September 9, 2021

What I am thinking about this morning?

And yes, the rains came on Bennie’s first walk!

We looked like a couple of drowned rats when we got back to the house. I attempted to get us out during a lull in the rains that were coming down, but of course as soon as we got out to the road it started in again. By the time Bennie decided that he had had enough, it was raining proverbial “cats and dogs”. Oh well, I guess that was appropriate weather for walking the dog.

Mostly, I am reflecting on how I will or can incorporate from reading “The Practice of Groundedness” into my running (because there are areas that it can impact positively), and also into other parts of life in general. So far, I am enjoying the book, and it continues to make me think beyond the simple answers.

Today, I am supposed to do 6.0 miles and a between 6-8 strides. However, with damn near 100% humidity and how I felt at the end of yesterday’s tough 5.0-miler, I will go by how I feel. I have to remember this week isn’t about mileage, it is about relaxing, getting my head on straight, and running for fun, not according to “the plan”. That will come later, when I figure out which plan is the correct one.

What Did I do?

With how I felt at the end of yesterday’s run, I wanted to ensure that it was just one of those things, and did laps in front of the house. Thankfully, everything was just fine, and I ran comfortably the whole run. Your mind goes off onto tangents and “what ifs” that are not real, but still take up space in your head. So, based on those “what ifs”, I decided to take it easy and also stay close to home.

The run was good, and I ran the same pace as yesterday, although I felt a lot better during today’s run. Maybe whatever was going on over the past couple of weeks was something more than just fatigue. Oh well, whatever it was, I am feeling a helluva lot better now and on the way back to being me again. Who knows?

While it was more humid this morning, the temps were lower and the sun wasn’t shining overhead, which created conditions that I enjoy running in a lot more. As I finished the run, it started to lightly rain, so the cool-down was even nicer.

During the run, I focused more on my arm swing and doing my impression of Kipchoge’s arm swing. No, I will never run as beautifully as he does. Mimicry is the biggest form of flattery and I figure if I am attempting to mimic another runner, it might as well be the greatest marathoner of all time. I was able to maintain my focus on this for more that 50% of the run, so I consider that good progress. Now, I have to make it automatic versus having to think about doing it.

And yes, I can feel a difference in how well I am running when I run that way versus when I don’t. I simply feel more efficient.

I also did more thinking about what I want to do with my running for the foreseeable future. There are three or four paths that I can take, and I am attempting to figure out which one is the one that I need to take, which might not be the one that I want to take. This is one of those choices that will have long-term ripple effects on my running, so I am going to take my time, think about the pros and/or cons of each and attempt to predict where each would lead me.

Also, I need to look at the training loads, time necessary to do it correctly and the different phases and interim goals that each path would need or have.

I don’t want to make my usual spontaneous choices based on half the information that I need to make a decision, then having to backtrack multiple times due to the mistakes I made when making the choice. The good thing is at this point in my life these kinds of decisions are becoming fewer, as I have less time left on this little blue marble — that is statistics and reality. Hehehehehehe.

One decision that has been made for me is racing this Fall. With the current pandemic surging at a pace that I am not comfortable with, I don’t see me going to any large gathering of people for a while. I hope that things calm down quickly, but looking at what is going on, that probably will not happen.

So, I am putting all race training on hold until January. I am going to work on building my training base, strengthening weak areas, and if for some reason I do race, use it more as a time trial to see where I am versus training for it specifically.

Yes, I will also use this time to figure out which path my running will take, so there is not that usual pressure to make a choice and start the next training block on Monday.

This is actually the best thing I can do for my running. I have areas that need work and the next three months can be devoted to pressure-free (all self-induced) training, fixing what needs fixing, and getting healthy.

There is something about running in the Hoka Carbon X2’s that I really like. They feel good underfoot and are mostly comfortable at any pace I can push them. However, the 5 mm drop doesn’t feel as good to the Achilles as well as my higher drop shoes. However, as it continues to heal, hopefully, this will become less and less of a sticking point to me wearing them on longer runs. The other part is that they are slightly too long for me in a size 9.0 U.S. mens, but with the curve lasting in the front, I have a feeling that a smaller size wouldn’t be as comfortable.

Otherwise, I had a good day, did a bunch of reading and thinking and even did my rehab work tonight. So, I am starting to feel better again.

However, during the run I was so busy focusing on maintaining my arm swing and thinking about where I want to take my running that I forgot to splash a bit in the puddles. Shame on me. 🙂

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