Half the man I used to be….

So, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here, huh? Well a lot has happened. Ran the Jim Kane Sugar Bowl, set a pr and Sam smoked me again. Ran one of the Race Cancer Summer 5K’s, pr’d that in the midst of a torrential downpour. Ran the RTB Relay New Hampshire, which was awesome. Ran the Brian Honan 5K in September, pr’d that. And then, and then…nothing. There were some more races I wanted to run…and just didn’t, like the Bay State Marathon and Yulefest. When I look back on it, I had been running solidly for a year. With a few breaks due to my Achilles and tweaked knee. But essentially, I had been training for over a year. At a certain point I was no longer training for anything. The marathon was over. I was just training without real purpose – it’s just what I was used to doing. When the opportunity to run something big came along (RTB MA and NH), I jumped on it. But, I was tired. And more importantly, I was hurting.

So I took a break. And then went for a run. I hurt again. I took another break, I ran, I hurt again. Then I repeated that a third time. I walked up the stairs to my third floor apartment one day two weeks ago and was moderately out of breath. Then I walked up one flight to my girlfriend’s apartment and was moderately out of breath. The eternal words of the Stone Temple Pilots ‘creeped’ into my head – I’m half the man I used to be.

I went for a run on a warmish day in Brookline shortly after. I was going to do an easy run to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and back. When I got there the path around the reservoir was snowy, icy, muddy, and miserable. So I thought, hey, let’s run to Heartbreak and back. I forgot that Heartbreak isn’t exactly a lark from the reservoir. But, I realized this when I was almost there. I went down, then back up. On the way back (around 5 miles in) my legs finally loosened up, my stride lengthened and I felt like I was running my own pace again. I haven’t run Heartbreak since the marathon. I won’t get too nostalgic here, but it was like seeing an old friend. An old friend you have a tumultuous relationship with, that you got in a fight with, but still want to be friends with.

Last night, I kicked it old school with Meghan. We did a Crossroads run together. Ally and I had made this a staple of our training last year. So, I subbed in one Reilly for another. I’m looking to get my conditioning and endurance back, Megan is running Boston again (cue jealousy). We met at the bar – for those of you that don’t know, Crossroads Pub on Beacon near Kenmore hosts runners every Thursday night. You start at the bar, catch the T to Woodland, then run nearly 9 miles on course back to the bar where you refresh with beer and pizza. Pretty great, right? – Anyway, we met, took the T and ran back in at a solid conversational pace in the mid to upper 8’s the entire way. We didn’t recover with beer and pizza this week, we were both a little worn out by a long week and a good run. I did wake up this morning with the runner’s hangover – acidic legs and stinging headache. That’s waning now, thankfully.

I’m looking forward to getting my conditioning back, while maybe not exactly being in my marathon shape. I recently was able to finally go up a notch on my belt, the first time since the marathon, when I lost 15 pounds over the course of training (I know, poor baby losing so much weight. It’s rough, ok?) What I am really looking forward to is running with friends again (Ally, this means you), running some fun races (I’m definitely thinking Quincy Half), and helping my sister train for her first half. Less intensity, more fun. I had a lot of fun last year with an awful lot of personal pressure. Time to ease off the personal pressure and toggle up the good times.

Stone Temple Pilots — Creep

Who wouldn’t want to run with these guys?

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About Graham Runs Boston

Bostonian running around Boston. Team RaceMenu distance runner. Oyster appreciator, beer lover, outside all the time when I can, loosely pursuing a BQ
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