No running

I haven’t run since Saturday. I’m desperate to get out to run and I thought today would be the day, after all, it’s club run night (which starts just a couple of blocks away from here), and I’m guaranteed to be there on time as I’m working from home. However, I still have a pretty bad cough, and it’s snowing, so it’s probably not a good idea.

I actually had the cold on Saturday too when I ran, however it was in the fairly early stages. Despite that, the run seemed to clear things up a bit – my cough appeared to not be so bad after the run (although I did cough a bit during).

My sinuses were so blocked on Sunday it was painful to even move; then Monday was delayed trick or treat so no run for me then. I have no excuse for yesterday – I really should have run.

What do people do when they can’t get out for a run? I suppose if I had a treadmill that might be an answer (although that’s not a favorite for me). I will probably use my rowing machine, but I really want to run. Perhaps tomorrow.

Why we run.

This morning I saw this question asked: http://fitfor365.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/to-be-with-each-other/ – do you agree with Christopher McDougall’s quote:

The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other but to be with each other.

While I think there is some truth to this, I do also have friends who maintain they run solely to be alone. Now, the question is, do these same people take part in races with the same frame of mind? I suppose it’s possible; after all, a race is a guide to how you are progressing as a runner in many respects.

For me, I started running solely on the basis of joining in with a local 5k, where I knew several other people taking part (I hadn’t run for years but I was reasonably fit from cycling). I suppose that puts me firmly in the category of  “to be with each other”. What happened next didn’t fit that pattern so much. I started running, alone. I worked towards another 5k later in the year and ran it solely to see how much I could improve. Admittedly, the atmosphere at the race was one of camaraderie, but that wasn’t the reason I was there.

A year later I joined a running club, and I love my solitary runs as much as the group runs, but I have to admit, the most enjoyable races are definitely the ones where I am with other club members, and as I race more, the other people you see time and time again.

After Sandy

It was great to see the runners in NY turning their efforts to help the people of Staten Island, and it’s equally great to see all the local efforts around here in central NJ. Unfortunately I was stuck in bed most of yesterday (sinuses were blocked so badly it hurt to move my head) and now I’m stuck at work, but I’m trying to get together items to donate to those who need it (one local church is leading a huge effort to get resources to areas that need it: http://rchighlandpark.org/ and, as the RVRR club runs start here, an effort is on to bring items to the Wednesday run). For any runners with race sweatshirts etc. they have accumulated and are willing to donate, see also: https://www.facebook.com/groups/253356148062255/permalink/435741756490359/.

Those first days after the storm seem so long ago now, and looking back it was clear that we had no clue what was going on. Without power information was limited, and although we heard radio reports, it did not prepare us for the images we saw after the fact.

It’s a bizarre feeling now where things are getting back to normal for us – with work starting again (although local schools still not open), wanting to get out running on a regular schedule, and no lingering effects in our street; yet many people are still without power and heat, people are still trying to salvage what they can from their homes, and another storm on the way which could easily cause more problems for already damaged property. Let’s hope that as much as possible is back to normal as soon as possible, and those harder hit get the help they need.

 

Sandy

Power is returning, but trees are still down. Travel is difficult (and buying gas is harder, so time to conserve what you have), so running habits have to be different right now. I tend not to drive to run (due to limited time usually) so my running tends to be local, but even that is harder right now. Some streets are still blocked by trees and wires that are still down, and parks may not be open. If parks are accessible, some areas may still be tough for running.

The RVRR club run last night was diverted from it’s usual route, and I chose to turn back from a route I had chosen on Tuesday morning. Getting things back to normal at work may detract from my running schedule for the next few days, but it’s a small price to pay compared to what others have been through.

So, be careful and take care where you run, especially in the dark now that it’s no longer light as late, as you may not be able to see exactly where the wires are on roads that are closed.

I’m just glad the power’s back so I can wash my running things again – I was getting worried I would be hand washing this week.

The day I became a runner?

I’ve been running for 2 and a half years now, and yes, I’ve done all sorts of races in that time (mostly in the last 8 months), but something happened to me this weekend.

On Sunday I ran the East Brunswick 10k (ebrr.org). I had no real expectations for the race, I hadn’t even bothered about toning down my Saturday antics (okay, so I did ride a little slower on my Saturday bike ride, but I still spent the afternoon eating and drinking with friends). My main aim for the race was to try to run a sensible race – something which has eluded me in anything longer than a 5k. It didn’t matter how fast (at least that’s what I tried to tell myself).

So, what happened? I loved every second of that run. Everything felt right, I was comfortable, and I was enjoying myself. I didn’t try to push that little more when someone I was running close to in the first couple of miles sped up enough to move ahead of me (a friend who is about as fast as me, but who I have been ahead of in most races). Ultimately around mile four, I caught him again, passed him, and didn’t slow down. The difference between my fastest and slowest mile of the race was just 6 seconds, and I felt great. It was a slower race than I ran in Newport early in the year, but that didn’t matter.

Since this weekend I have been constantly thinking about this run. Up until now, although I didn’t realize it at the time, I have perhaps been trying to be a runner, rather than just letting myself be one. It has always been about getting faster, and being fast no matter the cost, and it hasn’t always worked out. Now I realize that my goal is to run and enjoy, not worry about how fast I can be and just let it happen.

Whereas my goals for this year were to run a half marathon (I did 2 in the end) and break 20 minutes in a 5k (I managed to do this 4 times), next year my goal is just to run smarter and see where that takes me.