21 September 2009

Something Clicked

The human body is amazing. It takes a while to happen, but when your metabolic level decides it’s ready to shift, it shifts. Just like that. Click. For me, something clicked in the last two weeks.

When I took my break for surgery, it took six to eight weeks before my body really shifted to a slower metabolism mode, then, Click! Then the pounds started to accumulate. When I started running again, it again took six to eight weeks before my body figured out what was happening. There was another good click back around May, and the pounds started to melt. Then reality caught up and the summer slump kicked in. But it looks like that’s clicked away in grand style.

I wrote a couple weeks back that I was forcing myself to mentally turn a corner on September 1 and break out of my August slump. I wrote about the Labor Day rocket ride run with my friend John that shook me out of my zone of comfort – or misery, depending on your perspective – and convinced me that it’s time to stop thinking about being in recovery mode, and start thinking more like training as usual. Sure, my times are off from last year, and sure, my foot will never be the same. Suck it up, move on.

And the last two weeks have been, well, cool. Sweet. Satisfying. Fun. Something clicked into place, and the machine is working again.

A few days after the Labor Day rocket ride, I actually burned a PR on one of my training courses. Not a “post surgery best I’ve done so far on recovery”, but a real live PR.


A few days later I popped in the next episode of my patented Extremely Compressed Fall Marathon Training Program for the Terminally Procrastination-Oriented. Unlike my first fall 20-miler which wasn’t awful, but smelled a bit like misery on toast, this one was at a decent clip, and more importantly, a consistent clip, all the way up the hills back to home sweet home. It actually ranked as one of my faster 20-milers. Yeah, we obsessive types keep those lists, we know.


My average daily, ‘whatever’ runs have been faster. I’ve been feeling better. Even had a few episodes of cruise mode – that great feeling when you suddenly notice that you’re not even noticing that you’re running, you’re just out there enjoying the scenery or whatever.


And this morning, out early for a 16-miler with none other than the John the Rocket. I wouldn’t even have considered suggesting a 16-miler with him a few weeks ago. Today, well of course it was hard work, of course it hurt at times, and I made it nastier by back-ending the route with all the big hills. But we smoked 16 at 6:52 pace, and better, we held that pace evenly, even up the hills.


Four weeks to the Mount Desert Island marathon. I’m not expecting great things. But I feel like I’m back in the game. I’m no longer questioning why I’m spending the bucks to go up and run it. I’m excited about it, instead. My enthusiasm has also clicked back into place.

Side Note – Taking things Head-On: In the, “You’ve got to stop using your head!” department, it didn’t sound like a click, it was a solid thunk. As if my face-plant into the bricks at Wineglass last fall wasn’t enough, I managed another blunt head trauma at that most dangerous of all venues – the company softball game, a week or so back. My own stupid fault, of course. I tried to duck in behind the second baseman. He caught the throw, swung around to tag, and my face met his shoulder. Hard. Stars. Lying in the dust. Crack in the tooth enamel. Nasty sore neck. He was, of course, bigger than me. Most people are. Duh.

That’s Type A for you. Should’ve just accepted the fact that I stink at softball, and that I was out at second. But no…Joe Runner here needs to compensate for his lacking skills by at least running the bases fast and beating out those dribbler hits. There is a deep meaning here. This is, of course, why I started running as a kid in the first place. Because I stink at softball, baseball, football, basketball, foosball, and every other sport that includes a ball or requires coordination or physical skill. Accept it, remember it, don’t make these stupid mistakes. I run, that’s my gig. After all, even Michael Jordan couldn’t make it on the diamond.

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