Friday, March 30, 2012

Southern Spring

A late start ensured that the rush hour traffic had already passed through.

The typically busy streets were calmer, and the recently elevated temperatures were just a little bit more manageable.  Clouds slowly building in the distance seemingly justified the humidity and foreshadowed spotty showers that would arrive in the wee hours of the morning.

Bustling streets had been replaced by bustling yards.  Children playing , parents watchfully lounging on porches, homeowners tending to heretofore neglected yard work; they all (or should I say, we all) were taking advantage of those perennially difficult to find "just-about-right" conditions.

Even the running contingent of the population was out in force.  Gliding through the streets, it seemed like each turn of a corner brought a new runner into view.  Some smiled and waved, some just waved, and some kept eyes dead ahead, face locked in the perpetual grimace that some are convinced is the true indicator of "doing it right."  Each one of us experiencing the day in our own way, each one of us striding through the low-angle sunlight with our own intentions.  Interesting thought...

As many people as were out, the great indoors must have been a bit barren.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Lazies

Every now and then we fall victim to a strange malady as runners.  We get the Lazies.

We allow ourselves to skip this run and that, sleep in today and tomorrow.  It's an excruciating condition.

This plight has nothing to do with injury, as this would be a perfectly valid reason for foregoing a period of running.  Also, contrary to what most would assume, it's not entirely due to a lack of desire to be out running.  I find myself daydreaming about covering miles and miles and miles, and then I find myself mulling over suicidal speed workouts, and then I'm reminiscing about races of years past, and then....

But when the time comes to lace up the shoes, the Lazies rears its ugly (or is that beautiful?) head.

We've all been there, and most of us find our own elixer to cure such a condition.  Before long we're back in the training cycle once again.

Maybe I should go for a run...


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Let's Do the Time Warp Again

A couple times early in high school, I was put on the 4x200m relay team.  This had nothing to do with any particular aptitude for the event; it had more to do with the fact that I was a warm body that wasn't good enough at other stuff to have a full schedule already.

Regardless of the reasons for participation, what struck me the most about the event was the time warp that seemed to occur.  All I could ever recall about my leg of the race was that I got the baton, and I handed off the baton.  There was no recollection of the 200 meters of all-out sprinting in between.

This phenomenon has fascinated me ever since, and I'm always intrigued when a run approximates such an experience.

Yesterday's run did.

To be sure, it was a differently flavored time warp, but after finishing up, I realized that a hair over an hour had passed, still feeling that I had just walked out the door.  All that was noted were the first two or three strides and the last two or three strides, the rest lost in thought.

Such bending of the space-time continuum happens on occasion during runs, whether it be an 8-mile jog, a 15-mile tempo, or miles 65-75 of a 100 miler, but each time I emerge on the other side, I am equally fascinated with whatever has just transpired.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Weekend Rambling

It seems that, at least for the time being, relatively straightforward races are the main motivational goal of my training.

5k's, 10k's, half marathons, even the upcoming 12-hour run all fall into this category.  This might sound like a motley assortment of races; after all, a 5k is quite different from a 12 hour, both in terms of the physical and the mental, at least in my experience.  However, on a different, perhaps more internal sphere, they are the same.

The comfort zone.

In their own respective ways, these are all known races.  To be sure, the last several races I've run have been new to me, but the distances have simply not been those that require special attention.  On the other hand, the 12 hour next week is of sufficient length that I could make a Herculean effort should I so choose, but I've run it several times, so the familiarity is somewhat comforting, not to mention that given my current level of fitness, I couldn't push for 12 hours even if I was so inclined.  In the comfort zone I shall stay.

That being said, these comfort races are doing the job of getting me out the door most days.  I'm not quite back to the point of simply wanting to hit the kind of training I "want to want to do," but I'm close.

All that to say, I guess I'm just floating for the time being.  I feel grateful that I'm at a point of my running life at which I can call various ultras just "floating," but being at such a point creates a hunger... a desire for more... an unrest that can only be sated with ludicrous acts of ambulating.

I've got one in mind; we'll just have to see if it comes to fruition...