September 7, 2011

If you want the rainbow you must have the rain

A running buddy of mine, who is also a blogger, recently had a running-and-blogging slump. He claimed that a really good writer would have blogged right through it. That makes me a bad writer as well as a bad runner, as evidenced by my own long slump. A real writer, if he blogs at all, blogs his rainy days.

What I didn't write about was six months spent nursing and cursing the tendinitis in my heels. It was just enough time to completely de-train. No PRs since last year's Turkey Trot. I ran slow, ugly races this summer - slower even than my first few months of running. Fitness, like everything, is only ever borrowed. From a miser. On unfavorable terms.

While I'd just as soon forget all the missed workouts and bad moods, posts in the slow time could have had a human interest absent from something like, "Check out my improvement curve, it's like a rainbow!!" Happy runners make boring bloggers.

I'm building back up now, toeing that fine line between fitness and injury, remounting the rainbow's rising curve. I squeeze in regular speedwork and tempos, with medium runs on the weekend. With any luck I'll improve. With any luck I'll write some spectacularly dull blog posts.

But like the frog says, rainbows are visions and only illusions. I ain't an elite and there's no pot of gold. The fact is, I only run to make things hard for myself. I threw my back out during my weekend run, and I was on the fence all day yesterday about a planned track workout. Excuses were within easy reach. I mean, I was moping around with a pronounced stoop and it was raining, like, .33"/hr (i.e., damn hard).

I took my daughter for a walk around the block to look for puddles. She stomped like a giant into each one we found and squeaked "Hooray!" My back began to tingle. When we got home my wife cured me of my hunch by walking on it. In the end familial solicitude prevailed over fear of rain and re-injury. I went out.

The East River Track was flooded and had nearly merged with the East River itself. I found my teammates huddled in a shallow doorway at the side. We're training for the Fifth Avenue Mile in a couple of weeks, so we had planned for 600, 400, 200 x 2 @ mile pace or faster. The rain came down in stinging diagonals. The water was 3-4" deep on one of the straightaways, requiring a fair amount of aquajogging. We plunged in.


The workout was slow and won't be getting me any medals on race day. But, drenched with rain and awash in lactate, I imagined I saw the slump washing away down the flooded streets in the unrelenting rain.

1 comment:

  1. Slumps are tough to break out of. Good luck with your comeback. I'm not too worried about your blog posts turning dull.