Monday, June 1, 2009

Starting Over? and Is The Running Community United or Divided?

Last week's mileage total - 5.2 miles. UGH!!!! I wasn't even injured (just exhausted, so if I did run more I may have ended up injured)

In an effort to get back in a groove, I psyched myself up to get up early this morning and get out for a run. Although I felt dead-to-the-world at 5:35am when I first looked at the clock, I made myself get out of bed and go out for a run.

The first mile seemed treacherous. 11:06 pace. 148 avg heart rate. I felt like I was starting over after and injury or long layoff from running.

I checked my running log, and it hasn't been that long - 3 weeks ago I had a 22 mile week. Come on!

Luckily, as the run went on the rust seemed to wear off. Although it still didn't feel as easy as an "easy run" should be, my next three mile splits were: 10:58 (147 avg HR), 10:03 (151 avg HR), and 10:14 (152 avg HR).

And with 4.4 miles in the books on Monday morning, I'm all set to eclipse last week's total. Perhaps by tomorrow morning.

On Sunday, I ventured out to Barnes and Noble and got me a copy of the running classic, Once A Runner. This book was out-of-print for quite some time - and impossible to get a copy - but in April it was re-released in hard cover. I've had a B&N gift card since December, and I finally got around to using the darn thing!

Anyhow, I know I don't have much time to start reading a book (only 3 more weeks from tomorrow until my project launches!), but I ended up reading the first page and a half - hoping that it would perhaps give me some inspiration to start running more regularly again this week.

What I read so far left me utterly pissed off...

I guess the main character in the book - and the author - is a pretty competitive runner (I think part of the premise is that this runner is trying to run a sub-4 minute mile). So the book opens as the main character is returning to the track and sees a bunch of "overweight joggers". And he doesn't have a high regard for these folks at the track.

Well...I gotta say that I can relate a bit more to the overweight jogger than the elite runner. And if the entire book is going to be filled with this, then this may not be the inspiring running book I was hoping to read.

So...of course after my treacherous first mile today, I started thinking about the book and it's condescending comments about the "overweight joggers" as I plod along at an 11 minute mile pace. And I was starting to get even more pissed off.

Then, in the distance I see a woman booking down the sidewalk towards me. Even though she was about half a mile away, I could tell that she was running at a really fast pace. As we approached each other, I saw that it was a friend of mine who is a super-fast runner (she's run Boston a number of times and has age-group placed in a few of the races that I have run in). As we got closer to each other I said good-morning and started to applaud her blazing pace - she said to me, "I thought I would see you out here running at this hour!"

At that point I finally got some validation that my "jogging" and her faster "running" were equal. We're both putting in the time to "put one foot in front of the other, repeat many times" no matter how much distance we cover in that time. We are a united group of runners - not a divided group of joggers and elites.

And with that one little exchange, I think I'll be able to enjoy the book after all. (and perhaps I'll lend it to my fast friend after I finally finish it...)

No comments: