Monday, November 1, 2010

Enough Excuses (Back to Writing)

I keep on saying "hey, I'm going to post to this blog more," but then time passes and I don't. So, yeah, I suck - but y'all knew that anyway. Well, we're at the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I'm 13 days away from my marathon, I've promised myself that I'd write for an hour a day a long, long time ago...It's time to stop making excuses for not writing this blog.

Personally, things are as crazy as they've ever been - CJ turns one on Thursday, Leila is growing like a weed. The dogs like to bark. The cat has decided, now that it's getting cold out at night, to spend more time inside (meaning that she whines a lot more to get the human servants to abide by her wishes). I still have symphony rehearsals on Mondays and band practices on Thursdays. Work is everlasting. I'm still running.

The marathon is in 13 days. The marathon is in 13 days. Actually, I think I'm well-prepared for this run. Over the past several weeks, I've done some pretty kick-ass training runs on the weekend. A week after I won a motherfucking medal, I returned to the Cumberland Valley Rail-Trail and ran it. I started in Newville and ran to Shippensburg, took a quick rest break and then ran back. Round trip, it was twenty-two miles. I was tired. I was hungry. I was sore. But, I wasn't dead. In fact, I was able to drive myself back home without stopping at a diner and ordering the menu. I was proud of myself.

Of course, it took me a little while to recover. Three or four days went by before I ran again, but I eventually ran again, and it felt good. Then, two weeks ago, my mom was in town to help with some babysitting duties (as Duffy and I were both involved in the Carlisle Theather's production of Beauty & the Beast), and with her still around in the morning, I went for a run. This time, it was "only" 17 miles, but it was my favorite 25k biking loop. It's a hilly 17 miles. I'll admit that this was significantly more difficult than flat 22 mile run. But, again, I made it. I got back, didn't die, somehow managed to clean myself up. I made it to the theater for a 2PM matinée, then out to dinner with my wife & mother, then played a 7:30 show. I went to bed quite tired, but also with a great feeling of accomplishment.

Again, I took a few days off of running after that run - just to let the legs recover (I'll likely take a full week off after the marathon), but I was back out, training, before too long. And, I swear I feel stronger pounding pavement each time I'm on the road.

Of course, then there was a tiny bout of panic. I was running along, barely paying attention to the road when I misstepped. I hit a ditch on along a gravel path and my ankle felt a bit funny. I walked it off, and it was still a bit sore. I went home, went back to bed, slept for an hour with it iced, kept ice on all day, and then gave it two days of rest. In all honesty, I probably over-babied it . . . I actually think I could have completed my run that day (the lure of my bed for an hour, though, proved a Siren's call), and then sleep issues the next two nights were as much a part of my not running as the ankle recovery. Still, an injury that close to the actual event, well, it freaked me out a bit.

So, I started being extra careful when I ran, and last weekend, I completed my last "long" training run. Twenty-two miles - that hilly 17 mile course, with a 1 mile loop thrown in, then a 4 mile meandering ending. For the most part, the run was great. It was a beautiful day (started cold, but I had on a long-sleeved shirt which I ended up stripping off at about the 15 mile mark), the roads were barely trafficked, and I just kept on going. Well, until my last climb. This is a hill that I climb a lot - I work up it as part of my typical morning run, and while it's not very long, it's very steep (18% grade). I started the climb, and *nothing*. I tried to make my legs go, but they just wouldn't. So, I stopped and tried again. And again, nothing. Just standing there. I reached to my water pack, had some water, gave myself a minute, and powered through the climb. I reached the top of the hill and, then, the last mile until my "cool down" point. That, well, was weird - but considering the general flatness of the Harrisburg marathon, I don't think I need be worried. And, even if the marathon were hilly, I did manage through - it just took a little while.

So, I got home, made macaroni & cheese for an afternoon party, played with my kids, showered, and then partied. Again, I went to bed exhausted, but I went to bed feeling accomplished.

Now I'm 13 days out from the "big run." I ran 5 miles this morning, I'll run between 5 and 15 miles each morning this week. Saturday, I'll run a final training run - probably 13 hilly miles - and then take a full week off.

And I'll post here every day between now & the marathon.


The mad woman behind the blog said...

Your stamina and steadfastness is AMAZING! Congrats for not letting life, ankles, etc slowing you down.

The blog will still be here, as will we!

Jessica said...

Wow, John. I'm so impressed with your determination.

Great work, my friend.

kris said...

It's not that hard to write every day. It's just like any other habit. You just commit to setting aside the time and then writing. Even if the words that flow onto the page are not magic (as mine often are not). You just keep doing it.

Just like the running.

A habit.

Addictive, too.

You'll see.