Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Month


I’ll attribute this entry to a cup of crappy afternoon coffee and the calming lull of snowflakes dancing about at the window.

Perhaps I lack the ability to give myself credit where credit is due. Or I needed to take the notion of running away literally. More likely: that in the frantic scatterings of my mind, I accessed a tucked-away cache of former capacity/character/commitment in regards to placing one foot in front of the other. And repeating. “I did it at 16, and I was as much an idiot then as I am today. Why can’t I do it now?”

2012 was disastrous.  I’ll stick to running at this point in regards to what that means. Re-aggravating an injury, ill prepared and indifference marked my meager race schedule from spring to fall. Motivation was nowhere to be seen. At one point back in the spring, I was running with a bit of frequency but wasn’t happy about it.

I recall going out on Easter morning with the plan of either 8 or 9 miles for a long run (which was totally doable at that point, wasn’t over doing it); I felt like a mental midget for the first mile and couldn’t shake the feeling of dread and disinterest, so I returned to my abode and just sat in a carpeted room. It wasn’t fun or felt like something that was…me. So I shoved it out of sight, out of mind as it were.

Fast-forward to December. Take it as you will: grasping at straws, re-opening a toolbox, back to the drawing board. My core identifiers felt totally adrift, some completely gone. I decided to revisit something that felt like from a totally different era.  

I got considerably faster in my teenage years when I started supplementing a growing sense of adolescent frailty with running; flushing sad thoughts away on gravel trails and hill repeats, building up confidence with improved outcome and race results. And maybe this time (like so many others) I will burn out, as that has been my thing in my wisdom less 20s.  

But I’ve stuck to it for four weeks straight, lacing up when I’m feeling sad and lonely. I signed up for the “most challenging ½ course in Northern Illinois” on March 17, following Hal Higdon’s program (due to sheer habit), only altering the one day of speed work to longer efforts, as 400 repeats aren’t going to help me as much at this point. Pleased in an odd way that I’ve only missed one run so far, and such was due to a faulty furnace that I felt took priority over three miles that day.

I am simultaneously feeling fitter and oh so out of shape on a daily basis. The weather has been kind on my joints (looking at my ankles in particular) and the recent “cold” comes without blustery winds, so it really isn’t that bad (even if it feels like negative whatever out). 

I run early in the morning and later in the day, feeling guilty if I even momentarily consider not sticking to my schedule. I only risk minimal accident by drivers who feel stopping at intersections or stop signs is merely suggested --perhaps it’s a River Forest bylaw.  I like the quietness out among the suburban masses, as I don’t tend to pass many other runners (or dog walkers/stroller pushers, for that matter). I am actually looking forward to going to some forest preserves as my long runs reach the point of needing more space. I have a number of loops down to a science with minimal stopping points and would like to keep that going for longer efforts down the road.

So that’s what I’ve got thus far. Might add in some light weight work or Insanity as my arms could use it. Next check in will hopefully be sprinkled with a bit more speed and a lighter gait.

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