Saturday, January 29, 2011

Running on "E"

Running on "E". Emotion. It's something that I have done with running from the first time I laced up as an 11 year old amidst the dissolution of my parents marriage. I needed running then to take the jumbled emotions and give them a place to spill out to make sense of my world. Some of my most memorable runs have been one that have been fueled by emotion even before I have hit the road. They have not been the ones where I have hit a mileage or time mark and fallen into that "runners high" that carry you through the run. Rather, I have been "high", fueled by emotion before the start of the run in hopes to let it all spill out. I have laughed, cried, and tried to make sense of it all when my emotions have poured onto the road. During those runs, I have run as fast or slow and as long and short as I have needed to to wring out those emotions. I finish those runs completely spent emotionally. It's a different kind of hurt.

So what does that have to do me with me now? Surely I would have grown out of that stage? Isn't there an old saying out there that you get wiser through the years?

In some respects, yes, I have gotten wiser. My reactions to things are not as knee jerky as in the past, but from time to time I have returned to the road for a run where the cup needs to runneth over. And runneth over my cup did last week after a particularly rough patch at work. Yes, it was my choice to let it get to me like that, but when I got home I needed to let my legs feel the road and emotions needed to spill. Interestingly, I had a dialogue with myself when I had looked at the "training plan" and saw that it was an "easy" run. That was not what my body needed. So I compromised. I mixed it up where I ran slow to warm up and then hit it hard. Running at a speed for me right now is near my puke threshold, but nowhere near as fast as I have run in the past. But it felt good. The emotions, thoughts, fell out and I felt spent at the end. I felt renewed.

What did not renew, were my legs from that effort and the next morning, I stupidly did a hill session on the treadmill leaving my calf and heel screaming at me. Several days of easy running, massage, stretching and a battle with some cold/virus have given me time to think. It was the first of many collisions that I believe running on E and the "training plan" will have on this new journey as I have made this choice to follow a plan to see how far and fast I can run. A plan is just that a plan, and although I want success during and at the end of the plan, the long view is one I must take into account. From where and when I started there may be not enough of a buildup to get my body in the shape needed to run a BQ in the spring. However, I also am cognizant of the fact that I sometimes must also run on "E". Its who I am.

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1 comment:

Jonny Hagger said...

Nice post. Honest and truthful. I totally feel where you are coming from.