Sunday, August 18, 2013


“Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day, but I ended up going to the gym and spending some time on the elliptical machine next to my wife to give her some moral support.  (Her lower back has been making it difficult for her to exercise the way she wants.  I ended up spending about 30 minutes there, and at a higher pace than I intended, so much for recovery.

Today I scheduled myself for a long(er) run, and I was feeling ambitious.  I set the treadmill for 3.5 miles, but I was feeling so good that about 20 minutes in I changed the time to an hour, for 5 miles.  I firmly believed that I'd finish all 5 miles--right up to the 3 mile mark.  For the first time I think I kind of hit a wall.  I was feeling good, and then, I wasn't.  Sheepishly I turned the time back to the 3.5 mile mark and held on to the end.

Usually post run, I'm able to recover fairly quickly.  By the time I get my treadmill wiped clean I'm back to normal breathing (although still sweating like crazy!) and my heart rate has dropped into the low 100s.  This time though, I had to be careful walking down the stairs to the main floor of the gym--legs were just a tad bit rubbery still. And I was just wiped out, sitting down in a chair in a daze.

At first I was disappointed in myself, but then I realized that a) a month ago I was running a mere 15 minutes at a time, b) a week ago my long run was 2.5 miles.

I just want so much more, and I want it now!

But I need to just pick up my little sword and let my heart pitter patter a bit.  And maybe, just maybe, enjoy the ride run.
“It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else. We can enjoy every moment of movement, as long as where we are is as good as where we'd like to be. That's not to say that you need to be satisfied forever with where you are today. But you need to honor what you've accomplished, rather than thinking of what's left to be done.” ― John Bingham, No Need for Speed:  A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running.