Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm Back!

Oh my, has it really been a week since I’ve posted? Has it been a week since I’ve wrote about running, talked about running, visited running blogs or cared about running at all? For all those who cared and wondered where I’ve been, thanks for the concern. For the others who don’t care or may be fed up with me and my running babblings, too bad, you’re stuck with me anyway, just for a little while longer. In either case, here’s my explanation for the little hiatus I took from running and blogging this past week…in case you’re wondering…

It might surprise some of you, or maybe even most of you to hear that I don’t consider myself to be a very good runner. A fast runner? Maybe. A talented runner? Perhaps. But a good one? No, not even close. At least in my mind. In my mind, a good runner knows his limits, his boundaries, knows how to fit running and training into one’s life so that it augments rather than detracts from one’s own life experiences. For me, for the past six months or so, running has so dominated my life, in terms of training, racing, coaching, and blogging that it consumed me more than I care to admit. It took a little trip out of the park, out of the city, and out of the running vortex that I’ve created for myself, for me to realize that it needn’t be this way. While I was away (in D.C.), I got a chance to talk to some runners (again, there were literally tons all around town) who told me that many of the people that run in their city aren’t really training for any particular race. In fact, most of them were running with no agenda, no training plan, no idea how long or how far they were going to run everyday. They run when they can and don’t care about it when they can’t. This was simply shocking for me to hear because everyday I’m out running, I’ve already calculated the exact distance I’m going to run and the pace I’m going to run it at and know ahead of time how many miles I’ll have to run the next day too in order to hit some arbitrary distance goal I’ve established for myself way back when. It’s gotten to be such a routine that it’s become instinctual. To not know, and not care, even if you’re not “in training” is completely ludicrous to me. The weird part is that everyone there was so happy to be doing their own thing at their own pace that I felt more than a bit guilty gliding past everyone simply because I can’t seem to adjust to running at slower speeds anymore. At the end of my visit, I promised myself to try this new running perspective for at least a week, just to see if it’d make a difference.

Well, I took myself on that little experiment this week, and ran only as fast and as far as I felt comfortable, without having an agenda in mind. This was good in a way because I was swamped with work this week and had to give a major presentation to chairman of the division (my boss) and the chairman of the department (my boss’s boss) yesterday. As a result, running took somewhat of a back seat and for once, I did not feel guilty for missing miles or missing runs. Instead, I focused more attention on catching up with patients and hospital work and preparing for my presentation. The strategy worked well as I got everything done, gave a stellar presentation (even the department chair came up to me afterwards to give his approval), and squeezed in two weekday runs in the meantime. Yay me!

I hope that suffices as an explanation. If not, then just blame me for burning out and being human. Marathon training starts anew in a week or so and I’m cashing in on some down time when I can afford it. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’ve got a race! I’m hoping for good weather and a decent performance to celebrate Father’s Day. No expectations this time out except to enjoy running again and to have a good time. I might even jump back a corral just to make sure that happens. We’ll see how I feel in the morning. Look out for the race report afterwards.

In the meantime, I’ll be catching up on what you all have been up to in the next several days, so look out for me in your comments. Happy Father’s Day weekend to you all!

10 comments:

Jamie said...

I'm glad you were able to take some time to enjoy running for running sake and excel in the rest of your life. It's good somedays (and weeks) to step back, not be on a schedule, and take it as it comes. I feel guilty sometimes not being on a schedule and other times it's nice not to have to worry about the schedule constantly.

Also awesome your presentation went well - congrats!

B.o.B. said...

I could so see myself headed down this proverbial path of endless training. Thanks for sharing that it's good and needed to take a break every now and again and just enjoy the run.

Oh, and welcome back.

Michelle said...

Awesome Lam! Running just for the love of it and to have fun. Do that every once in a while.

Good luck in your marathon training for NYC!!

HAPPY DAY TO YOU!!!

J said...

Its good to take time for yourself and just run. This is really the first time I have had a set training plan for a race and it feels good but at the same time I feel the pressure. Oh and today I ran a long run and made sure it was slower and it felt good!

lindsay said...

i think it's a bit of an oxymoron to go on about not being a good runner and being too busy thinking about races all the time and then to mention that you are running (ran) another race this past weekend. ;)

i know what you're saying though. sometimes we have to take a step back and chill out! i bet you'll find yourself still running a good bit, but enjoying it more.

runner26 said...

oooh, by that defn i just might be a "good runner" ;)

carpeviam said...

Hey! The great runner is BACK! You were missed, Doc!

joyRuN said...

Hear hear for aimless running! Seriously, without a training plan in effect yet, why NOT just enjoy getting out there?

Susan said...

Glad you're back! I often feel lost without a training plan...I don't do well with aimless running! It's really hard to do, especially if you're so used to following a marathon plan where everything is laid out for 4+ months.

Congrats on the presentation!

sRod said...

The aimless running sucks. Not going to lie. The past two months have been bothersome. Especially the last four weeks when I was done with Marathon recovery but was trying to do maintenance runs bridging the gap until today (NYCM training offical kick off!)

 
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