Monday, July 13, 2009

Downtime is for suckers

I hate not training. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I am terrible at convalescing. Every day the sun peeps out and taunts me to join it in it's splendor. "Come on out, Joel. The weather's great. I bet you can do a PR, if you get out." Ugh. Case in point: I had a minor surgical procedure done on Friday that rhymes with ball-ectomy. The doc told me to take it easy on the weekend and rest. Then Monday I could go back to whatever.

It was all I could do not to tape up my boys and hit the road, but I did as I was told and rested all weekend. Ultimately, I credit my wife and the Sunday thunderstorm with my new found patience and restfulness, because left to my own devices, I most assuredly would have been at the YMCA lifting weights, walking on the treadmill, or something else equally stupid and
determinental to my recovery.

In my defense, my poor lack of judgment can't take all the blame. This weekend I bought a new GPS watch, and like any other kid, or man, with a new toy, I could barely restrain myself from trying it out. For those of you who are interested, I bought the Garmin Forerunner 101 from Target. It was $103 and came with a
water bottle. It is Garmin's entry level GPS, and while it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the 405, I absolutely love it. It keeps up with my time, pace, and distance accurately and provides other little tools to help me in my training like interval timers. Although it requires 2 AAA batteries and is not as streamlined as their other models, it is easy to read and is not as cumbersome as you would expect.

Back to the topic on hand, I admit that I needed the downtime. I was able to catch up on some much needed sleep and read some new books. While it was good to relax a bit, I still felt like I was cheating on my training. Seeing the consecutive empty dates on my training calendar makes me cringe with the shame of the cheater. Although I still consider myself a casual runner, I understand the demands and allure of my goddess, the Run. She cajoles me out of daily funk and offers me the sweet release of exhaustion from muscles pushed to the edge of endurance. She promises me serenity and focus away from the trials and tribulations of everyday life. And if I keep my faith to her, she rewards me with a body built to endure even more torturious miles or even better seconds or minutes off a time that only matters to me. Except this weekend, I had to be disloyal to the Run or risk setting myself back even further. It doesn't make the waiting any easier or the guilt of laying off any less, but it was something that I needed. My body needed the time to heal from the miles of abuse to which I have subjecting it, and my brain needed to focus on something other than hill strategies and training revisions.

And now that Monday has come and gone, I am back on the road again. I'm totally digging my new watch, but the Run is punishing me with a minor setback to my training. I feel sluggish and even 4 miles is an effort. But it's an effort that I look forward to making again, and who knows maybe I can coax out a long run tomorrow. Hmmmm.....8 miles would be satisfactory, but 10 would be really great. See ya suckers, I need to rest for my long run!

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