Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mapped Out

My non-running family loves mocking me.  And my hobby.

Yeah, cos what I do is a “hobby”. 

You see, not that long ago, my running was just sort of a thing I did, and not an entity of my identity.  When I first started running I didn’t run when I was out of town, so the extended parts of my family never saw me do it.  I would rearrange my 3 scheduled runs to fall when I wasn’t with my family, and that was sort of that.  I ran a few 5K’s, and even trained for and completed 2 half marathons while flying under the radar of my family.

But all this changed when my interested morphed into a passion that borders on addiction.  By my 3rd Half Marathon there was no hiding this any more.  In 2009 I would slowly emerge from my “closet”, and in November of that year I completed my first Marathon.  By March of 2010 I was holding a steady 40 mile week base.

Now, of course, I run the SportsBackers MTT sanctioned training plan for 24, or so, weeks of my year.  It’s a pretty normal looking schedule, with 5 running days, a cross day and a rest day.  And I never miss a run unless my ankle, knees, quad, or most likely, my hamstring tells me to take the day off.  I’m dedicated to my body, and I’m dedicated to my run.  Ok, ok, I love my run.  Only running 5 days a week is just as hard for me as running 5 days a week.

I said dedicated twice because marathon training takes twice as much dedication as hard work.

Recently at the dinner table, my non-running father made a comment about the location of X in relation to Y on the island of Cape Hatteras, and I said, “It’s ¾ of a mile from here to there”.  A knowing look passed between him and my non-running step-mother.  What ever, I laughed to myself.  I need to know that incase I want to run down that road tomorrow.

Then on the run in the Twickory, not that long ago, we were adjusting our mid-week run to accommodate the new schedule increases, and I suggested adding a mile by way of a particular road.  My thought process was along the lines of, “it’s .4 from here to there, and .7 from there to here, it will be just about 1 mile”.  There was dissention among the GBA’s, until my running mate 3L said something that sounded a lot like, “I’m going with g.  If GBA GF says it will be 8 miles, it will be exactly 8 miles.”  My watch beeped exactly 8 miles as I rolled into the parking lot.  But it made me think of what my father had said.

On the fly a few weeks ago I had to make a call about which way to run when we got off course.  “Look, it’s a mile from here to the Stadium, and then it’s 3 miles out and back from the Stadium to the Pope Arch.  We’re set.  We need 4 more miles.  Boom.  Done.”  And I turned and ran and guess what?  It was 4 miles.  Spot on.

So, what am I bragging about?  That I’m a total geek who memorizes that it’s .7 miles from Deep Run Highschool to the intersection near the SG YMCA, or who knows from where on Boulevard or Broad Street it’s going to be 1 mile to the SB Stadium?  Pretty much. 


No seriously.  What I’m bragging about is that no matter where I go, I mentally break down my run into smaller sections.  This is helpful for mapping and routing, yes.  If you’re into cartography.

But I’m not. 

I’m into marathoning.

As I look at the route THE MAN sends each week, I quickly scan it for obvious break points.  I use bridges, overpasses, and sometimes, major street crossings that occur at numbered mile points.  Then, I break my long runs into pieces.  Once one piece is done, I put it behind me, check it off, and try not to dwell on it, how it went, etc.  I can do that later. I’m now on the next segment of my run, focusing on the now, and being in the moment. 

This is why it’s perfectly logical to find me at mile 6 of a run struggling and cussing, and an hour later, at mile 12 of the same run, in a total state of run-love gushing and giggling about how much I love to run.

OK, endorphins and a runners high is also a possible source of run-love-slash-giggling.

~savor the run~

No comments:

Post a Comment