17 October 2010
Relating back a few posts to a comment I made about my mother telling me not to wish my life away, I'm projecting myself into next year already. I've decided this is a defense mechanism when things aren't going so well. Only three weeks after my last race (seems like years now) and my patience with the soreness of my front ankle tendon thingy was wearing translucent thin. Run 3-4 days straight, take two off, try again, off, etc. Common sense perspective tells me that just three weeks since crushing my body for over 100 miles should warrant leniency... With the 50 miler and 100k races both looming in the next 6 and 20 days I was at my end of being patient. 30 minutes into every run my ankle began hurting and got progressively worse, so I've been relegated to 7, 8, 10 milers mostly, with two 15 milers dotted in over the last two weeks. Looking at the tiny notebook I use as a log (I've given up trying to use an official log online), I realize I've likely maintained most of my fitness while giving my body an opportunity to heal and give my mind that drive to race that is so helpful when the body starts hurting and wanting to stop after a few hours of running. The mind's like, "hey, excuse me, but we're in a race currently. I suggest we push a little harder, so we can be done sooner." The body, like Lenny in Of Mice and Men, simply agrees because there aren't any thoughts formulated to oppose this logic.
So, after backing out of a run with a friend yesterday, I decided to run solo, so I could assess the leg without being pushed or obligated to run a specific distance. 30 minutes passed, no pain, optimism creeped in. 45 minutes and things were going well, no pain, and actually a fluidity and rhythm I haven't been able to find for three weeks emerged into my stride. And I was happy. Running through farmland single track with the morning sun warming the crisp air and views of white-capped mountains hunched up behind the lower, dry foothill mountains, just running with no other thoughts than the moment, like meditation with movement.
Not wanting to press my good fortune, I kept the run to 10 miles in 1 hr 14 mins. Hitting it again this afternoon after work for 90 mins, then taper for the remaining five days before the race. If the leg is in fact done bothering me, I like the idea of running well in NM; after all, I have a perfect record in the state (ok, so one race, but I won it, so I'll ride that wave until it's a thin ripple of water barely able to roll the last pebble up the beach before ebbing back into the depths, because, unlike the methodical repetition of waves, it's a rare and bright occurrence that must be lacquered in memory).