenge or get in the way of our goals.

The key is to “move on” from the moment…


Run long and prosper

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