Sunday, April 28, 2013

Personality A

I've decided to train in the coming weeks for the Seaway Half Marathon here in my hometown of Muskegon, MI. A road half is probably one of the most out-of-character things I can do with regard to my usual running tastes, so that's why I decided to do it. This week has been my farewell to my "do whatever" approach. Not that you can't get fit by simply running a lot, but I just miss the structure from my formative years of running. I miss the results even more. I have to face facts: I'm fat and slow compared to who I was a couple years ago. I no longer have the resources at my disposal that I once did, but I have to give it a try. If you're not building up, you're breaking down.

Here's how this first week broke down.

18(ish)- miles with Mike around Spring Lake. Mile Munching Monster Magic Monkey Mikey Jae seems to be under the impression that he's slow. Well, I guess we all say that, don't we? Either way, he's not. Had a great jog at just the right pace and ended up at a brewery. Great way to spend the first truly nice day of the year.

Just my usual 4 hours of teaching water exercise classes. About a mile of running throughout the day, but nothing formal.

7 miles - cut down run. two miles of easy jogging, then 4 miles of progressively faster running. I whittled it down to a 6:00, but...fuck. It was unpleasant. I've got some work to do.

Water classes again. Finals week at school, so it's just not in the cards. If I have to work a night job, I'm glad it's 4 hours of core work in the pool. It's a great supplement to running. Supplement. Not replacement. Must remember that part.

2 miles. Meetings, papers, and pulling some trees out for a landscaping job. meh

22(?) Miles - Sat around with my thumb up my ass for 3-4 hours waiting for Mike and Erik, then headed up to Manistee National Forest for some trail miles. A really great run in some warm weather. I felt like shit toward the end, but attribute it to not eating enough before the run. I've been switching to a plant-based diet, and forget just how much I have to eat. Ashamedly, I'm also a total wuss in heat. It was around 68F, and I felt like I was melting. Maybe Montana's PT program will be a good fit.

Resting before my first week of real training. Worked on my car, kind of bummed around.


49 miles. I hope I can do better than that, but cautiously building is where the improvement comes from.

I haven't been logging miles lately, but I think it's a good tool for keeping myself on track, so ignore it if you please.

Personality B:

It's been two weeks since I've updated. I've survived the guilt of dropping out of another race. Okay, there was none.

I've got a bit of a confession to make:

I've been trying to be a well-rounded, normal, middle of the road, fence-sitting, pragmatist. And I hate it.

In Colorado, I was chasing a dream of some sort. It's no clearer now than then what that dream was, but it felt good to be chasing it. I often felt like a bird catching an unexpected tailwind on its migration.  Telling exactly where and when inspiration would strike was impossible, but when it did, I felt like I was in the right place at the right time. All I've been able to say for certain, is that I ache to live an extraordinary life. To do things that I once thought were beyond my reach. To make it on less than others find comfortable. To uncover the redeeming qualities of our species that lie deep within myself and others.

Why does it all come back to running then?

Truthfully, I have no idea. It's a stupid, overly hyped hobby that has been bastardized by shallow displays of showmanship, narcissism and chest-thumping...or has it? My inner cynic dislikes the sport, and thinks I should get a life. My heart says, "Hey. Cynical douche. Stop being an asshole and follow your gut."

Why does it all come back to running?

Because it's life. You get what you put in, and some come by it easier than others. In a sea of many, great stories are plentiful. Most of them are real.

Anyway, back to the confession.

I've been telling myself to just go with the flow. Don't feel like running? Must be my body telling me to rest. Being as out of shape as ever and weighing 15lbs more than last summer tells me I've had just about enough rest for one year. It's time to push it some more. The cynical part of me looks down on those who are more committed, thinking they must be some sort of obsessive jackass who puts his family and friends out just to do the same mindless activity over and over. This, I think, is what keeps normal people normal. They like being normal. Save the hard work for those that have something to prove. "well-rounded" translates to "average at everything." The world is full of average people. That's sort of the definition, isn't it? There's nothing wrong with being a normal person. I just have a burning in my chest that won't let me be one, no matter how hard I try. Maybe it's just gas.

Maybe "normal" is a mask we all wear, and nobody is normal.

All existential bullshit aside, I doubt running is my all-inclusive trip to self-actualization. Right now, in a life of hoop-jumping for physical therapy school, and a financial situation that has me blogging from my childhood bedroom, it's all I've got.

The truth is, you just can't do the extraordinary by being normal.

My inner "obsessed runner weirdo" will rise again.

The inspired blogger isn't my enemy. It's the apathetic guy that exists between posts.