Former 2:24 marathoner hoping to parlay a life overhaul at age 45 into competitive ├ęclat • Magazine writer, book editor and commentator on the sport of distance running since 1999 • Adviser and confidant of other perambulators • Paradoxical hater of exercise fanatics • Chihuahua whisperer Sentence-fragment impresario

Monday, May 4, 2015

Going for the wet spot

I generally have a number of time slots each day in which to stick an hour or more of running, especially on weekends. My "morning" runs are usually at around noon (or later, if I don't plan to run twice) unless I have whole mornings free. I do a fair amount of running after dark, although after a couple of nasty falls on nasty ice within a few feet of the same spot on the Martin Park Path in the winter of 2014, I try to avoid misguided post-crepuscular sorties at that time of year.

In other words, I have absolutely no excuse for running at the only of day it rains with any regularity here -- usually between 4 and 6 p.m. Yet at least three times in the past couple of weeks, including today, I've sat indoors through whole sunny late mornings and afternoons, doing entirely unnecessary things online and glancing out the window to see the day gradually going from bright and cloudless to noncommittal but calm to Boulder's version of foreboding, and realizing that I need to get outside if I'm going to meet my friend by six o'clock like I'm supposed to. This has seen my first steps out the door coincide with orchestral precision with the first few drops of rain from the sky, which wouldn't make much difference if rain in these parts didn't usually spell a chilly breeze even in early May and if I didn't insist on bringing my phone along with me to double as a music player, a habit I'd been pondering letting go of even before finding myself be-bopping down Marshall Road swearing into the wind and trying to protect a very fragile dumbphone from the chortling elements.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Competence strained

Grinding along the gravel paths of the Davidson Mesa recreational area in Louisville on a morning meant for running fast, I was beginning to labor as I entered the final stages of what's become a familiar process lately: decide two days in advance that I'm ready for a group workout that I'm convinced should be manageable because all the miles start with the number "6"; realize during the warm-up that the session is going to substantially more taxing than I'd been willing to admit, especially given that I know I'm poorly rested as a mammal; start the workout with one or two younger, prettier and fitter runners, in this case the welcoming and chatty Nicole and Brooke; decide after about ten minutes that I need an exit strategy that won't leave me unnecessarily irked; finish up in whatever fashion works best; shake my head at my own roguishness in coming out for something that I was a few solid nights of unbroken slumber, and a couple of honest turnover workouts, away from being able to complete.