I just got back from my trip to Phoenix last night, and I didn’t have a chance to run at all while I was there because I GOT SICK AGAIN! Same kind of respiratory problems, and I was genuinely concerned that they could keep my pretty much flat on my back for another six weeks. So I followed my sister and mother’s advice (both holistic physicians) and started on a course of antibiotics. I got back to Austin last night, and as soon as I woke up this morning I drove to the store and bought several containers of Greek yogurt, regular yogurt and kefir, so that I can keep my beneficial intestinal flora alive.
Anyway, that tells me that physically my body isn’t right now able to heal itself, and that’s why I needed the extra help from the antibiotic. So if I’m not healthy enough for that, it’s hard to imagine that I’ll be healthy enough to run the marathon.
I did another “regular” run of about 5 miles today, and felt OK physically, though I still have a bit of congestion in my chest from the respiratory stuff that has been going on. Still, it’s a little reassuring that I can run my normal run twice in two days and feel reasonably good about it.
And yet, it’s holiday time, and I’m leaving in two days (the day after Thanksgiving) for Phoenix for my Mom’s 90th birthday party. I’ll be there for 6 days, and plan to run while I’m there, so I hope I can keep up my normal runs every couple of days, and maybe run a little farther to re-start my training regimen.
I guess it’s not likely that I’ll be able to run the marathon in February, but at least things don’t look as bleak as they did a few weeks ago.
I’m off on the airplane today to a family therapy (Virginia Satir) conference in Maine. I plan on running at least once or twice while I’m there!
8.2 miles in 2 hours flat
I did my long run today, from the Center down to the Mopac bridge on the Town Lake Hike and Bike trail, and back. I’m adding two miles every two weeks to my runs, and so this is the farthest I’ve run in several years. Aside from a bit of slight cramping in my right calf, the run was reasonably easy. And what a great day to run! Beautiful, clear day in the 60’s and 70’s with a delicious breeze.
I just mapped out this morning’s route on Google Maps, and it’s a little shorter than I thought. I expected it to be about 9 miles, and it’s only 8.2. A great run nonetheless. That means I can go through and update the distances for all my previous runs too.
(Ran with a walking buddy today, so it’s hard to figure out how far I ran because I kept running circles around her.)
The marathon will be on Februray 20th, 2011, just 152 days from now (according to the website.) That was the first piece of necessary planning information that I needed to collect. From here, I need to create a planning calendar to figure out the best timing for my longer runs.
Let’s see: 151 days, divided by 30 days per month, means it’s in just about 5 months. In fact, this is the 20th and that’s on the 20th, so it’s easy to think of it as exactly five months from now.
5 miles in 65 minutes at 193 pounds.
I wrote in my previous post that all it takes is to keep putting one foot in front of the other for long enough, and I will have finished the marathon. Well, that’s almost right. It also takes a lot of planning, correct nutrition, a reasonable, gradually-increasing running schedule, attention to my ergonomics at work and the firmness of the mattress when I sleep, proper sleep, rest and relaxation, some sports massage, and probably a new pair of running shoes. So it’s not just a matter of persistence, it’s also a matter of forethought and wisdom.
For example, I obviously need to find out when the Austin Marathon is being held, and how I sign up for it. Then I want to plan out my longer runs every other weekend so I can work up to the correct level in time for the marathon. So the planning begins now!
A regular run in the regular amount of time…
The way I sometimes get myself through a marathon is to think that all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other, and to just keep doing that for five hours or so. That way it doesn’t seem so intimidating. I know I can put one foot in front of the other, and I figure I can do almost anything for five hours.
So the preparation for the marathon is kind of like that for me too. All I have to do is just keep doing regular run after regular run, throw in a longer run every couple of weeks, and voila, all of a sudden I’m at 26 miles. And yes, it may get more complicated than that, but it helps me to think about it that way so I don’t get intimidated by the enormity of the task.
I had a busy day planned today, so I decided that a little run was better than no run at all. Just 2 miles or so in 20 minutes. It’s my normal “short run,” just down the street to the bottom of the hill. Then back to the Center to shower and meditate and eat and then see a client at noon. Getting my blood coursing through my veins usually makes me more alert and responsive for my clients and more energetic in the rest of my tasks for the rest of the day, and today was no different.
7 miles in an hour and 35 minutes
I’m thrilled to report that I felt good enough to complete a longer run than I’ve done in 6 months or so. I wasn’t even planning on it, and when I got to the far point of my “regular run,” I just felt like continuing, so I went down the big hill on Robert E. Lee Road and continued on to the water fountain at Barton Springs Road.
Though I felt some twinges in my left sole and the muscles around both hips, my lower back itself did not seem to mind the extra miles and I barely noticed anything at all going on in my sacroiliac. So I guess the rest I gave it made a difference, along with massages from Pam and changing the ergonomics of my office desk. I still suspect my bed may be too soft, though, so I’m working on replacing the mattress with a firmer one. (When I was a kid, sleeping on a mattress that bowed down in the middle made my back hurt, and I’m guessing the same dynamic may be at play here.)
So anyway, here’s to achieving the next level in my 26-mile goal!
5 miles, an hour and 8 minutes.
The first 3 or 4 minutes of my runs are usually the most uncomfortable, especially if I haven’t been running in a few days. It seems like my blood is thick as molasses, and it takes several minutes to get it flowing again. I just feel sluggish and don’t want to run until I push through that and get my blood flowing more easily. After that, it’s usually pretty easy to keep going, at least for an hour or so.
My thinking gets off to a slow start, too. During the first half hour, I usually think about my running shoes or how my shorts are binding on my legs or how that truck that just passed smells like exhaust. The more productive thoughts seem to start around 40 minutes into the run, about when the endorphins start to kick in. It seems like that’s when my perspective widens and I can start thinking in more profound ways. The world looks a little different, and I usually feel freer and more optimistic about my work and what I’m able to accomplish.
Of course, that’s useful when I’m working on a big project or preparing for presenting a workshop, like tomorrow night’s “How to be Assertive and Loving Too.”
So I don’t like to think that I run, therefore I think — in other words, that my thinking is a result of running. It’s more like one of the big reasons I run is so that I can think more effectively: “I think, therefore I run.”