Today I ran 1.36 miles. While that is not initially impressive, it is farther than I have run in several months. It is also the first time I have run since the spring of 2015. I have had a buffet of minor injuries, lingering colds, poor sleep, and allergies. Considering all the wildfires in Oregon this year, the allergies were intense.
So today, October 13th, was my first time running in a long time. And it took a long time to finish 1.36 miles. Over 15 minutes 😦
But the Seattle Marathon, which I ran on December 1st 2013, now seems centuries away. I have a half-hearted goal to run the Eugene Marathon on Sunday May 1st, 2016. I was supposed to run the Eugene Marathon in 2014, but got hurt. So I spent a lot of money for a Eugene Marathon souvenir shirt that year. Spending money on a marathon I do not run in is a lot of money for me. So… now I am more leery.
Today my body did okay. But I clearly was out of shape. At least I did the 1.36 miles without stopping to walk. But it was slow going. A turtle could have beaten me.
This was the internal conversation between my brain and my body today…
Brain: Not bad. Let’s pick-up the pace.
Body: Captain, this is top speed.
Brain: You’re kidding.
Body: Actually, we’ve maxed out all the engines. We’re about to overheat.
My marathon training has become completely derailed this year. Not all of it is my fault. In fact, most of it is not my fault. Currently I am physically healthy. But after a really disappointing year of running, it is hard to mentally get back into it. For a marathon runner… I’m not sure I have run over 60 miles this entire year.
I’ve had a knee injury, and I was sick and completely missed the 2014 Eugene Marathon. If I was 20 it would be much easier to rebound. But I’m not twenty anymore, and I am constantly reminded that my body hates me. But… when I am in shape, I enjoy running.
In response to that fact that my body and mind are not working in perfect running harmony, I made a decision this weekend to eat better. I was already eating well. My wife and I eat organic as often as we can afford it… and check ingredients on labels to limit our intake of high fructose corn syrup (and other hard to pronounce ingredients that should not be in my stomach). Well… I enjoy drinking Sprite. But I have now deleted Sprite, and all other soda drinks from my diet. In addition, I am switching from Quik chocolate milk to homemade chocolate milk (or just plain white milk).
These changes are partly because I want refocus on running, which requires my body to be healthy. In addition, my right pinky finger has been mildly sore ever sense my trip to Kings Island. This mild arthritis, irritated by a fun day at an amusement park, reminded me that I am turning forty next year. So eating even better than I have been is becoming more of a priority.
I am not interested in becoming a vegetarian. I have been a vegetarian a few times, and may become one again. But currently I just want to cut the questionable ingredients from my diet intake. In general, I am not going to let pain in my pinky… or other parts of my aging body… deter me from doing the things I want to do.
The 2015 Eugene Marathon is less than 12 months away. Now that I am fully recovered from the knee injury, the stomach bug, and the sinus infection … I plan to be back in the gym and running this week. Exercise helps me burn off stress, helps me think through my dissertation and fiction novel, and of course keeps me healthy.
So, the Wednesday before the Eugene Marathon… I had a stomach issue. It was possibly food poisoning, I’m not sure. What I can tell you is that I lost four pounds in two days… and within a span of five hours I had diarrhea seven times and vomited six times (with an additional two bouts of dry heaving).
I had already been struggling to overcome a foot injury as a result from foster care. But the stomach bug really ended all hopes of running any part of the Eugene Marathon.
I will run again… but this year has been a very frustrating year for running.
I’m having trouble calculating the value of the goodie bag considering I could not run the marathon. So… I did get a nice shirt.
And a stick of deodorant.
But at $97 for the marathon entry fee … if the shirt is worth $30, does that make the stick of deodorant $67??
** Sigh **
Today I ran nearly five miles. Yes… I ran five miles, walked two miles… and felt pretty good. I cannot run the full marathon on July 27th in Eugene. That is a fact I have reluctantly accepted. But the half marathon is still a possibility. Plus I ran the full Seattle Marathon in December… so it’s not like I need to prove to myself that I “can” do a full marathon.
However… I do not have plans to run the entire half marathon. I will run as much as I can… walk parts… and just try to enjoy it. My foot was injured not from running, but from two aggressive foster kids.
I still enjoy getting outside, and I paid for the Eugene Marathon long ago… so I will still do it. But at this point… I have accepted this will be my slowest time ever. I’m okay with that.
The fact that I can run at all at this point is impressive… I had nearly two months where just walking was uncomfortable during the spring of 2014. Sometimes victory is in the eye of the beholder. So just finishing the half marathon will be a victory.
Best wishes to you all.
July 27th, 2014 is when the Eugene Marathon happens. That’s just over two months away. I was once excited about running this marathon, which would have been my second marathon. But 2014 has been a year of weird challenges. At this point I’m not even sure I could run over half of this marathon.
I was sick for the last week of February, and the entire month of March… then I was healthy for a few days in April… but then I was sick again for another week. Three colds and one sinus infection. So I did zero training during that time.
When I was healthy, our foster kids kicked stomped on my foot or kicked me in the knee. All of this adds up to me starting training approximately two weeks ago.
I ran four miles today… but clearly had nothing left in the tank. Finishing the Eugene Marathon (a mostly flat course) in under six hours will be a real challenge for me right now. I am frustrated… but trying to approach running as a way to burn off stress instead of a way to set a personal record. My wife suggested to not put pressure on myself for this marathon. I should just run and have fun.
I think that is good advice… especially considering that right now my body feels like a 1967 Ford Mustang. Not a fully restored Mustang… but a rusted Mustang with a leaky gas tank and peeling paint … that Godzilla stepped on.