The days where you have nothing to do but run are the easy ones. When you can clear your schedule, eat your meals around your run time, run in the optimal hours of the day and hit the road with nothing you have to hurry back to.
Needless to say, that’s a pretty rare confluence of events. In reality, work, meals, weather, and sunlight are all indifferent to your plans to knock out a few miles.
Over the past two weeks, my weeknight runs have been coming from a hidden fountain of energy unleashed by cooler weather, and a little bit because of my falling off of a weight plateau. For months I’ve been oscillating within a pound or two of 240, and over the past two weeks I’ve dropped down to 235, and below. That progress made me want to get miles in, and those miles made me make progress. My weeknight runs of 4+ miles suddenly became 5-6 miles. The perfect late summer Michigan weather really matched up with it, and I would find myself walking out the door to do “some miles” and coming back from 6 with a smile on my face.
As if to remind me to appreciate such ease, my 11 mile run this Sunday was scheduled around meal plans with a visitor, happened later than I’d like because I stayed up late playing video games with that visitor (I regret nothing!!!), and perfectly straddled what I like to refer to, unambiguously, as NOON IN AUGUST.
Oh was it hot! I ran out in the cool morning, and trudged back in the heat of the noonday sun. I planned to run an hour away, and then run back as fast as I could, hopefully making it home in that same hour. At about 10 miles, my back, possibly in collusion with a broad-based grassroots movement representing all my other organs, seized up and was adamant that I should slow down.
I made it home before the hour expired, but just barely. Standing in the living room, I begged for Aleve and chocolate milk to wash it down. Then, perhaps ill-advised, I wanted some gatorade. With that attractive sounding mixture in my gut, I seriously considered throwing up. From there, the story is much less interesting, unless you like reading about me showering.
This must sound familiar to some of you; the weather is beautiful when you head out, but dark/cold/hot/raining/hailing/etc when you get back; the run feels fine until some critical turning point; the run ends with desperate clawing at any and all of your recovery cure-alls, resulting in the sour tummy.
I will say though, that it didn’t kill my desire to run at all. In fact, I’m heading out right now.
It’s not about to rain, is it?