On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, February 28, 2011

On Thursday, I left my house about 6:20pm to meet my new running partner at 6:30. At 6:45, I deduced she wasn't coming. To be fair with her, we'd parted Wednesday night saying, "Let's meet tomorrow! Tomorrow should be good!" and then we'd never followed up with an email. So I take responsibility for the misunderstanding. I didn't have her phone number on me, either.

Still, it was too dark for me to be comfortable running alone, and I didn't have my headphones for the gym (plus, I was overdressed), so I turned around and ran home. For a total of whopping 1.5m.

Everyone has a different threshold for what constitutes a run. Beginners might be ecstatic to run 1.5m. For most of my running career, my threshold has been right around 5m. Okay, I can sneak a 4m in there now and then, and a solid 3m is... okay, better than nothing, I guess... but less than 3m? Come now - is that even a run? Will I have even broken a sweat?

I kind of feel like that 1.5m "run" is mocking me - sitting there in my running log, laughing at my good intentions and shitty follow-through.

What I should have done is to get out there Friday morning and take it back. Replace the 1.5m with a solid run. Then I could have laughed at those measly, tiny miles as I updated my training log.

But I didn't. It was raining Friday morning and I fell asleep on the couch fully clothed Thursday night, pretty much guaranteeing a crap night of sleep. When I woke up Friday morning, running was off the table.

Believe it or not, this is embarrassing - the same thing happened Saturday morning. 9:30am, there I was, on the couch, in my clothes. I swear to you, jokes about showerbeer aside, I am not an alcoholic. I've just recently discovered the simple pleasure that is falling asleep while streaming television shows on netflix through the wii. And so I'm staying up too late.

I did exorcise the 1.5m run on Sunday with a gorgeous, gorgeous 6m "long run" in Central Park with Kate. It's a glorious feeling to be running in shorts during the month of February. (I have to put "long run" in quotes, though, because even though it's what my training schedule called for, is that really a long run? Pouah. I'm trusting my sister-cum-coach on this one, but begrudgingly.)


  1. Thanks, Mike. I know you're right.
    I'm about to go running (OMG TWO DAYS IN A ROW!) and when I get back, I'll be happy to report that 4>1.5. Not only a numerical victory, but also a "sticking to my very easy training plan" victory.

  2. Haha, I love this line:

    "I kind of feel like that 1.5m "run" is mocking me - sitting there in my running log, laughing at my good intentions and shitty follow-through."

    And yes, log it!!