Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Running Man

I did a post on running last week, but I want to go over it again because it’s something I’m starting to enjoy.

For large chunks of my life, my 5:30 AM runs were a staple. Running early was something I did like breathing throughout high school and through long periods of my adulthood. I’d wake up around 5:15, take a hot shower – my warm-up – and get on the road. I’ve never needed to stretch much or do any kind of extended warm-up as an athlete, so I’d just get going. I know this about myself because, knock wood, I’ve never once, in all my years of running, lifting and playing competitive sports, pulled a hamstring. I had one nasty adductor pull a couple of years ago that was caused by stupidity, but that’s been it.

I get outside and I go.

I started doing these AM runs again last week. Last Tuesday and Thursday, and today – my third run of the week happens on Saturday afternoon – I was up well before the sun came up, showered, and in motion.

Things work themselves out when I run. Dramas play out in my head, and they’re resolved by the time I hit certain objective points on my route. Then something else pops into my head to whirl and churn until I hit the next mile marker, where it fades into the next thought. And the next. And the next. And so on.

And then I have days like today, where I’m rested and ready after taking two days off, and I can push things a little without payback, and I roll through the finish line of my 3+ mile course two minutes faster than I did on Saturday. And when that happens, I start liking myself a little better, which is something I haven’t been able to do in quite a while.

I’m not planning on going crazy with this, because I still love lifting heavy weights in the gym, but I’m sure as hell intrigued by how it’s making me look and feel. When I run at 5:30 in the morning, I’m a 16-year-old kid again with a football season in front of me and a job to get done, and it finally feels good to be me again -- and that's been a long time in coming, believe me.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled cynicism, negativity and antagonism...