Sometimes, running is just that extended moment alone — my thoughts more lively
Well, it’s been a while. I would say that I haven’t had the time to write, but that would be a lie. The truth is, I haven’t had the will, or the want. While that is mildly sad to me, it kind of is what it is. Losing my motivation to write on a daily basis is understandable under the circumstances; I’m working around 45-55 hours a week and running about the same total in miles, all in the hot ass sun. Some days I don’t even want to run, and that’s understandable as well. It’s not always easy and fun.
Mostly, training has been decent. At the time of my last post, I was just beginning the schedule. Since then, there have been some ups and downs but for the most part it has been smooth sailing. Two weeks ago, however, I took a week off. I was experiencing so much fatigue at work and during runs that it started to affect my mental well-being. I wasn’t able to communicate effectively with co-workers and customers. My relationships felt burdensome. I probably should have taken the break earlier, but it took me some time to accurately locate the problem. I kept telling myself, “You’re training, of course you’re tired,” but at a certain point I knew something was wrong. I was feeling anxious at work and even around people whose company I enjoy. So that’s when I decided. I’m so glad that I made that decision. My energy levels went back to somewhat-normal and my head cleared, kind of putting me back where I needed to be. It might be that I lost a little fitness, but that’s far less important than maintaining my mental stability.
All that is not to say that training has become easier since the break. Just when I thought the heat had reached its peak, the humidity cranked up as it always does in August. I had to rethink my routes for long runs. On the first 24-miler, I tried breaking up the miles into two 12-mile loops with a break halfway at my apartment to refuel. That worked pretty well, but the last 3-4 miles turned into a death march. So the next 24-miler, I broke it up into four 6-mile loops. This strategy was much more effective. With the additional stops, the average pace of the two runs was similar, but I was able to finish the run… running, not walking. Also, the rest of the day I felt okay, not like a zombie. This Sunday is the 30-miler, so I’ll do five 6 mile loops. Luckily, the next day is Labor Day, so I don’t have to work. The training schedule calls for active recovery but no run. My goal is to complete the 30 miles on Sunday and still do 5 miles on Monday, but if I feel terrible then I’ll take the rest day as scheduled.
I am going to try to post again before the race, at least once. I mean, come on, I can do that. And then I’ll post again after the race to review and summarize.
Hopefully, New Orleans and all the affected areas bounce back quickly from this hurricane. From what I’ve read, it seems like getting electricity back up and running will be the biggest challenge. I really want to be able to run the race, but at this point it’s not very important in the scheme of things.
This photo is objectively bad, but it is not intended to show this bumper sticker in any artistic way. It’s only intended to show the content of the bumper sticker. I had never seen/read this particular saying and I found it to be true, or at least to be a statement that I wish to be true. Mostly referring to bathroom activities that unfortunately occur outside of bathrooms, “What happens on the long run, stays on the long run.”
At this point, I didn’t do a long run today. I just did my every Sunday 2 hour run. 13 miles @ 9:35 pace. It didn’t feel long in time or in distance. I had a little pain in my left foot, around the ball of my big toe, about miles 7-9. Nothing too bad. It went away. I had a little pain in my right foot, around the same area, about miles 9-11. That went away too. Then I had some, I don’t want to say pain, more like irritation, in my left calf from mile 11 to the end. I think that was due to me not tying my left shoe tight enough. My heel was lifting slightly and I was too stubborn to stop and fix it. Pretty stupid. Not like I was on some kind of record-setting pace.
I had a very easy time mentally blocking out those pains I had today. I guess now I can tell the difference between pain that is serious, and pain that is fleeting. Now, sitting on the couch, I don’t feel any of those pains. I also think my mind is in a good state right now. I’m distancing myself from the negativity that was creeping into my thoughts and kind of plaguing me a few days out of the week. Just waking up in the morning and thinking about all the things that can go to plan instead of thinking about everything that can go wrong makes a big difference on my outlook. Not stressing about a bedtime that’s set in stone is helping as well. I would really like to get 8 hours of sleep but it’s not realistic. 7 hours, maybe. 6.5 is doable every night and I feel ok in the morning and throughout the rest of the day. I catch up on my days off and go about my business. Worrying about it multiplies whatever tiredness I may feel. So cheeseball but just thinking positive thoughts is important, apparently.
But I can’t stay positive without a few positive occurrences… occurring. I met someone and today we are going for a walk. Hopefully a long one. All kinds of excited, and a little nervous.
Finally a day off. And a pretty good one. I set out this morning around 10 on my run. The goal was just to do 2 hours at a relaxed pace. I set the goal this way because of the heat. It’s getting hotter now, gradually, and I knew that it would be a factor. I’m not used to running in the heat of the day because I run after work when it’s slightly cooler and the sun is closer to the horizon instead of beating down from directly overhead. Turned out to be just slightly harder than I thought it would be. I ended up going 12.7 at 9:30 pace, roughly. I took the trail going away from downtown and then took a left at the Skyway Trail junction. I couldn’t figure out how far the water fountain at Gulfport was but I knew the one at Clam Bayou would be about 6 or 7 miles from my start point and that’s about the distance I needed to go before turning around. Now thinking about it, I think both water fountains are about the same distance from my starting point, but the Gulfport water fountain is sometimes turned off. I made a fine decision, either way. I love the smell of saltwater so it was nice running through the little bayou back there. There was an older guy and his lady/wife/friend riding their bikes past me on the way back and he said, “Looks like you’re doing a great job running!” To which I replied, “I’m doing my best!” Then his lady/wife/friend dinged her bike bell and said loudly, “Bike on the left!!!” Like I didn’t know. It seemed almost like she was trying to discourage her guy/husband/friend from talking to me, because he was in the middle of saying something else to me. Oh well, I’ll never know what it was, but I have an idea that it was about my sweat volume. One other person commented on my sweat volume during this run. Overall, it was a good run. No pain of any kind. No GI stuff. My heart rate was elevated for the pace I was running only at the end of the run, when I was in need of hydration. I think it’s common for my heart rate to jump up towards the end of a run even when I’m fully hydrated, though. It’s the excitement of being done, maybe. I notice that sometimes in the stats, even on short runs.
Had band practice afterwards and that went well. Still need to figure out why Spotify and every other streaming service besides Apple Music won’t post our EP.
Went grocery shopping after that. Had to go to Publix and Trader Joe’s.
Made pizza with cauliflower crust after that. It was not as bad as I thought it would be, but not great. I guess that needs to be explained, ugh. I am trying to cut out as much wheat as I can from my diet. I’m eating things that are gluten-free. No nuts. No seeds. I have ulcerative colitis. It makes my life more difficult, but like anything else, once I get used to it, that will be the norm and I won’t think of it as difficult.
Oh, it’s been a long time since I have had the time and correct head to write here. It feels strange, like I am writing to an audience that doesn’t exist. That’s not too far from the truth, I guess. I’ve been writing in a journal that’s contained within my computer, but at some point I knew I would come back here. Today felt right, because of the run mostly. I can’t make any commitment to frequency here. All I can do is remember that it helps me to write for some kind of perceived audience, as opposed to the circuit boards inside my computer. And hopefully, that will be enough to make me write here more often. I’m in a better place to write and run now.
I got my new vest and new headphones this week. Ran with the new headphones on Friday, and was pretty happy overall. Jabra headphones don’t mess around when it comes to bass. That Friday run was a half hour after work thing, just relaxing and cruising. Today I ran 15 at 11:00 minutes a mile with the new vest. I’m very happy with the choice I made. No more bruised ribs. Just have to get used to pocket placement but no big deal.
A theme at work for me this week was just to stop caring. Not about the quality of work I do, but about the little, annoying, extraneous things that I can make too much of. It’s like I want to have a fistfight with time — the concept, or construct, or very real thing which rules many (most) people’s lives including mine — over not being home earlier. I can’t care about it when I’m at work because it makes me super anxious, like wound up tight, and it’s another challenge in itself to get unwound. So maybe not such a little extraneous thing, but annoying to be sure. And things plural I said. I love my job because of the people I get to talk to. That’s one reason. But sometimes my interactions while working are very difficult to process. I take it to heart when someone displays even the slightest amount of negativity towards me and/or the quality of my work. That Abraham Lincoln quote though, especially with over 600 people to please. What running blog? This is about work today.Continue reading “5/24/20”
Kind of an in-between Sunday. Sundays are inherently good. No work. Time to reset, to regroup, and… clean stuff. But there’s like a smell that I can’t quite identify. Not a bad smell really, just a smell, and the fact that I can’t figure out what it is bugs me a little.
Housekeeping, I guess – I assumed I would be writing more than once a week. After last week, when it felt so great to post something here, I was like, back. I can’t make a commitment that I feel unsure about though, and at this point a weekly post count seems like it would get in the way of my big, important LIFE, life. So the approach that seems more practical is to take pleasure in the time I spend here, whenever I choose to spend time here. This place is a place my mind goes to, more than anything else.Continue reading “5/17/20”
It’s been almost two years now. I kept paying the WordPress dues to keep this site up because if I didn’t, the opportunity for me to write here would not exist anymore. I can say, “I’m glad I did that now, I’m back,” but who knows if this is just a moment.
I’m writing on my phone. I used to use my computer. My computer no longer works. I rescued all of the pertinent data and images from said computer before it stopped working. I have not replaced it with a new one. I have read Infinite Jest 1.75 times since last posting.
Not much has changed in my life I suppose, though that statement is true maybe only of the outward appearance of my life. If not much had changed in two years, including relationships, job, hobbies, etc., I would not be living in the true sense of the word, or the world. I change, the world changes, the changing world changes me and so on. My mind finds new ways to confound and delight me as a result of the many changes and I’m here and there and everywhere and back. My life, outwardly, is all mostly the same. With a few grey hairs.Continue reading “5/9/20”
If the time
seems to have come
to begin again,
then by all means,
24 miles, 12:50 pace.
This is the amount of humidity that was in the air and clinging to my skin when I left on my run. Peat bog, swamp, marsh. I don’t care that there are roads here and that civilization has long been established. This place will always be what it has always been. A big swamp.
Despite the humidity, I had a really fun run today. Continue reading “6/20/18”
After very little searching around, I found out that the plural usage for ibis can be a few different words. There’s no wrong answer almost. I’m going with the one I think sounds best. Here, we see a trio of ibis (collective plural) making their way across a brick street in St. Petersburg, Florida. Continue reading “6/7/18”