IMG_1018Rest Day!

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…

We all must have our obsessions…


Runner Seeks Companion(s)…?

Is anybody out there?

Today’s Run

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.

Maybe, next time, I’ll say hello first…

I Tell Myself One Thing

Today’s Run

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.

church-chapel-house-of-worship-religion-40783Running Hard

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:

“I will run today.”

Another One in the Books

Today’s Run

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.

I’m a runner. It’s what I do.

And THAT feels really good to say.

I’m coming for you, Western States.