Training for the Columbus Half Marathon has hit a slow couple of weeks. Instead of focusing on the running I’m not doing right now due to a flare of my back injury, I thought I’d share some other things I’ve learned about myself and running over the past two weeks.
I like running in the evening.
I got my real runner shoes this summer when I got up at o’dark o’clock and went for a five mile run before my husband left for the fire department on his shift day. I also ran at stupid o’clock both on vacation at the beach and while working in Chicago. I learned during that time that while running in the morning gets it out of the way for the day, sometimes a necessity due to scheduling problems, I’m not a morning person. I’m not. I never have been. I’m not going to magically become one just because I’m one of those crazy people that like running long distances.
The weather reminded itself that summer is still upon us and decided to get hot again. Thus, running midday during my lunch hour — as I do during the winter months — isn’t an option. (Especially after that whole near heat exhaustion thing. Lesson? Learned.) And so, I’ve forced myself out the door after the boys get in bed at 7:30 a few times over the past two weeks. And? Despite the burping of whatever it is that we ate for dinner, I love running in the evening.
It helps that we eat dinner at old people o’clock, somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 depending on schedules for the day. My food has time to settle and digest a little bit, so I only almost throw up tacos or spaghetti or whatever it is that we’ve eaten for our evening meal. My speed isn’t what it is during a mid-day run (though it’s faster than a stupid early run!) as I’m a bit tired from being a human being by the time 7:30 rolls around, but if forced to choose between losing some speed and losing some sleep, I suppose I’ll go with speed and stay in bed until 6:30. By the way, my college-aged self would be horrified to know that by my 30’s, I’d view 6:30 as sleeping in.
I imagine as the weather cools off and the evening runs aren’t a necessity to avoid melting, I will switch back to a mid-day run. Until then, please try to avoid running me over as dusk settles. I wear bright clothing and have a light. You? Should probably quit texting and driving. Seriously. You’re less than 100 feet from your driveway. Put. The. Smartphone. Down!
Plus, I get a lot of this while running in the evening.
I’m jealous of runners in bigger cities.
The jealousy doesn’t stem from city running; I love running where I live. I have just enough hills, just enough flat, and all the scenery while I’m running.
I’m jealous of running groups. I read posts like this one about Birmingham’s running community by Tanya at All In Stride and I feel a little green with envy. I do searches occasionally for running groups in my city. Nothing on Meetup.com, nothing in the MapMyRun forums. Nothing.
Sometimes running is a little bit lonely.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I love the silence and solitude of running. To escape for an hour or two and not be touched or asked 87 questions about procreation or need to break up yet another argument between the boys is just what I need some days. I need space and time to myself. I need to breathe, even if the breathing is a little labored. Even if I wasn’t running, I would need that time and space.
But sometimes… when I watch other runners talk about running with a friend or a group, I wonder if it would help my speed or my endurance or even just be slightly more enjoyable. Also, when I’m on a route that isn’t in my direct neighborhood, I often get a nagging worry that I shouldn’t be all alone. You know, like that time I tried to kill myself with the heat. Then I worry that a group or a running partner would make me push myself too hard or hold me back or annoy me, and I shrug off the desire to find a group and hit the trail. By myself.
It would help if my husband would run again, but for now, it remains just me and the road.
I’m not good at taking breaks.
Not good at all. I’m so mad at my back right now. I have all of this angry energy and I just want to go run. Right now. Who cares about the heat or the pain? Obviously, this isn’t a smart idea. So instead of running, I’ve been looking for other races.
I’m considering running the Salt Fork Trail Challenge, a 10 mile trail run on Saturday, November 16. It’s only 6 days after the Pittsburgh 10 Miler, and I’ve never run a trail run before, so the logical part of me is saying, “No, end your 2013 race season with Pittsburgh.” The other side of me is saying, “OMG, THAT HOODIE. MUST HAVE THAT HOODIE.” I’ll be looking up information and tips for trail runs before October 1, when cost goes up again. But I do love me some Salt Fork. We’ll see.
Hopefully in two weeks, I’ll have more to report on actual training. I’m giving my back two more days to un-flare itself before I call the doctor. I did have a flare during my last training season, so I’m hopeful this is just a minor setback like that, and I’ll be back out on the road sooner than later.