Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not Really Running

The past three months have been pretty terrible with regard to my running.  Terrible in the sense that I haven't really been doing much of it.  I first felt some (extremely mild) pain in my right shin back on January 11th after a track workout the previous day had clearly tightened up my posterior tibialis a bit.  Over the next couple of weeks it gradually worsened little by little, but I figured my taper before the Rocky Raccoon 100 would loosen it up.  Strangely, the reduction in running almost seemed to make it worse and on my short 30min jog the day before the race it was probably the most sore it had been yet.  The shin was barely a worth-mentioning issue during the race itself (100 milers have a way of eventually making everything hurt), but--despite all kinds of treatment--it has almost completely sidelined me in the ensuing months--obviously looooong after any other race-related soreness/twinges were hindering me.

This has been rough--as being injured for extended periods of time always is, mentally and emotionally--but in my final semester of course-work for my masters degree I have been plenty busy with serving as a teaching assistant, and, in the last couple weeks, tending to my own end-of-the-semester exams and projects, which has required me to focus my energies elsewhere.

My desire to blog has always been a tenuous one.  This blog is designed to be almost exclusively about my running, and there are always whole aspects to my life that shouldn't and won't ever make it onto these pages.    Anyone who is interested about my initial purposes for blogging can easily go back and read my first post. Back then it was for very personal, even selfish, reasons that caused a certain amount of cognitive dissonance even in my own head as a blog is a very public space.  But so it goes.

Over the past couple of years I've realized that maintaining a blog isn't such a personal thing as one might first think and that it is actually a very rewarding means by which to connect with others, share, and hopefully inspire and impact the community in a positive manner.  I say it a lot, but running often feels like a very selfish activity to me, however, sharing my experiences with other interested folks via this blog and others has become an effective way to hopefully contribute and expand the impact of my running experiences beyond just my own little world.

That said, this is a running blog, and if there is a lack of posting it is most likely because either

A) I'm injured and not running much, or
B) I'm running plenty but other responsibilities in my life have temporarily consumed the time that I would otherwise spend composing a post.  That is, actually living and doing will always take precedent--for me--over documenting and sharing on the internet.

The past month--or three months--has been a combination of both A and B.

On the bright side, running-wise, things have been looking slightly up over the last couple of weeks.  I'm up to a daily whopping 5mi run with a ~1000' climb and am even feeling confident that tomorrow I might be able to bump that up to the 1500'/1hr outing that Flagstaff Mountain here in Boulder offers.  While certainly better than not running at all, I hardly find these skimpy daily doses of dirt blog-worthy, so the content here will probably continue to be thin until my shin allows something more interesting.

With regards to racing, all bets are off until I am once again healthy and confident in my fitness.  I don't line up for an ultramarathon unless I feel I can do the event and the competition justice by delivering a meaningful best effort.  So, you won't see me at a starting line unless I'm confident in my ability to do that; if you do see me on a starting line, you can be sure that I feel ready to rip.  I think the biggest reason that I'm injured this time is because back in January I let my ego take over and prod me to cram in too much training in too short of a period of time leading up to Rocky Raccoon.  I am currently determined not to make that mistake again--instead, I hope to stick to the principles of gradual progression of mileage and reasonable overall training volume that facilitated my consistency for most of 2010--so there won't be a rush back to racing.

In the meantime, happy running, and I hope you enjoy this little slice of audio pleasure as much as I have been:

Until at least next week, back to the books.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Various Links

I don't have a lot to report here, but there have been a couple recent prose contributions of mine published over at Running Times.

The first is an article I wrote a couple months ago for Rodale for which I was given the extremely broad prompt of "write about why you run trails" (a topic that I feel I have particularly oversaturated with my opinion).  Although not published in its originally-intended location or medium, I am pleased that it is now in the public sphere at all.

The second is a post over on my RT blog about a trip I took this past weekend for a series of talks/presentations in Michigan.

Finally, my auditory experiences of the past couple of weeks have been dominated by the following song by Phantogram. (Well, the entire album, actually.)

Egregious, I know, but I've gotta recommend this acoustic version as well: