Blog Subtitle

Reverse-engineering the Ultramarathon

Saturday, March 24, 2012

One for the Heart

A little color beside the trail
Woke up feeling kind of crappy today - like so much warmed-over yesterday. You know how sometimes when you take a day off the body can just sort of go all whiny on you?

"Hey, feel that twinge behind that knee?  That wasn't there yesterday. And that chronically achy spot in that left foot hasn't gone away yet either.  Maybe we better take another day off. It'll do us good, right?"

And then I noticed something else: I didn't want to go out and run. The day was gray to match my mood and the sky was threatening rain. I didn't really have a plan for where I was going to run, I didn't feel like getting wet, and I was sick of all of the places I've been running so much lately. Another trot down the Erie Canal trail? Meh. And the neighborhood loop? Yuck! I couldn't even work up any enthusiasm to go out to one of the local trails.

This was bad.

And then it hit me... it wasn't so much running that I had no enthusiasm for.  It was the kind of training that I've been doing lately. Finally a plan started forming in my mind - or better maybe, a non-plan.

How about we just go over to Green Lakes and run? Leave the heart rate monitor behind, turn off the nice lady from RunKeeper on the smart phone announcing time, distance, and average pace every half mile, and just go run. No time goal.  No distance goal. No average pace to try to hit.  Just - run! Heck, maybe even stop from time to time and take some pictures.

Finally I understood the problem: I'd been running too much for the head lately.  Time to run one for the heart.

Suddenly I couldn't wait to get out there.

The day was no brighter. The sky still threatened rain. But suddenly I didn't care if I got wet, or muddy. I just wanted to get out there. Move. Breathe. Be.

It ended up being one of the most pleasant little 10-milers I've ever run. I did get wet. I did get muddy. But I smiled. I saw birds (and listened to their songs the whole way). I saw squirrels. I saw deer. I saw that the seemingly dull gray sky was actually an amazing swirl of light and dark, forming patterns that I couldn't get enough of looking at.

And now that it's over and I'm back in that spot on the couch that I was so tempted to stay in this morning, that twinge behind my knee is gone and that ache in my foot feels better.

I knew the body was just messing with the head earlier.

Note to self: don't forget to run one for the heart every now and then.

On 'The Serengeti' in the uplands above Green Lakes
That bright strip down there is the Erie Canal headed toward Dewitt.
Lately I've mostly been down there.
Right after snapping this I had a blast bombing down this hill.
Just couldn't get enough of this sky!
See why?
This is Round Lake - almost 200' deep.
(The smartphone camera didn't do too well here. Sorry.)
No run for the heart is complete without a little recovery meal at
my favorite coffee shop!
... and a little relaxing.
... and hanging out with friends.

1 comment:

  1. Great job. Sometimes we just need to leave all that wiring behind and just run to get out and remember why we run.