How Billy got his Groove Back

Sorry I’ve been absent for a while – work (blah) and a trip to Houston and San Antonio for my brother-in-law’s wedding.

In any case, I’d really been kind of struggling with running prior to New Haven (About which I cannot say enough good, especially seeing a sea of smiling faces from the RBF) – mostly finding time and motivation (hey, Billy – Mystic Places is like 5 weeks away – is that motivation enough?) But seeing the rest of the gang did great stuff for my soul, and running has gotten somewhat more pleasant since.

The Tuesday after New Haven, I jumped on the bike for an incredible 15 miler after work around Jamestown – don’t know why, but something just clicked. The weather was nice, and the miles slipped by. 40 minutes was not nearly enough to work all the joy through my legs.

Wednesday was a great seven miler – Jamestown, again, after work, blue skies and happiness.

Thursday, I blew off as a travel day, but somehow I think lugging two kids and assorted goodies through three airports counts as cross-training. Friday – beautiful run in the Texas Hill Country at my parent’s house. Only a 4 miler, but there were hills people. Perfect weather, though, and tons of deer.

Saturday and Sunday I ended up missing runs – Wasn’t too worried about Saturday’s long run since I’d done New Haven on Monday. Jake and I took a walk Saturday morning looking for a convinience store, and we were greeted with a wall of humidity as we left the hotel in Sugarland, and a constant set of buzzing and itching as we donated blood. Christian, I would have dropped you a line, but the schedule was tight. Hope you’ve been surviving the summer.

Sunday was the drive from Houston back to San Antonio; Missy and I went for a long-ish walk as my folks put the kids to bed and watched the sun set, then watched the landscape begin to glow under a waxing moon.

Monday morning I went for a walk/run. Monday is supposed to be my rest day, so I didn’t want to go hard, since this is the week I get back on track. But, I did need to make up at least a little bit of mileage. 4 miles total, about 2.5 running. Highlight? Jumping on the old two-track trail that runs behind my folk’s house, and jumping a covey of quail (quick – where’s the shotgun? darn, but I still mounted my powerful fingers, pulled a quick lead on the group of birds swinging to the right, pick one and only one to focus on, pretended to squeeze the trigger – pow! – shuck the slide, move the bead to the next bird, squeeze the trigger – pow! – shuck the slide, see the other birds flying out of range, and get a bearing to where the birds should be) and about 8 deer, including one very nice eight-point, and a 4-point who’s going to be an incredible deer in a couple of years. No snakes.

Yesterday – Busted rump at the office, finished an urgent project, and got in a good five miles at Jamestown, finished with dip at the boat ramp.

I think I’m getting my groove back. First, my left foot and ankle continue to improve with the new shoes, and with consistiently running. The key, I think, is not only the support, but continuing to work and stretch the parts of the foot that got overstretched with the other shoes. I’m also not going to be shy about cutting back Saturday’s planned long run if my foot or ankle starts hurting.

The second was mental – re-evaluating why I was doing this whole thing, what I wanted out of running, and larger – where I want to take my life. And I’ve realized that doing the race because my little brother had done it is a poor, poor excuse for motivation. One-upsmanship does no-one any good.

So I’m back to running for me. And for you, RBF, because I said I would.

One lesson that I’ve learned, though, is that I’m not an extreme endurance athelete. I just do not have a mind geared to doing the same thing for more than an hour or two at a time. (Well, except, maybe, for cycling, but that’s a horse of a different color – there’s navigation and stuff to think about, and coasting – pshew – like flying). And since I’m not likely to get appreciably faster (ie, drop my marathon time down to the 2:30 range at which I lose interest, I’m thinking that this may be my only marathon campaign, and I’ll stick to halfs and less after this year. At least while I’m juggiling kids at the house.

Reading Warren’s posts for the last few days (Yes, I’ve been reading everyone but not writing) has me jonesing, much more for working on sprint triathlons. But that’s for the winter and next year. I am going to try to throw in more cross-training in the next few weeks (through New York), though. Cross training does wonders for preventing boredom, too.


Regardless of the above, I’m feeling good about running for the first time in about a month. It’s partially the cool weather, partially less pain, and partially seeing the end of the road, so to speak, not so much more than a month ahead in Central Park.

6 thoughts on “How Billy got his Groove Back”

  1. Warning: I too had the same thoughts as you: I get bored after about two hours and that I would stick to halfs after the marathon business was out of my system.

    And here I am, gearing up for marathon #2.

    But maybe you have more smarts than me. =)

  2. Glad to see your back…and that you found the joy in running again. It was great to see you in New Haven, even if it was pretty brief :-) I’ll be rooting for you in the coming weeks!

  3. 5 weeks, Billy!! And the time will fly by. But you’ve been keeping up, even if you haven’t been writing. I am trying to enjoy these last few weeks before my race instead of hoping for their end. But that’s not always easy. Hang in there.

  4. That groove can be mighty fine if the surface is nice and smooth. New shoes can make it so.
    The New Haven RBF homecoming was inspirational. It makes reading and commenting more three dimensional with sound and mannerisms. I love it.
    Keep moving, gradually, and you’ll start feeling so good you won’t be able to stand yourself.
    Enjoy that Indian summer!

  5. welcome back to posting and a deep post a that. you don’t want to push to the point that you don’t enjoy running anymore so keep it fun.

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