Sunday, June 30, 2013

1001 Miles

Today, I posted on Facebook that I had run 1001 miles in the first six months of the year.  Interesting fact.  The most I have ever run in six months.  And definitely more than a friend who I think of as being the "master of long distances who does not make a habit of ultras."

But what does 1001 miles really mean?

In this six months, it has meant a lot of running alone.  My primary long distance training partner had a stress fracture in the femur.  I've switched from running with Back on My Feet very frequently to more miles alone.  With respect to the former, I did find other training partners to do many (but not all) the long miles with.  With respect to the latter, the drive time to get to Back on My Feet is taxing and sometimes I could not get out of the house early enough with the demands of my new position at Johns Hopkins.  What will I do in the future?  I am not sure.  The running alone is not so bad for day to day runs of 6-8 miles when I just want an entire workout to be done in an hour.  The company of fellow runners is especially helpful on the track (I think I ended up with only one track workout alone) and on the long runs.  And even with the long runs sometimes it is nice just to have time to myself to think.  Still, I got back into running as a social thing in 2010, and I definitely don't want to lose that aspect of what I do.  I'll have to sort this one out over time.  And find a way to stay in touch with Back on My Feet at least a little.

If I ran the miles at an average page of 8 minutes, that would be over 133 hours of running.  Add to that travel time when I do run with others.  Stretching, etc.  And you easily get up to a week.  Or almost 4% of my time.  That is a lot.  Yes, it is part of my identity.  But, maybe it should not be such a large part of my identity.  I'll have to think of how large a role running should play in my life moving ahead.

And, on top of that, we have the fact that I could move away from running in my fitness.  An average of almost 6 miles per day every day is a lot.  I've run six straight days each of the last two weeks.  Granted, never achieving total weekly mileage much above 40 since Boston, but still running on many days.  I am not doing much strength or other cardio and am definitely putting myself at risk of repetition motion type of injury.  I may have to come to grips with the fact that to continue to do what I love I have to mix in a few other things sometimes.

If I replace running with other fitness, then fitness as a whole will still take up the same amount of time or more because when I do other fitness, I can't just roll out of bed and do it.  I have to go to a gym in most cases.  So, as I move ahead the question becomes how does fitness fit in my life and how does running fit into fitness.

And how do I involve my kids?

All what types of goals will I set if I don't have running goals?  I am someone driven by goals, after all?  Would they be musical goals?  Would they be spiritual goals?  Would they be job-related goals  Would they be entrepreneurial goals?  Would they be household goals?  Would they be family goals?

If I give away too much running here will be a void.  If I give away running, I better find something interesting and productive and positive with which to fill the void that will emerge.

I'm sure I can find things.

Noticing how much running I have been doing, really does bring to the forefront the need to seriously assess what comes next.

It is interesting that there are many cases in which achievement forces reconsideration as I assess what that achievement required.  I don't regret decisions made.  But I am not stuck, and I can change priorities moving ahead if different priorities would lead to more meaningful outcomes.  All this running has made a difference in my world and my journey. There may be many other things that can change and be changed for the better in the worlds of those around me if I pull back at least a bit for the coming six months.

When I total up my miles six months from now, it will be interesting to make an inference about whether I can line up my actions with my ponderings when it comes to new ideas about running and priorities in my life.

And, at today's mass, which did not even feature Father Sam but did feature the new deacon at our church, what was the homily about?  Priorities as demonstrated in 1 Kings and Luke.  Once again, my worlds wrap around each other in so many interesting ways.   

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