Thursday, April 3, 2014


Today's run was 7 miles on the treadmill at the Y, putting me up to 535.3.  

Did I have to go to the Y?  Yes, but not because of the weather. Given how warm it is in the Y's cardio machine area, I would have rather been outside.  What led me inside on the treadmill was the type of workout.  A progression.  My first really intentional progression run as part of a training plan.  

The plan was 7 miles with paces starting at 8, working my way down to 6:30, and then cooling down with 8 again.  I am not yet able to do that easily on my own.  Even on the track.  So, I did it on the treadmill.  Challenging, but not impossible.

From my virtual pilgrimage point of view, it puts me continuing along Indiana route 46 running parallel with I-74 about 13 miles west of where it intersects with US 52.  Not much in the area.  

What was today about pondering?  A few things.

First, yesterday was a rest day.  I call it an "urban rest day."  Meaning what?  Well, while I live in the city and work in the city, in many ways I lead a suburban life.  But yesterday my car was in the shop for a coolant issue (which turned out to be inexpensive to fix and the repair place welcomed my dog when I brought my child and my dog to pick up the car at 7 this morning).  In any case, I had to take the bus to and from work with a walk at one end on the way in (the bus stop was right next to the car repair place) and then both ways on the way home.  The walk is just under a mile.  It was nice to get my legs moving a little even on a rest day.

It was also a day to notice how long it had been since I'd awakened with a charley horse in either calf.  If nothing else, this suggests that I had been hydrating better.  

So, even my rest day involved noticing a few things.

On this running day, it was my first even progression run.  The cumulative time for the 7 miles was 51:15.  I nearly decided to run 51:50 (thinking back to some old Van Halen vinyl that I think I still have somewhere in the basement).  Would there have been any reason to do that other than the number?  No.  And as someone who is particular about trying to get workouts "just right", I decided to stick with the plan rather than to add 35 seconds to get to a specific number that reminded me of something else.

Anyone who has known me since my first marathon, knows that I am a complete numbers person when it comes to running.  Not just my paces.  Not just my times.  Not just PR's.  But looking for meaning in the numbers I find.  Ever since my bib number for the first marathon was 1313.  

The meaning in 2000 miles.  The meaning in putting that on a map.  The meaning in finding a Catholic church exactly that far away.  

It suggests to me why I like listening to baseball on the radio so much as a kid and when I do "consume" a baseball game these days I'd rather have it on the radio than on the TV or even in person.  Great radio broadcasts involve two things--telling stories and sharing numbers.  The numbers can be pretty obscure.  I saw that the current shortstop for the team where I grew up just started the opening day game for the 14th season.  Tied for the major league record for the position.  Two ahead of the shortstop I grew up watching.  Two years behind the 3rd baseman I grew up watching.  I love numbers.  Even in baseball the most obscure number has meaning to someone.   

And finally, I thought about music.  51:15 to 5150 to Van Halen.  I thought about how exploring Van Halen for me as a teen was something new.  I thought about fact that when I come upon new music I often listen a lot and then pull back.  Kind of like a progression run--pushing harder and harder and then pulling back.

I thought about the fact that there is a "new country" station in the area and I have taken to it.  Surprising to many, including my wife who had tried to convince me that country music was good.  Why do I like it?  Because the stories (as my 18 year old said) are "real".  Not always.  And country has recently been accused of telling the same story over and over again.  But the music actually reminds me not of the country I heard growing up but of the type of music with lyrics that I can understand that I liked growing up.  And one change--if we accept the premise that it is more stories of real lives and real people, my job is more about that these days.  Business schools are about real people doing real things in a real economy.  Yes, there are some fancy finance things that don't seem very real.  But business is relationships and motivation.  And country music talks about relationships and motivations in very direct ways.  

So, starting from a challenging 7 mile workout that took me along Indiana 46 in my path to New Mexico with a cumulative time of 51:15, I have ended up pondering my musical tastes and my interest in baseball and my life in a city.  I don't know what that says about me other than that I have a mind that likes to wander and find ways to pull things together. 

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