Happiness in five parts…

At some point last week, I managed to get my act together, and actually managed to get in three runs, one swim, and a meander on the bike in over the last few days. Hopefully I can maintain that; somehow, however, I doubt it. Life has just been too good lately…

Part 1 – Renewal
Anyhoo, having all of my stuff in one sock for a change left me the opportunity to leave the office just after 1 on Tuesday, and finally hit the roads for a run. And run I did. Out of the parking lot, up hospital hill, over the hill, out past the golf course, and back onto the perimeter trail. Pshew – 20 minutes into the run, an excessively steep hill, and I’m saying to heck with this. So, staying true to long, slow, distance, I drop down to a walk and stroll up the hill.

On the other side of the hill, I decide to walk down the equally steep downhill. Hey, I’m strolling. Life is good. Get to the bottom, start running up the steep uphill. Near the first top, prior to the false flat, I briefly think “Hey, I’m going anerobic – better walk..”. Riight – I keep on running, the legs start burning, lungs aching – life is still good, thoughts of Lydiard are all gone.

The rest of the run is just that – a run. 45 minutes. Get back to the office, plug it into Gmaps Pedometer and see – 4.3 miles.

Part 2 – Continuation
Wednesday was a blustery, windy day. The news on the way to the base was all about the powerlines down and trouble with Metro North in the western end of the state. We don’t have all that fancy train stuff here (just Amtrak, which is pretty much worthless at about $100 round trip to either New York or Boston), but it was impressive to hear. Worked, and headed over to Bluff Point at sunset to go run. 45 minutes, the last couple of miles completely lost on singletrack (but totally happy) – good times all around. I’m guessing 4 miles.

Part 3 – Bonding
Wednesday night, got the kiddos in bed, grabbed the swimsuit, and headed over to the pool. Went from being completely packed at 8 to me and another woman swimming at 8:30. 5 laps of breast – nice, felt good to stretch. The first 10 laps of free – good. I was applying the whole sculling concept, carving S’s in the water with my hands, kicking from the belly instead of the butt. Yeah. I was completely getting lapped by the guys in the next lane, but such is life. Started another set of free, but after 3 laps, I thought about getting out, since the “feel” just wasn’t there – I was flailing. Stopped, took a deep breath, and had a great final set of 10. Didn’t push it, just swam nicely.

I did get busted at the end – I did a dive off of the swim meet platforms, and got hollered at by the cute lifeguard. D’oh. Guess those orange cones on them mean don’t dive…

After the swim, I caught up with some friends who’d gone out for supper. They’d had booze, I’d had endorphins. We all had some dessert and coffee, and I was happy.

Part 4 – Family
Real life caught up with me on Thursday and Friday, and I managed to avoid running both days. Stupid dumb dummy… Saturday, I drilled in the morning, but managed to wrap up in enough time to make it home for Family Swim at the Y (’cause it’s fun to play at the YMCA). Grabbed the kiddos, gave the wife the long face, and got the OK to run home from the Y (she works out during Family Swim). Got to the Y and discovered Jake had not brought a swimsuit. Missy had asked him to bring one down for the bag with Nate’s suit, the towels, etc, but Jake had thought it would be cool to take his own backpack. D’oh.

All was not lost, however. We live just far enough away from the Y that we might have been able to make it home and back, get changed, etc, before family swim was over. But, yesterday was beautiful – 40’s calm, and clear. So, we went and just adventured all over the Y property. Rolled down the hill. Ran around on the tennis court. Swung from the chain link fence. Picked up some trash. Threw some logs into the river to launch “boats”. Climbed all the way up the lifeguard tower, and jumped down (not Nate).

The run back was good. No pain, no shortness of breath, just good running goodness. Through downtown, up River Road, through old Mystic. Just felt good to go running. Karen had inspired me to use my forerunner again (no Mr. V, though), which ended up being both good and bad. Good, ’cause it took me mentally back to the days of early 2005 when the 101 and I were nigh unto inseparable. Bad ’cause the forerunner pointed out what I’ve become painfully aware of – I’ve completely lost a step. Short-ish runs which were in the low eights last spring are now in the mid-nines. Not that I’ll ever be 1337, but it’s humbling to realize exactly how much I’ve lost since the fall. I suppose being grouchy will do that to you… And it turns out that I wasn’t lying to Susan at all… Five + miles in 48 minutes.

Part 5 – What goes around
Took down the Christmas lights today. Put the youngest down for a nap. Told the boy to rest for a bit. Jumped on the single speed road bike and went a-ridin’. Down to the Y. Around Mason’s Island. Stopped at Mystic Cycle. Ever since they moved into their new box, I’m wondering if they left their soul back at their old funky place. They definitely left anything that might have been on sale. Loved the Specialized Cross bikes, though.

Road back up River Road, past lots of walkers, but oddly, only one cyclist, and back home.

Epilogue –
One of the things slowing me down might be my shoes. Two marathons and all the intense training leading up to them – think it’s time to retire the Gel Cumulus VII’s. There’s a pair of Gel Helios’ in the mail – think they’re a new style, and they’re about $10 cheaper than the GC’s. Worth a shot – the GC’s are too well ventilated for winter running. (And, no, I don’t really think it’s the shoes)

First real good week in a while. Not that the others have been really bad weeks, but it’s the first one I’ve had that I felt I actually put in an effort. I think I’m going to aim the next month or so for a 20 mile per week running base, and try to get in 2 bikes (probably Monday during 24 and Sunday after church), and 2 swims (Tues/Thurs nights, so Wed/Fri will be easy runs).

Overkill? Possibly. But, I want to maintain an intensity level that keeps me engaged and happy, rather than antsy and bored. I’ll listen to my body.

6 thoughts on “Happiness in five parts…”

  1. Those daily workouts help keep me on track, too (though my time is bouncing all over the place). I’ve just filled out my spreadsheet for a 15-week plan for the half-marathon. I figure I’ll need every bit of that to get my long-distance time where I want it.
    Have another good one–starting tomorrow!!

  2. You had a very positive week away from work doing the things you love. Just keep plugging away; spring is not that far. I can feel it here so it must be inching its way back to you too.

  3. Hi Jank
    Nice to see you dug out the 301 again. Sorry it didn’t give you the feedback you’d like. That happens to me lots but ya know what – I’m out to prove Mr V he’s all wrong.


  4. Sounds like a really fulfilling week. Engaged and happy beats antsy and bored anytime! Keep listening to your body, it will let you know when it’s had enough :-)

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