Running today would have set me up for a 6-run week. I’ve got tomorrow and Saturday all planned out, but I need to get a little work done for my Master’s. That, and get my wedding ring resized (again). Looks like I’m not running today.
Off-days are hard sometimes. The lack of endorphines is something that can be difficult to process. It really messes with my head sometimes. I’m dealing, though. It’s something that I need to learn. Not everyday can be a run day (crazed Running Streaks not withstanding…seriously, check these folks out, they’ve been doing this a long time!).
Having said all that, and despite my up and down mental state due to a chemical imbalance of positive hormones, I’m still feeling good about my runs and ready for tomorrow. Another solid breakfast of Greek yogurt and granola is on tap…I have a nearly inappropriate desire to eat those two things every day for breakfast…
Time – 55:06 Distance – 5.03 miles Pace – 10:58 min/mi Elevation – 244 ft.
It was supposed to be an easy run, until I dropped a 9:49 for mile 5…um…okay.
Let’s Meet Someone New
I went running today with a local group. It was my first run with them, and there was a bit of a crowd. Probably in the neighborhood of 15–20 people were hanging around, getting ready to go out for the run. It was an out and back, and I think that it maxed out about 7–8 miles. I signed the waiver, said hi to the leader, and stood for the group picture. Then we were off.
I’ve gotten used to running on my own. I start off easy and try to work into my pace in order to keep down the Exercise-Induced Asthma and side stitches. It works for me, and I can usually negatively split my runs.
As the group steadily pulled away, I realized two things. I hadn’t actually met any of them, and I wasn’t as fast as they were. I was concerned and a little annoyed, because the group didn’t quite seem welcoming. I will admit that I didn’t put forth a lot of effort, so it’s not like it was all on them. I just didn’t know what to expect. Dynamics in these things can be very different depending on the group.
But I kept running and followed the roadway out to the path. It was a trail I knew well, so I was planning to enjoy my run either way. Then I started to pass people who had turned around or were still going my way. And they were all super friendly! Lots of hellos and waves to make me feel like I was a part of the run. Very cool!
I caught up to a couple of people and then met up with a guy (let’s call him “Mike”) and we ran together for about 3 miles. We talked about our kids, my weight loss, his runs over the past year, and other miscellaneous topics. I had forgotten how much fun it was to run with other people. Mike needed to slow down with about a mile to go, and I latched onto another guy who had passed us. Suddenly, I was doing 8:15 pace and feeling REALLY good. It wasn’t something I was going to do for an hour, but there might be a 5k in there somewhere. That’s very intriguing.
Overall, a good group. They meet regularly and run local, which makes for a good time, and supporting the local group is always important. I’m looking forward to doing it again next week.
Time – 45:22 Distance – 4.45 miles Pace – 10:11 min/mi Elevation – 171 ft.
Follow up to yesterday’s off day is a hard run today. It didn’t feel very good, but I was able to go the whole time and push the pace till the end.
I don’t look like a runner when I go out. I shuffle a lot. I don’t pick up my feet very much, and my shoe soles will scrape the ground now and then. My face scruntches up and I get a weird grimace every once in a while. I don’t run fast, yet. I work hard to keep a moderate pace. I’m definitely a back of the packer. I know that I don’t have the mechanics for a 4:xx/minute mile.
My wife tells me she’s worried about me running the 100 miler when the time comes. I’ll admit that I’m a little worried, too. I’ve seen the long end of 8.5 miles so far. I know that I can do more, and I’m ready to keep working at it. It’s a long way to go to get there, though.
I’m seeing little changes along the way. The weight/body changes are unbelievable. Having always been a fat guy, it’s strange to see bumps/ridges/lines where there was always bulk. The backs of my hands have veins, tendons, and muscles. My neck has only a little bit of skin under my chin, and I can see my Adam’s Apple (no pun intended) for the first time…ever. My calves ripple when I walk.
These are all simple things to many people, and something that one could take for granted. But I had two separate heart scares in a year back in 2014. I ended up in a hospital 4 hours from home without my wife and family nearby for an atrial fibulation event, and then had another one on my birthday the same year. I was 35. I’m not supposed to get these kinds of things.
Every time I go running hard, I think about my daughter, and how I’ve promised myself I’ll walk her down the aisle of her wedding. When I see the bones of my knees, the curve of muscle in my arms, or the narrowness of my waist, I think about holding grandchildren one day. I’m working for those things.
100 milers are proof that I can be healthy enough to get there. They are not the reward, though. Life is. That’s why I keep telling myself one thing:
Today is a day filled with struggle, difficulty, and sadness for so many, from those in Texas to the friends and family of David Torrence. I’m resting today and keeping others in my thoughts and prayers, including all those traveling to UTMB. Good luck and Godspeed!
Time – 37:10 Distance – 3.22 miles Pace – 11:32 min/mi Elevation – 126 ft.
Sometimes you just go out and run easy. Do 3 miles or so to work the legs and recovery from the previous day’s run. Today was that day.
Putting Down the Mark for the Day
I ran today. I didn’t think about it too much. I didn’t consider the ramifications of going out and moving around at 5.2 MPH for 35–40 minutes. It didn’t phase me that another 3 miles today would make nearly 17 miles for the weekend.
I wasn’t running today to exorcise the “Fat Kid” demons. I didn’t need to run off yesterday’s cookies and ice cream (because I got a treat after the long run). It wasn’t in celebration of being down 122.8 lbs. as of this morning.