I thought 2013 was a tough year for running. If the first six months are any indication, 2014 has put 2013 to shame.
Barring a 3-month gap in early 2011 and a 3-week gap 18 months later (both slipped disc related), I’ve been a reasonably regular runner for the past 5+ years.
I’ve been a triple jump plan runner for most of these years. A notable exception was a 3-month period where I followed Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 Plan. A plan that required me to run 5 to 6 days a week was bound to be challenging but I had no idea how miserable it would end up being (despite or because I was missing one scheduled run per week).
In case you haven’t gathered, I’m NOT your “daily” runner.
I’m just a 3 runs a week guy – The hop (tempo) and the skip (interval) are but a rhythmic preparation for the pleasurable long jump.
Lately the rhythm (previously taken for granted) is under fire. Perhaps a more accurate portrayal would be whittling away — minute by minute, day by day, week by week.
The one hour tempo run turned into 45 minutes. The 800 X intervals turned into 400 X which (don’t get me wrong) ARE intensely enjoyable too but I switched to them mainly because of paucity of time.
Then I started missing the Tue tempo runs, putting me in a strange quandary — run on Wed and Thu or cut losses and run only on Thu? Most of the time, I’d end up running only on Thu (the run itself would be a strange cocktail of tempo and easy). Then there would be weeks where I’d run the Sat long run without any weekday runs.
During my Wed run (my only weekday run), a terrifying thought entered my head…
What if I turned into a non-runner.
This was followed by a scarier thought.
What if this degenerative transformation had nothing to do with debilitating injuries.
I don’t have a blerch problem.
I have a haul-ass-out-of-bed-three-times-a-week-no-matter-how-insane-work-is problem.
I was reminded of Murakami’s conversation with Toshihiko Seko and the panic started to ebb.
“Does a runner at your level feel like you’d rather not run today, like you don’t want to run and would rather just sleep in?” He stared at me and then, in a voice that made it abundantly clear how stupid he thought the question was, replied “Of course. All the time!”