Adrienne is eight weeks in to the 13.FUN challenge and pondering what makes a run good enough, in this edition of Martini Fridays.
Thanks to all y’all for being so encouraging about my current maelstrom. Life has a way of happening all at once, which I suspect each mother runner can totally identify with. Once things calm down on this end -- they always do -- it’ll be my job to pay the support forward, as all humans should do.
So some good news: last Thursday’s 10-miler was pretty darn good. The weather was perfect: cool and slightly overcast. My legs felt, well, still sort of tired, but in a way that I could work with. It was the kind of run that reminded me that I can, indeed, do this, if I can just get out of my own way.
The rest of the day was spent scrambling around arranging the next few days, which would consist of an epic swim meet for the Tween, rides to and from various points in Central New York for various combinations of people, and packing for all of the same. In between, I did my very best to remember that wading through grief makes it hard to be your best self.
And, yes, that an intentionally vague statement, triggered by some very specific events that aren’t germane to my running life, other than the obvious connection, which is that running is a great way to manage perpetually fraught relationships. It can take the edge off of your urge to stand in the backyard and shake your fist at the sky, if only because you are too exhausted to get up.
Also taking the edge off was a quickie 20th anniversary trip my beloved and I managed to work in. We’d initially planned to jaunt up to Montreal because that magical city is only 6 hours from here. Life intervened. Maybe we’ll make it by our 25th, if the Creek don’t rise, etc.
We scaled back to a perfectly lovely overnight in the Finger Lakes, where we ate amazing food at a restaurant without a kid’s menu, slept well past 6 a.m. in a bed beneath a small chandelier, and lingered over breakfast coffee.
I did, however, mention that I should have brought my foam roller with me because my IT band could use a good squishing. Nothing says romance like grimacing and cursing at cylinder of foam, right?
Thanks to my squirrelly schedule, this week’s mandated “fun” workout fell on Sunday. I spent the whole day returning my mom (and her randy dog) to Southern New Jersey, where she met up with her friend who would take her back to the Sunshine State. Because everyone in New Jersey thought Sunday was the best day for a trip to the Shore, the drive down took five hours. Then it was five hours back. My fun workout was clenching a steering wheel on the apocalyptic mosh pit that is the Garden State Parkway. It raised my heart rate, anyway, and my pits were damp.
Monday marked the first time in a few weeks where life feels almost calm, if you ignore that fact that my paper still isn’t written and my desk might be best organized by a small fire. I did wake up wanting to run, however, and it had a good 3.5 mile tromp up one of the big hills and down the other side. Most of the time I thought only about control. Not in the Janet Jackson -- Ms Jackson, if you’re nasty -- sense but in the larger interpersonal sense. There’s not much I can control, really. Even my hair has its own agenda.
Monday’s run wasn’t awesome but it was good enough, which is a phrase I should spend more time thinking about. To be honest, I’ve been wrestling with my runs lately, wondering if I’m doing each run perfectly. Then, of course, beating myself up when I have to turn Tuesday’s six miles with four at race pace into five miles with maybe 3 and a half at race pace because I only have an hour to give to it. Instead of congratulating myself on what I did accomplish, I can only beat myself up for what I didn’t.
Intellectually, I know that a training plan isn’t a Harry Potter-style potion formula, one where you will only get the desired result if you do it exactly as directed. Like most of real life, it’s not that clear cut. If it were, more of us would be Boston Qualifiers.
But emotionally it’s a whole different story. That one missed mile feels like doom. Why should I even bother with more training? I’ve already lost. Woe!
While I know that good enough counts with 98 percent of my being, that last 2 percent can be pretty dang loud. Does the tribe have any tips for turning the volume down?