Sunday, September 28, 2014

Running Isn't All There Is

Yesterday, I ran 13.9 miles.  I was supposed to run 14 but I hit 13.9 as I ran by my house, and I just didn’t feel the need to do another 0.1 yesterday.  Much last last weekend, I wasn’t feeling it.  I wouldn’t say, “Felt like crap”.  (Although if I had run another 6 miles maybe I would have.)  Instead, it just was not an inspired 14.

But that is okay.  Not every 14 has to be an inspired 14.

And if I look at the crazy week I have had, it is probably not so bad.

First, I had the trip to Ireland to sit on a dissertation final defense in which I left work around 1:45 on Tuesday, was on a plane to Boston at 4:05 for a connecting flight to Dublin.  Arrived in Ireland slightly before 8 AM on Wednesday morning.  Had a nice breakfast with a colleague and then was the external examiner for the defense which ended around 12:30.  Had lunch at a south Asian place in Dublin.  Then went back to the airport and was on a plane by 4:15 to return to the US.  I was home and getting ready for bed around 10:10 my own time. 

Went to work on Thursday.  Made it through a day that included a 9 mile track workout on the treadmill (uncooperative mother nature) and dinner at my boss’s house.  Had a personnel issue that rocked that day.

Then Friday was also a long day at work (personnel issues mostly resolved).  And I had to be up really early for the 13.9 mile run this morning.  When I hit the six mile mark and saw my pace and then flipped through to see the actual time, it was only 5:01 (AM!).  

Life lesson—there are only so many hours and sometimes only so many things can fit in.  Especially fit in and do well.  

Hope—while I don’t often take inspiration from Jimmy Buffet songs, “come Monday, it’ll be alright.”  (And I'm looking forward to Monday as today is an off day for running.)  

Regardless—13.9 miles at an 8:10 pace is not bad.  I have not missed significantly on any speed work.  I have missed two weekends in a row on long runs.

We will see what this all leads to.  As I said last weekend—all this work is really about one thing—minimizing the chance that I will not succeed at my goal of a PR marathon time.  But all I can do is minimize it. Life brings no guarantees.  

Other realization which I am coming to more and more as I talk with people about this fall’s Philly marathon—for the foreseeable future, this will be the last time I train this hard.  I can keep running the 5K’s and 10K’s.  I can run halves and even fulls.  But training myself to where I’m accumulating 60 miles a week to really improve my time has gotta be put on the back burner for a while. Maybe forever.

As for my virtual piligrimage, total1638.  Still working my wife to Truth or Consequences.  Still on US 54. 

As for more than running, yesterday after the run I had the opportunity to go to a faculty summit for the business school and then attend the wedding of a cousin on my dad’s side.  All good.  Nice to be with family.  Even if the amount of my dad’s side of the family was quite small when all was said and done.  Best thing was a picture of the five men who are blood related in two generations on that side.  It was a nice shot.  And thinking about the life stories of the five men in this picture, it speaks worlds about the variety of experiences that we can have, the ways to raise kids, and the ways that we can make it in a satisfying life.  

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