But there are also those times where I examine the costs of running. Financial, yes, but emotional, psychological, physical. The correct question is not whether running has taken a toll on my work and home lives, but how much of a toll it has taken. In what has seemed like a blink of an eye, I now tend to believe that only runners "get" me. Living my real, day-to-day life among mostly non-runners, that presents a bit of a problem. It's as if I am not fluent in the native language of those around, or - perhaps better stated - that I have trouble communicating to them in their tongue. Further anecdotal evidence of this perception lies in the fact that my "virtual" running friends (from Runner's World online) have been incredibly supportive of the 40-mile run and related fundraising effort.
Recently, a guy I've known for along time but of whom I was never especially fond (he was fine really, but his sense of humor got on my nerves occasionally) became an avid runner. Since he first asked me a couple of months ago about getting a GPS watch, I've been all-too-eager to speak with him or exchange e-mails about this or that running minutiae. My running (and some cycling) co-workers are the ones to whose offices I find myself gravitating during the day, just to talk training or racing. I don't care if they are fast or slow, or somewhere in the middle like me, but if they care about running and about improving come race time, I have endless patience to discuss our mutual quests for betterment.
Unfortunately, I have to ration my running exuberance at home. Mrs. ESG is not a big fan of running, rather tolerant but not especially supportive. She's not the rah-rah type to begin with, and to her there's an obsessive, vain frivolity to all this she can't completely hide (not that she always tries).
So, I have arrived at no grand conclusions, other than that running is more than a phase, in that when I try to picture my life without running it's like imagining the loss of a dear, loyal friend. I suppose I could and would forge on, but life would never quite be the same.
Well, that's enough self-reflection, here's a training summary from the week:
- Monday - elliptical, weights circuit, core & stretching
- Tuesday - 5+ easy miles, 9:00 pace, average HR 149
- Wednesday - 6 trail miles, average HR 153
- Thursday - rest
- Friday - 5+ miles at about 8:40 pace, average HR 154
- Saturday - 7 slow trail miles; average HR 150
- Sunday - 14+ hilly miles; around 9:00 pace, average HR 147
Total mileage for the week, about 37, which isn't bad coming off of a half-marathon PR.
I'm planning to run 25+ miles next weekend, either Saturday or Sunday as a tune-up for the 40-miler. That should end up making next week a 55-mile week or so. After that, I hope to keep my base at 45-50 miles per week, with an effort to get back into the habit of a mid-week medium-long run (10-14 miles). Though I seem to be pretty healthy right now (especially in light of the marathon and half-marathon being 3 weeks apart), I can feel the cumulative fatigue. Somehow I will have balance the need to recover with the desire to train and peak again relatively soon.
As for whether to run the Hyannis marathon on February 22nd, I've decided not to decide yet. I'll see how badly the 40-miler beats me up and how much running I can get in London, and I'll pull the trigger (or not) before Christmas.