Monday, October 25, 2010

Buoyed by Faith

Now that my third full year as a marathon runner is coming to a close, I've realized that the time following a goal race serves not just as a time to recover from the physical tolls of training and racing, but also allows a window for reflection of a more personal and profound nature.  I have realized that in some of the deeper recesses of my consciousness, I was prepared for another running disaster - or at least major disappointment - in Chicago this year.  The race was far from a disappointment, and the take-away for me has been feeling re-energized, hopeful and motivated to keep training so that I get more out of running.  I'm sure that a major marathon breakthrough awaits me, as soon as I get past the nagging hip issues.  As I've said to a couple of running friends recently, "I just want running to love me back."  And while it's wonderful to feel that sense of  joy return to this all-too-important relationship (between running and me, that is), what I did not count on was feeling more happy and hopeful about other aspects of life, too.

While it's only been two weeks since the Chicago Marathon, 10-10-10 has taken on a transcendent significance in my life.  Since my return, I feel better about my roles as husband, father, lawyer/business owner, brother, son, friend, coach, etc.  In a word, I feel happy and more grounded.  And a huge part of that happiness is attributable to having a renewed sense of faith . . . in people, in the world, in grace and - ultimately - in myself.  And while my religious views - such as they are - continue to contain a healthy dose of humanist skepticism, I am buoyed by the knowledge that there is certainly some force greater than anything we can even begin to grasp which guides so much of the beauty, symmetry and grace which we see in the world.  I don't have a lot of answers, but I know that fact to be as true as anything else I know in this life.

Well, I wasn't necessarily expecting this entry to venture that far into that realm, so let's get to the running-related stuff, stat!

Post-Chicago recovery week #2:
  • Monday - 5.8M on trails, easy
  • Tuesday - XT: elliptical, heavy weights, core, hips and stretching
  • Wednesday - 8M, easy to moderate; played a full-field soccer scrimmage with my son's U-10 team
  • Thursday - 6M, easy to moderate in the Nike Free runs (in lieu of barefoot mileage this week)
  • Friday - XT: elliptical, plyometrics and stretching/foam rolling
  • Saturday - 6.75M, moderate, mostly trails
  • Sunday - 10M, "trial run" for the race to be staged by my running club in 2011; plan was to lock in 8:23 pace in preparation for the Manchester Marathon pacing gig on November 7th, but I strayed from that and averaged about 7:45/mile (which felt good)
Total of 36+ miles for the week, with some "quality" unintentionally thrown in on Sunday's run.  I have neglected the hip exercises a bit, but feel pretty good overall, despite my hip flexors being a tad sore late in the week (likely a result of playing soccer with the boys on Wednesday).  Still, I'm looking forward to topping 50 miles this week, then dialing it down again before Manchester.

Thanks for reading.


1 comment:

Girl In Motion said...

Your renewed sense of faith and happiness gave me chills to read. I've sensed your inner peace while bopping around those online venues we share so it's beautiful to see you spell it out this way. Here's to more of the same and for a long, long time.

And running does love you back, she's just been testing you a bit. Apparently, that's her "thing". :)