On the Road Back

February 8, 2015

As I’ve done many times in the past, I’m beginning this most recent post with an apology. I have disappeared yet again. Like many an author before me, I’ve gone into hiding and become a bit of a recluse. Please allow me to explain.

You see, life often gets in the way of art, and/or running. I have been so busy recovering from illness, so busy attempting to keep boys and dogs and a cat from killing each other, so busy cleaning up shit (literally – since the last blog post, I have had at least two long sessions spent in the yard with a pooper-scooper, not some metaphorical “I’ve got to clean up this political mess,” kind of thing, but rather an actual device built exclusively for the sole purpose of picking up dog excrement), so busy working, and so busy with all the million other challenges that life presents, that I’ve had little time for anything else, especially something so trivial as writing a blog. But today, I have miraculously stumbled upon a few free minutes which I will use to catch you up on my road to Boston.

As most of you know, I had a recent bout with illness that caused me to miss an entire week, and most of another, of running. I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to pull myself out of the ashes. Coming back from two weeks without running is tough enough – coming back after an illness that specifically laid siege upon my lungs is even tougher.

I haven't been the only sick one around here. Actual image of our household.

I haven’t been the only sick one around here. Artist’s rendering of our household the last month.

The first week back, with my lungs beaten down like a Nancy Kerrigan shin bone after a visit from Tonya Harding’s hit man, I abandoned all workouts and just tried to run. I managed a week of 40 hacking-up-pieces-of-my-broken-lungs miles, 40 desperately, agonizingly, tortuga-ly slow miles. But at least I ran.

Caring individuals consoling my lungs.

Caring individuals consoling my lungs.

Last week, I threw in some workouts and tried to pick up training where I had left off, pre-sickness. Tuesday, my friend Todd and I ran minuters on the little dirt loop behind the Y off Mallard Creek. This workout went surprisingly well. While the lungs didn’t feel especially chipper, the fresh legs did and I managed to keep all my repeat splits under 6:00/mile pace. (Aside: I can’t fathom how some of my friends can run a full marathon at a pace faster than my practically-an-all-out-one-minute-sprint pace. And Galen Rupp and Mo Farah (claim to?) run their super easy, recovery, days significantly faster than this. How is this possible?!?)

And that was the end of my good runs for the week. Thursday, Laura and I (accompanied for a bit by Adam Mayes, and for the duration by one Michael Kahn, who is making a comeback of his own) ran a marathon-pace tempo. Early in the workout, Laura dropped me like I was a pet skunk that lifted its tail in the direction of her face. Sigh, I remember not so long ago when I was the one out front and she was the one falling off the back. I had to explain to Kahn that Laura and I take turns doing this to each other. It makes both of us stronger runners (I hope, anyway). Yesterday, I struggled to keep up with her on a slow, long run.

I hope next week goes a little better. And I hope the subsequent nine weeks go a lot better than that.

Ten weeks til Boston. Ten measly weeks to get fit. Any suggestions on how to pull off a running miracle would be much appreciated.


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