Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Track Workout, A Long Run, Two Opening Sentences, My Running Family, and an Injury

It has been longer since my last writing in this blog than I am used to.  I hope not to have that happen again for several reasons. First, I lose track of some ideas that I have had for writing (although if I start writing notes on what I want to write about I should be able to figure out a way not to lose interesting ideas).  Second, I think that this writing helps me to get things out of my head.  And one of the distractions I had in my writing this week was an injury that happened on Thursday and that I am still resting from (today is Saturday).  On Thursday I have a bad fall that has led to my needing to wear a wristbrace for four weeks.  I hit the ground hard enough that I smashed the face of the watch I was wearing.  And I seem to have damaged the cartilage where the ulna meets the wrist.  That is not going to be fun--especially when I run and sweat.

So, on to my other things to write about.

(1) Since the last blog entry when I was at 1348 miles, I have run 8 miles (track workout), 12 miles (long), 6 miles (maintenance), and 10 miles (progression).  The progression was hard as I was just back from a "day trip" to San Francisco.  I was supposed to be running 7 on the day I fell.  I missed yesterday's 12x400 (damn!), and I am resting today.  That puts me up to 1384 total.  That puts me on US 54/US 400 west of Wichita and southeast of Dodge City.  I hate to use this term but pretty much middle of nowhere.

(2) I have taken (in the spirit of the comment about the crane) to writing first lines for four of the last five runs.  Not much to write about on a progression run on the treadmill.  But here is what I have written from my last four runs:

8/14 As I came down the home stretch finishing the first lap of a sixteen lap workout at 4:57 AM on a surprisingly cool mid-August morning, my eyes drifted up toward the eastern horizon and I saw Venus to the north and Orion to the south with Saiph hanging low in the sky.

8/16 During an early Sunday morning run, I shuffled my feet on the ground a bit as I climbed Roland Avenue north of 36th Street trying not to scare the second pedestrian whom I saw outside my neighborhood that morning who was walking about 20 yards ahead; she was dressed in one of the dandelion yellow shirts worn by employees of a large supermarket chain, clearly on her way to work, and carrying an iced team from a competitor’s local convenience store in her hand. 

8/18 As only his forefoot gently struck the sloped pavement where the driveway met the curb and he launched into his next stride, he recognize that the morning was quieter than usual—both because there was an unusually small number of runners out on this Monday morning and because many of his footsteps, like the one just passed, were gentler than normal on this day when he was running a full minute slower per mile than his typical workout pace. 

8/20 He had so much on his mind that morning that when he came to an unusual upslope in the sidewalk during his run, his foot got caught on it, he stumbled and tried to catch himself, but ended up falling and hitting the ground hard enough to shatter his watch’s face, tear the skin on his elbow, cause abrasions on his leg, bicep area, and hip, and have the wind knocked out of him; as he rolled to his side on the pavement he wondered if this would be the beginning of a downward spiral for his running. 

To me, it is mostly interesting to think about the stories that could be told with each of these as starters.  The first one focuses on the sky.  Saiph is the "right foot" of Orion assuming we are lookign at him "face on" when we see the constellation.  The second captures the familiarity of being in a city for 18 years.  The third on reflects the elegance and ease of running and easy pace.  The last one suggests the negative feelings toward running itself that I had as I fell and worked to recover on Thursday morning.  These could be used as the start of four very interesting stories.  Or maybe (like in my life) tied together for a complex story.

(3) Finally, I want to make a comment about mass last Sunday.  At that mass, the Gospel reading from Matthew told the story of a non-Jewish mother who wanted healing for her child.  Her faith was put to the test by Jesus several times before he healed the child.  This suggests the importance of faith and family.  On Sunday at mass, when mass started, we were the only "family" (in the sense of two parents with non-adult children) there.  We were asked to take up the gifts.  That is always an empowering experience to be an active part of the mass.  It also makes me think about the meaning of family as I have many times.  I recall at the end of 2013, writing about how family is the people with whom we eat meals.  (Thanks to my friend Alex for that quote.)  But family can be so much more than immediate family and blood relatives.  But our "church family" included the piano player and the sound guy.  It included several peopel we'd seen at mass for the past 18 years.  It included a number of members of the mission and planning committee I serve on.  It included, a couple of rows behind us, the woman I taught Sunday school with in the first year I taught.  Immediate family over the past year ahs grown stronger.  I've worked longer at the office but concentrated more on family at home.  So many changes we've all gone through.  More changes on Monday--when our oldest starts at Peabody.  Work is even like a family.  And my running group is like a family.  Recently, the running family has become a bit more fractured.  We don't have easy access to the Dunbar track any more--which limits access to my Tuesday running group.  My main training partner is still out.  Other training partners have different goals right now.  But there are many more years to run and rely on  my running family to help with running--always remembering that the most important family is the four peopel with whom I share the home we have lived in for 18 years.     

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