Gasping, Stumbling: Day 4

Another missed day. The plan was to run Friday and finish week 2 on Sunday, then start week 3 on Tuesday and get back on my Tue/Thu/Sat schedule. But I was foolish to think I could get out and run on the same day we were to meet my sister for breakfast, pack, and check out of the hotel by 11AM. Even moving our checkout to noon, we barely made it out on time.

So, Day 2 of Week 2 happened this morning. So, about this morning. First, we got home around 9PM last night after a lot of driving and, thanks to caffeine, while exhausted, I couldn’t sleep until late. So I woke up late. This means I missed the cooler weather. And not only is it warmer than I prefer, it’s also incredibly humid out there. But I pushed through and did it. 

I am coming to realize that running is less about the physical activity itself and more about the mental. Pain and shortness of breath are par for the course. It takes tenacity, stubborness, and no small amount of self-pride (a close cousin of self-shaming but far more positive and effective) to push through it. Where I would have stopped in the past to catch my breath or rub my leg, I push through. I think about how good it will feel to know I completed another day. I think about how much more healthy I am getting by doing this and what that means for my life as I get older (and after spending a few days visiting my mother who just had knee-replacement surgery, I am even more sensitive to the issues of aging). And I think about what kind of model I am setting for my son. 

So, it sucked today and I am sweating buckets (and that means I can’t get into the shower until I stop or I will just keep on sweating even afterwards which is, frankly, nasty) but I also feel fantastic that I did it. And that’s what I have to hold on to moving forward.

Running, Day 3 (Week 2, Day 1)

As part of this reboot, I skipped 1 day of Week 1 so now my count is a bit off. Alas, such is the way of things.

I intended to run Monday morning after only 1 day off between weeks 1 and 2 but I got a slow start to my day and by the time it was moving in earnest, I was busy with work and preparations for a small trip to visit family in New York and celebrate my wife’s birthday.

I intended to run Tuesday morning before we drove west but it was raining and we had a lot of last minute stuff to finish before we left (and we left really late anyway).

So, Wednesday morning, I ran along Route 28 in Mount Tremper in the heart of the Catstkills. It didn’t seem that hot and humid when I started and maybe I went at just the wrong time (around 10AM) when it was rapidly heating up, but by the time I was ending the walk, it felt oppressively hot and humid. Running along a busy highway is also somewhat unnerving but the margins on the side of the road were large and there was mostly mowed grass/wildflowers on the sides that gave me softer terrain when I needed it or wanted to get further away from traffic.

The second week expands the jogging sessions to 90 seconds and, just like the last time I did this a few weeks ago, this first day was painful. I found myself barking, “Come on!” to myself to keep going. I set milestones (I’ll go to that stretch of fence”, “that bridge”, “one more grasshopper”) That last was referring to the many grasshoppers (or grasshopper like bugs) on the margins of the road that all jumped/flew as I approached them.

When I was halfway through, I had two thoughts. The first was that I felt especially stiff and things were hurting that had not hurt before. The second, that followed the first one quickly, was that I forgot to stretch out before my run. So, I paused my run and did a few quick stretches and I made sure to do extra stretching when I was finished. 

On the plus side, the rest of the day, featuring lots of walking, was not painful at all. My legs felt great and, more importantly, feel great today.