Sunday, November 30, 2008


I've taken a break from blogging -- reading, writing, that is -- in the last while as I recharge. It's been a very long slog recently, it's been a busy fall with running (two marathons), personal stuff and work has been far busier than usual, with two big elections and lots of projects on the go.

November was a month to take things back for myself. I've let running become a big time sucker in the first 10 months of the year -- i've run an average of 200 miles a month or 50 miles a week. All that time takes a toll on the body and mind even while it builds the body up.

The runner in me has never ceased. In the past three weeks, I've been able to hammer out 30 mile weeks, a mere pittance, I do agree, compared with when I would be able to pound that 30 in a few days, but it's winter and I'm testing out this season. Truth is, I've taken a little more time in the last to recover a little and to reconnect with some old friends.

Co-workers have said to me now that my marathon training is over that 'it's time to drink' and in a sense, it's kinda true. I went out for drinks on Monday and stayed right up past midnight at the bar, even though I'm usually up at 6 a.m. and in the office at 8. This Friday, I got a last minute call from a friend who wanted to grab a late dinner. Months ago, I might have foregone the chance in order to rest up for the weekend's 20 miler. Instead, I went out with no worries about a run 'to get in.'

Even in the next week, I have four nights with plans in the evening. I now have to organize my runs around them, running the mornings to get in the miles.

Funny how we get in the miles. I went out for a movie with a friend last night and we were watching Burn after Reading (awesome nonsensical movie) in which George Clooney plays a character who obsesses about 'getting a run in' (five miles). After sex he'd pat his stomach and say, 'maybe I can fit in a run' or if he had a bad day, he attributes it to lack of exercise. All the more funny, for me, is that they shoot that movie in DC where I've done many a five miler., especially around the Mall where Clooney's character meets his 'girlfriends' and behind the Lincoln Memorial where he starts his 5 miles through to Georgetown. Clooney's character is a little -- what's the word -- ah, obsessive about his exercise, and I guess I really do relate.

Back to today. I set myself with a goal of at least 30 miles a week and this morning, I had only done about 18, so I knew I'd shoot for a half mary distance. The wind was cruel, almost biting, but definitely painful with gusts hitting 50 km an hour. I ran for almost 5 miles before encountering other runners at the Beaches. I was running into the headwind, they were going the other way. At the 6.5 mile mark, I turned around, and the beast of that wind tunnel was now wind at my back. It was cloudy, ugly looking day but for that hour and fifty minutes, I had recaptured the reason why I'm a distance runner. A 6 miler or less, sure, I'll get some benefits, but it's those hour plus jaunts that get your body going.

In my early days of distance running, I dreaded going past 10 miles. Now, sometimes, nothing less will give me the feeling of joy of pushing my body, being one with the roads and nature. Today, for the first time in a little while, I reconnected again.

Tuesday: 6.2 miles
Wednesday: 4.33 miles
Thursday: 4.32 miles
Saturday: 3.36 miles
Sunday: 13.1 miles

Weekly total: 31 miles
Last week's miles: 30 miles
Year to date: 2149 miles (3460K)

And since my blog has lacked pictures, here's one I took yesterday at Eaton Centre... Xmas time is around the corner!


Marlene said...

Isn't it kind of nice to be able to live a little, outside of running? My year was NOTHING like yours, but I've definitely enjoyed the past couple months, being able to lay back a little more.

Still, glad you were able to 're-connect" and enjoy a nice long run.

Great pic, btw!

Marky Mark said...

This "break" will do you a world of good. I know what you mean about the long runs-I find that on the shorter ones I can be counting the minutes and that only during a long one do I let it go and almost slip into a trance like state.