Progress. Slight Progress. And Another Trip To Dr. Whatshisface

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I see that and I want to own it, most likely wear it while running as I mutter things such as “Damn that Gorilla Grodd” and “Where’s Barry when you need him”. It fascinates me and inspires me. You probably see it either as a silly empty mask or ….. a stupid empty mask that kinda looks like that one comic book guy.

Its probably not the first time and certainly not the last time I’ll talk about The Flash being a running inspiration of mine, but as a runner getting his sea legs back, or for any type of runner starting at the bottom, 1 thing is certain; you need inspiration, you need drive, you need a reason to run, you need something you get you out there running. You need something to keep getting you out there to run.

Running 1 time is simple enough. Running twice in one week is to be acknowledged. Running 3 times in a week smells of something resembling commitment.

The hard part is after the first or second week. Believe me, I’ve quit on running more times than I have fingers on my right hand (5 for the record). Its very, very easy to quit running. You know why? Once you try it once or twice, or 3 times in one week you realize to yourself “what the hell am I doing? This is awful”. In the second week, you’ll find very convenient excuses not to do a run on a certain day. Maybe 2. The 3rd week you’ll forget to run on a certain day, or that show you like is on so you don’t really have time.

It’s incredibly easy to lose focus. I used to do it routinely. I mastered the art.

I hate to dispense elementary advice, but I’ve found that the easiest way to keep running is to run for something.

It could be any number of things; an idea, a goal, someone, but it just has to be something.

I started this silly quest of running with only 1 goal in mind; to run the Marine Corps Marathon. It was a goal waaayyy in the future, which allowed me to stumble many times (IE quitting) because time became a luxury for me. But once time went from a luxury to a enemy, I eventually got serious about running and made great strides (upon review, I’m going to accept that pun).

I face the same dilemma now as I did many months ago when I started … and restared … and restarted … and restar – you get the idea… running and that is my goal is now 9 months ahead of me when it’ll only take me 4-5 months to get ready for. I need to be able to stay in shape and keep running during the whole time and not accept lapses in focus and allow myself to quit for weeks/months at a time.

I’m not trying to talk like I have a plan to stop my uncontrollable laziness because my half hearted plan is to plan more races from now till Race Day and not to appear as to be as so fat on July 5th (Officially the greatest day on the calendar … that follows July 4th).

That was a long, long winded way of saying that I’ve been trying to keep up running these last 2 weeks, albeit with icy/cold weather and a so-so ankle.

I actually went to go see the good doctor on the 13th. It was for all practicalities a worthless visit. He had me do a number of the same tests/exercises I did in my months previous visit, which I passed with unfortunately high colors.
I informed him of my 3 runs the previous week and of my slight pains in one part of my foot, but he advised again that I showed no signs of any real damage and that wearing my brace while running would help (duh?) and that I should look into some hoodeehoos that you slip into your shoes for a balanced something something. I didn’t know what he said exactly cause my attention was 100% focused on a picutre of nasty, nasty, I mean nasty ass feet he had on his wall.

I made great efforts not to stare at these awful pictures strewn all over the room I was waiting in for 20 min, but eventually when the time came for me to pay close attention, those awful, black/green/yellow feet with the worst toenails designed by God took my full attention.

Honestly, I understand the scare tactic utilized to try and sell whatever creme you got going, but to be cornered in a small area in a foot doctors waiting room with them nasty feet staring at you is like a Rex Ryan nightmare. When I went to put on my socks and shoes after the doc was done yapping, I looked at my feet like they were … well decent looking feet that had no place on a doctors wall. Good job feet!

Need a segway … maybe a dog picture … nonono… something thats not so obvious of my lack of transition skills… maybe …

That picture rules.

So the week after my doctors appointment I only ran once, Monday because I was lazy and the rest of the days there was a lot of ice on the ground and I wasn’t throwing out 85% ankle to those wolves.

I tried to get this week off to a good start. Saturday (the 22nd) wasn’t a great run. I wanted to do 2 – 2.5 miles. I ended up only doing 2.2, while stopping to walk twice. Thats’s something I haven’t done in forever. I was and still am mad about it, but I expected too much out of myself in that cold afternoon I suppose. There’s alot to gain back in both the physical and mental endurance department.

Monday was a day of vengeance. Oh yes. The stink of Saturday needed to be removed. 2 miles had become my initial wall. Something I’ve tried to casually do without success. Gone were the days of me running 3 miles and then deciding how long that nights run would be. We’re starting fresh, 1 hurdle at a time. 2 mile mark is the first.

The nights run started well. I’d realized my previous runs had been at too fast of a pace; I was trying to run like I had when I stopped: at a 9:20 – 9:40 min/mile. This is a pace our current Fat Mike is not used to yet. I tried recently to do or come close to that pace with Heavy Weezing results.

I’ve realized that, as a runner, I’ll get there, I’m not going to get there in 1 week, or 1 month, or 3 months maybe. The thing about running again is re-learning a few things about how you ran before. Patience is one. I have to accept I’m not a fast (by my standards of what I want to be) runner now and it’ll take considerable time and what I’ve built up before will not translate to now.

The one thing I didn’t have before when I started running was a will to run, a will to get better, a will to say no to the minds pulses saying “stop”. That’ll serve me better in these initial days, but its still draining and tough to convince your mind and body to continue those extra .2, .4., .8 miles when all your brain is telling you to stop.

That’s the most satisfying hurdle to jump over. The hurdle over your mind, forgoing all thoughts of quitting and listening to your body and pushing forward. Letting your legs take over and going along for the ride.

I didn’t get that kind of feeling in my first couple weeks trying to run again. It was exhausting and brutal. A sub 2 mile run was more brutal than the 10 miles I remembered running. The mountain then looked incredibly high to climb. The mountain now looks like the end of the first Lord of the Rings movie where you’re thinking “ok, really, how long is it really gonna take to get to that one mountain?” but it ends up being the most arduous task of all time.

Now that we’re on symbolism, Paul is holding the golden ring (cause he’s married, yousee) while his faithful companion, ever vigilant in the face of fear and forever loyal to the crusade at hand (me, and might I add how Samwise is always kicking ass and pushing forward?), is by his side. I’m gonna work on that me being a sidekick part, that’s not a good look.

But Monday was about vengeance. In ways it was a goal, in ways an idea, but I needed Saturday out of my head. I gave myself a purpose to run. Something I’ve needed all along and something I’ll need from here on out. The purpose itself will change but the fact that I’ll need a purpose will not. Running with a purpose makes all the difference in the world.

I ran to extinguish Saturday. I knew I was running at too fast of a pace. I aimed the first half of my run at a slower, 10:30 min/mile pace cause I knew my body could handle it and wouldn’t tire out. It proved to work wonders cause I was full of energy and more importantly positivity that I could run farther than my original goal. I ended up doing 2.65 miles at a 10’10” min/mile pace without stopping. It doesn’t sound like much now, but I think doing that run and realizing what to do and how to do it is bigger steps.

The hard part, as always, is continuing to run.

P.S – the insole thingys the doc told me to buy, these Powerstep insoles, WORK WONDERS. No joke, I’ve tried a few of these things, but these Powersteps made my foot/ankle feel great in one day of use, in both my hurting work shoes any in my running joints.

One Response to “Progress. Slight Progress. And Another Trip To Dr. Whatshisface”

  1. Momma Roberts Says:

    Well done my son, well put!!! I read and reread your prose, and Yureeekaaa, you may have succeeded in convincing your Momma to give it a shot, albeit a shorter shot than you can, but an honest, college try nonetheless!!! If this was your evil, super power Flash attempt to motivate we uninspired, it worked by George it worked. Rotten fella!!

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