The size of my ass
Astonishes me greatly
Yet I still run well
A haiku I wrote while running a few weeks ago, having spotted my burgeoning reflection while passing a store-front window. The moral, sometimes the universe rewards us in spite of ourselves. We get away with something. And we are grateful for it 🙂
I understand that I should be grateful each day I am able to run. Grateful for my health. Grateful for my freedom. Grateful that I have the blessings of time. And believe me I am. Grateful that is. But today’s run has me feeling a different kind of thankfulness.
Today’s run was in extremely heavy muggy conditions and I just have not acclimatized quite yet. To add to that, my body is starting to feel overworked from the extra mileage I’ve decided to put in over the last few weeks. Yet another adjustment I will make. But without having made these adaptations, today I felt heavy. Sluggish.
S L O W . . . .
Within the first 5 kilometres of my half marathon training distance I made the decision to just get the run done. Enjoy the run. Or at the very least try to. After all this is my hobby not my livelihood. This is supposed to be fun!
So today I resolved there would be no speed records. I just wasn’t feeling it. This is week 4 of my revamped training and heavier mileage and I’ve treated each week like a cumulative time trial. Each week I’ve ran 75.1 kilometres. 12 kilometres on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5 kilometres on Thursdays, 21.1 kilometres on Fridays, and then 25 kilometres on Sundays. So far each week I’ve completed that 75.1 kilometres faster than in previous weeks.
With the humidity that has settled over my home town, after yesterday’s run I was about 1.5 minutes behind after the first 3 stages. And today did not feel like the day to make any inroads on that 1.5 minutes. In fact today, as I capitulated both to my weary body and the troubling conditions, felt very much like a day when I may very well double my deficit.
It’s funny what can happen when we let go of (self-imposed) expectations and become consciously grateful of enjoying what we do, in this case running. Forgetting and foregoing any of the unnecessary (self-inflicted) burdens and details. Because when I stopped my watch after my 21.1 kilometres I found a pleasant surprise. Not a personal best. But something good enough. It was the fastest I had run this distance since increasing my mileage. The fastest 21.1 kilometres since adding a day of running to my regime making half marathon Fridays a deed done on the 4th straight day of running.
Entering stage 5 of my own Tour de Toronto I am now only about 45 seconds back of last week’s cumulative time.
So today I am grateful not just because I can run, but because somehow I was given a free pass. I was given a half marathon time that I can be proud of, a time that gives me confidence. Even at far less than my best, under conditions far from ideal, I ran well.
Truth be told, if I still want to eclipse last week’s time total I’d once again need to pull a rabbit out of the hat on Sunday.
But you never know.