4 Miles

As is my habit now on a weekend day, I walked down yesterday to the towpath and did my weekly long run. Four slow steady miles. I felt pretty good at the end of the run. Whenever I get impatient and think that I’m not progressing fast enough, I need to think about how painful a half mile was six weeks ago.

My breathing was ok and I didn’t really feel any muscular discomfort. The only minor issue I seemed to have was in my lower back and my hips. I felt..tension…more than anything else.

Four miles is an important distance. It’s about the length of the run I would make if I started from my house, ran down and through the park and back down Washington Street to my house. The only difference being the enormous hill smack dab in the middle of it. ┬áThis circuit is what I’d prefer to run on a daily basis, rather than the out and back routes I’m now accustomed to. Because of that hill, though, I’ve got to do a bit more work until that’s my routine.

Next weekend I’ll probably try for four again, in the opposite direction on the towpath toward Brunswick. The following week I’ll take a page from some of the stuff I’ve seen on Hal Higden’s website and cut it back to three miles before embarking on that magic five.

Off day today. I’ll feel antsy, I know it.

The Grind Indeed

I really don’t have any problems motivating myself to run. In fact, I probably have the opposite problem. I need to reign myself in and not do too much running before I’m ready.

Hitting the Bowflex, though, is a different matter altogether. I work out on it immediately after a run. I feel I need to do this because I don’t want to sit around and have things start to tighten up on me.

Continue reading “The Grind Indeed”

Long (for me) Run

Got kind of tired on Friday and couldn’t make it through my Bowflex workout. I felt pretty good the weekend before last and boosted up the resistance more than I should have on some of the exercises. Yesterday I lowered the resistance a bit and had a pretty good workout.

Continue reading “Long (for me) Run”

Crisis of Condfidence

I think it’s important, especially a month and a half in, to look for the danger signs. Signs that indicate I’m either getting too full of myself or that ambition and determination are waning. The physical part of this has always been pretty easy for me. It’s the determination to see my way all the way to the goal that’s been the problem.

Last week I went was in the middle of a 12 workout cycle, doing mile runs. The course I chose was difficult for me, a beginner. I finished the run and then went up to the loft to lift. I got about three exercises in, to the curls, when everything just got…tired. My mind, my body. The energy just poured out of me. I shut it down right there. One thing I’m trying very hard not to do is push myself beyond my limits.

I have a feeling the fact that I hadn’t really gotten much rest on my previous rest day ( I spent it outside, staining the fence) had a lot to do with why I felt so tired. I’ve been pretty good about jettisoning the schedule when I feel it’s necessary in order to listen to what this old body is telling me. So last week I gave myself two days off.

Last Friday, my first day back, I woke up feeling anxious..maybe a bit melancholy. I sat at my computer, eating yogurt and drinking coffee, and I noticed that I was procrastinating. I also noticed there were ┬ámysterious aches in my heel and above my knee which hadn’t been there when I woke up an hour before. I was wondering what was going on. Was this some sort of biblical test of determination? The gods throwing obstacles in my way?

I thought about this and chalked it up to fear. I was afraid that I’d begin running and immediately tire again. I was afraid that all the gains of the previous six weeks or so were just a mirage. Two days off would have put me back to square one.

I’ve had a problem with this fear my entire life. I don’t know if it’s more a fear of failure or a fear of success. After I sat and thought a bit, I got up, grabbed my water and went upstairs to warmup on the bike.

The workout was a success. I did the mile in my fastest time yet and the lifting portion saw gains in resistance in several exercises.

Though I do not want this blog to become an exercise in navel gazing, I do think it’s important to keep an eye on my brain, as it were. I can teach my body how to run ten miles on a consistent basis. Teaching my mind to do so will be the much tougher task.


How many new starts? How many leaves turned over? How many new dawns? New beginnings?

So many that hope finally started to wane this spring. I guess I could have been excused for being especially slothful over such a brutal winter. Still, as the weather warmed, motivation seemed very difficult to come by. My usual MO of getting up at 4:50 AM to walk seven miles a day seemed to me like torture. I was also well aware of my history of overreaching in the early stages of new leaf turning/new starts/new beginnings/new blah blah blah…

Continue reading “Beginnings”