Temporary scars, February stars

March 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm 6 comments

I’ve never been a fan of February really. I don’t particularly like winter and by the time February rolls around most years, the lack of sunlight and cold and all that have usually been compounded enough to make me pretty miserable. February has also not been a particularly good month for training. Just by it’s nature it’s set up to be a down month, as most years you only get four full weeks and nothing extra. I had  decent January this year, just a bit over 300 miles, an ok performance at the 100k in the middle of the month, sort of a return to consistency. But in general, it was a little disappointing to me to start the year off like I did. With a 100 mile race and some other big goals on the horizon, I felt a little behind where I thought I needed to be. I knew February needed to be better but I had NO idea what I was in store for.

By any of the metrics I’ve been using to keep track of my training since I actually started considering myself a runner a few years ago, February was by far the best month I’ve ever had. For starters, there’s the numbers (which make me double check at first glance, but my legs remember every. single. step.): 546 miles (~18.8 miles/day or slightly less than 132/week), probably over 76 hours. I also ran that 10 mile race that I’m quite pleased with. I’ve never done anything quite like that. And the awesome thing is that my legs feel pretty good, not destroyed or any more tired than what I would consider normal. I have random aches and pains that go and come but all seem to have identifiable causes and solutions. The massages have been a huge help obviously, but I’m also eating better (read: not good, I’m still a fatty, but better) and sleeping more. I’m also running A LOT on softer surfaces which I think is a big contributor to my (knock on wood) consistency and health. I feel like February went a long way toward setting me up for success in the coming months of this year and beyond, but it is just one month, just a start.

All that time spent running can certainly drag on me, and it has from time to time. I’ve managed to get together with some runners here and there to do some runs or part of some runs together but the vast majority of those 546 miles were run by myself. I was talking to my mom last night about how things are going here. It struck me as I was telling her about my awesome Sunday how a day like that can put the rest of the days in a different light. Most days are not like last Sunday, not even close. Most days are get up early, drag my ass out of bed, run, work all day, run pretty much immediately after work, often until well past dark, come home and eat something, maybe veg for an hour or so, go to sleep. Limited to no human contact outside of work. Limited to no time for anything other than running and the essentials outside of work. Like I said, it can drag. I have the luxury of living like this right now because I don’t have a family, or anyone really who I am obligated to give my time to, and so I don’t. I realize I’m not going to be in this situation forever, and I’m not going to be 26 and in good health forever, so as I was explaining to my mom (who worries considerably about my happiness and all that nonsense parents have to kvetch about), no I’m not what I’d consider “happy” most days, but I think what I’m doing will pay off  later. Running good races, being somewhat competitive, testing my limits, exceeding expectations, those are things that will make me happy. A day like Sunday, that’s enough to keep me going, enough to put my head back down and keep trucking along step after step after step. Most of the time I’m just uncomfortable and awkward in social situations anyway, so my time is clearly better spent alone running through the woods. Sometimes it depresses me that running by myself for a few hours a day feels more normal than talking with people, even other runners, out at a bar or whatnot but it does.

The main thing I wanted to put down in this month’s recap is that I had a good month. I finished it in better shape than I started. And I finished it with my desire to keep working the way I’ve been working still burning. Thirty-one days from now I’ll be running my first 100 mile race. I’ve got a couple other things, races and even (hopefully) non-running related things, to look forward to before the end of the month. Maybe when I write my March recap, I can say that I’m in better shape than I was right now AND I’m even a little happier. If you’re gonna dream, dream big, right?

Til next time… RUN HAPPY everyone!

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Club Challenge 2012 race report 2012 Umstead Trail Marathon race report

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. keysburg  |  March 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    In four weeks I will be at your house making you drink beer with me for almost a week! You’ll probably be glad to get some time to yourself after that.

    Reply
    • 2. runningmanz  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Correction: in four weeks you will be at my house. In four weeks and 2+ days I will be gladly overindulging in all the delicious beers waiting for us in my fridge ;)

      Reply
  • 3. Dan Miranda  |  March 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    If you can tell me what it is “normal” people do to pass the time, feel valued, and be happy while also simultaneously telling me that what these people do is better than running, I will hang up my shoes and do those things!

    14 years into this, and I have yet to discover what it is that everyone else is doing…

    Run More!

    Reply
    • 4. runningmanz  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Ha! I’m still trying to figure this out too. I think they just watch more tv, or… get hobbies like building model trains. I think my cousins are pretty normal, but they have two little kids so that occupies a lot of time. My brother plays a bunch of instruments and Magic the Gathering with his friends. I’ll definitely take running over any alternative I’ve heard of so far.

      Telling me to run more is getting to be a LITTLE difficult, but there’s some room for improvement still!

      Reply
    • 5. keysburg  |  March 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      All your beers belong to me and if you think I am waiting until Sat night to crack some you are mistaken! Starting to get excited!!

      Reply
  • 6. keysburg  |  March 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

    This post really reminds me of years I spent off in undesirable locations. Most days felt like a slog even when I liked what I was doing. Living off and away from my friends while I worked up experience was long, tedious, often crazy making but punctuated with bright moments of extreme happiness when I actually got to visit them. You learn to look forward to those moments, to plan them, and to cherish them like you might otherwise not. They’re even more awesome because they are rare and special.

    The payoff has been mostly worth it too.

    Reply

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