Sunday, November 08, 2015

The Interlude

There comes that point in a run where you get to the stop light. You linger, waiting for the seconds to count down before you have to start up again. Your heart rate comes down, you can almost reset your systems before continuing.

Sometimes, I run toward the stop light, hoping for a pause. 

This post is about interludes, about training and a little about what I've been up to these last six months.

I found myself at the end of my last marathon with the prospect of yet another summer of training, ramping up, getting the miles in, the quality work building a better me. Yet at the same time, I felt the tiredness that had started to set in with a busy work schedule, other priorities and found my time crunched.

How do we rebalance a life of a runner when priorities change? I've thought a lot about the quality of my training, the amount of time I put into it and even how much I spent time writing in this space.

This year marks the 10th year I've trained for the marathon. After running my 30th at Boston, I felt that I'd come full circle -- I was faster than I've ever been and it was an amazing accomplishment but not without the toll. I had niggles that persist to this day, was losing out on sleep and started to see training as work, not play. 

Signing up for a November marathon pushed out my training well into the summer, yet I was still doing long runs in June and July. And as the early fall race season hit and my friends started their off season, I felt I had prolonged things too much. So I enter November and my prep for Philly wishing I was in the off season. My fitness tells me I can do this marathon, even at a reasonable pace, but not where I was earlier this year. I welcome the off season and am hungry to get back at it next season.

The pause, or interlude, is something that I desperately need. One can not keep the pace season after season, I've learned, and if I'm going to look at having more years of strong running, I'll have to learn how to reassess, rebuild and capture that feeling of performance running. That, and refocus back on strength, diet and training consistency. 

One thing that is consistent is The Streak: I'm now 711 days into the running streak and it has transformed my running life. As I look forward to finishing the second year of the streak, a few things that have come apparent. I'm a morning runner, able to wake up at 5 am with little fuss. I'm an early sleeper as the body has naturally adjusted to the wakeup calls. My easy runs are truly easy and I listen to the body with every run. I feel connected to the process to the point that running every day is not something planned, but just done. 

So what's coming up next is another race in two weeks, another off season and the healing and ramping up that will happen with my 2016 marathon, which will be the Boston Marathon. I'm not sure if I'll do a marathon next fall but there are different races, reasons to train. I look forward to getting my body and mind into that process. I'll find more to write about running in that journey. I'm back, but in essence, never really went away. If you want to follow my runs and pictures I share, I'm on Strava and on Instagram.

Water fountains still running, still running long. #runto

A photo posted by Kenny (@yumkerun) on

1 comment:

Unknown said...

as a runner that I admire I am so relieved to read your words. Runners like me think that runners like you are invincible, never get injured or have niggles and can go forever. While I am not happy that you feel stretched thinly, I am happy to know it's not just me and that even my running heroes get tired and burnt out too.
Thinking of you and wishing you all the best.