Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Break Now, or Forever Hold Your Peace

These next few weeks hold a recipe for weirdness for me. I’m not tied to a training plan. It’s getting cold, wet, and slippery out. Not only will I be fighting the current state of my bodily fitness but I’ll also be battling vengeful Mother Nature in my quest to maximize speed.

Here’s where the weird comes in.

Without an actual scheduled race, nay marathon, looming, my concern for my overall well being has gone completely out the window. For perspective, last year at this time, I was busily preparing for the Goofy Challenge (half marathon Saturday/full marathon Sunday). I was hitting long runs…back to back medium/long runs...and weekly runs in the dark of night. I ran across ice covered roads and sidewalks. Though I was officially “in training”, my primary concern during these runs was not to bust an ankle in a snow covered pothole. Or lose my footing on a patch of ice shattering my pelvis in so many Humpty Dumpty pieces. There was a lot of time and money tied up in those races. By God, even if I couldn’t run them as fast as I wanted, I was going to run them. “Crutching” a race sounded completely unappealing.

Fast forward to last evening, off I go as the sun disappears on the horizon and I’m left to discern between a patch of ice or a shadow from a tree. Could be either. I guess we’ll find out as soon as I plant one foot in the middle and….no, no I’m good. And repeat this every 25 steps or so. Did I decrease my speed? No. Was I concerned that I might jam my foot into a shadowy pothole and invert my knee in a hilariously cartoony fashion? Not really.



There’s no race on the schedule. One would think a general concern for my overall health and safety would still encourage a sense of caution. Apparently, now that I‘m obsessed with running, ALL things are tied to my next training plan and race. Even the threat of sudden, severe injury.

I ran only 3 1/3 miles last evening but, upon arriving back home, I distinctly remember thinking ‘whew, I didn’t break an ankle. Dodged a bullet there.' Absolutely no concern during the run. Caution thrown to the wind. Besides independent mobility, what is there to lose?

Now, I’m not going around licking door knobs clean at daycares or picking food out of my teeth* with a dollar bill I just got as change from Burger King, the bill that was used as payment from the car in front of me with the “My Parents Just Went To Romania and All I Got Was A Scorching Case of Tuberculosis” bumper sticker.** That would be stoopid (heavy Midwestern drawl, please).

No, I guess my attitude is that if something is going to happen, it better happen now. Break now or forever hold your peace. I’ll be married to another training plan soon enough.

Then, broken bones and malaria will matter to me again one day as that might impact my training. Until then, flock to me ye microscopic mites and tibia fissures for I stand with welcoming arms extended. Do your best. I do not have a care in the world.

At least, for the next 6 weeks.

Happy trails.

* I use a library card from 1988 to pick my teeth. True story. Never been washed either.
** I did have some trouble breathing later after the run but I think it was a bit of cold weather asthma rather than tuberculosis.

________________________________________

Best wishes to Kristina, Marci, JoyRun, and Ted at the Philly marathon!! And anyone else I forgot.

28 comments:

seejessrun said...

I did my first year of college cross-country in Oswego, NY (Iciest Place on Earth) and there's a special technique for running on ice. Think less "run" and more "shuffle." Avoid downhills. Avoid turning.

Viper said...

Good luck getting sick/severely injured. I just know it'll happen for you. At least, I'm crossing my fingers for you.

Kristina said...

Cough. Now you're sick.
Thanks for the well wishes. Not sure I'm running, unfortunately, but miracles do happen.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

As a librarian, I'm offended by the blatant abuse of that library card. (The child abuse you describe with regularity on your blog I'm totally down with. Which leads me to ask, Where was that today? I miss it.)

But, to put it in perspective, I'm a librarian and I'm always offended by something. I guess it was just your turn.

My word verifcation today: "barre". Someone is full of himself around here. Someone with spelling issues.

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

I'm not at all disturbed by your hygine or your self-destructive attitude...

...but I am disturbed by the picture. Yikes!!

RazZDoodle said...

um, how about a warning before the picture. some of us eat lunch whilst reading your prose

Vanilla said...

I've got a bum knee you can have. Just let me know where to ship it.

Xenia said...

That picture made me cringe. Yikes.

Man, what is it with you fools (I refer to both you and Viper) and tempting fate? It's like you really want to be injured.

Twits, the lot of you.

tfh said...

Do you get cold weather asthma? I've been noticing it, or something like it, most likely that drug-resistant TB. I don't mind TB. Malaria I could take. But tibia fissures? You took it too far there, I'm afraid.

Vava said...

Does that guy still have that leg? And I don't mean on his mantle as a war trophy... Ouch!

I've got a case of plantar fasciitis I can send you. But stay tuned: tonight's run promises to coincide with a snowfall for me.

joyRuN said...

You're asking for it?!? You're either ingenious or at the heights of crazy.

Thanks for the shout out! Not helping the taper madness, but much appreciated.

nwgdc said...

I hope you take the same approach to parenthood...

Here, Colt, chase Philly with this pair of scissors. See if you can catch her and give her a little hair cut. I'll be over here with my fingers crossed.

Viv said...

I would say enjoy the no plan running. Things always do have a way of happening when they are not wanted. Kind of like love...why did I say that?!

theloosemoose said...

Break a leg!!

chia said...

What is this "running" thing of which you speak?

KimsRunning said...

Maybe you should try running with spikes on. Oh, that'd be FUN!

Be careful, injuries are getting caught quicker than the flu these days!

Marci said...

Enjoy your no plan running schedule, but be careful in the dark with the ice. Thanks for the shout out!

Blyfinn said...

Have fun with the free schedule and don't break a leg.

Ms. V. said...

Have a great *break*!!

AddictedToEndorphins said...

If you like, you can have the reminants of my pneumonia.
Enjoy the 'no plan':)

X-Country2 said...

You should run in traffic if you're serious about this fate-tempting business. :o)

Danielle in Iowa said...

You worry about breaking bones and malaria, but have you thought to concern yourself with "Break Bone Fever"? (technically known as Dengue Fever, but "Break Bone Fever" sounds more badass)

Seriously, when I was in the Peace Corps, like half the volunteers got it. For malaria, we had prophylactics to ward it off, but not the dreaded Dengue. And that was only in the Dominican Republic! That is practically as close to Michigan as Canada!

Lily on the Road said...

I suppose "break a leg" would be appropriate right around now!

SnowLeopard said...

I have found a variety of great uses for a library card: a great key replacement, icy-windshield scraper, and definitely a better bookmark than the piece of bacon I once found in a returned book. But sorry, Garfield claimed this one way before you... :)

Jess said...

Gives new meaning to the encouraging: "Break a leg!"

So, I noted your book selections to the side, and I offer my own little applaud to your choices. Have you read Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"? Classic. I think my husband would like the "Doc Holiday" biography -- thatnks for a stocking stuffer idea!

Amanda said...

Hmmm I'd prefer not to break anything, so I think if I have to debate is that ice I'll be indoors.

Melissa said...

You're confirming me in my belief that I am better off not running. I'm accident prone enough. I AM, however, doing really well lately with a very mild Yoga practice. *smirking virtuously*

Marlene said...

I'm less worried about breaking an ankle and more worried about cracking my head open!