Yesterday was supposed to be my A race, but instead of pulling ahead of people struggling up the steep hills on the El Cajon 20k, I was talking myself into walking just a wee bit along the 56 freeway bike path near my house. I had two goals: (1) get in some miles before the start of a hectic day; and (2) get rid of the angst from troubling talks and insights of the prior work week.
At least I added 5.5 miles to my weekly total.
Like most long distance runners, I use running to process issues – mostly mine but sometimes others’. It's the main reason I prefer to run alone. Sad to say, I’ve actually added mileage in recent weeks, not because a training schedule told me to, but because I wasn’t ready for the therapy session to end on time. Not only does this put me at risk for re-injury, but I’ve also noticed I’m not covering as much ground, either. Fear of losing my job, losing a friendship and losing my mind now has started to literally drag me down.
In December, like a lot of runners, I plotted out key races for each season in 2009. These gave me not only concrete goals – and good blog material – but they gave my weekly runs more purpose. The first was going to be an international half marathon this month, and when it was legitimately scrapped, I settled on the El Cajon 20k, my favorite local race. The next is supposed to be a small half marathon in August up in Big Bear, but it now appears to be a victim of the economy. The third is in November, and it’s still being held but I suspect it’ll come with higher entry fees like most other large road races here. (The Carlsbad 5000 today is a whopping $50...for a 5k!)
So this morning I vowed as I headed out in the 40-degree morning to focus only on good news of late. My older daughter got into a competitive teaching credential program. My younger daughter finally found a great house to rent for next year. My friend Jeanette gave me her first-class upgrades on an upcoming vacation (whoo-hoo!). And my grandmother, God bless her, is 95 today and still living completely on her own.
Here’s the best part: by the time I was stretching my calves and hamstrings back home, I’d decided on my new running goal. I’m going to lose weight (really lose it this time) and concentrate on quality, not quantity. By doing more with less, I won’t get injured but I will become faster. Best of all, it isn’t going to cost me a cent.