Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Just Running

The buffalo used to have a Singaporean runner among us. Wee-Haur (aka "Thunder Thighs") was a fine runner and one of the first in the herd to run a 100-mile trail race. Even though he ran some great ultras, he always said "It's just running" when people would ask about training methods, racing tactics, or balance of life issues. Wee-Haur knew where running fit into his life. He didn't let running successes inflate his ego. Running helped him connect with new friends and colleagues. It helped him stay fit, relieve stress, and be more productive. In general, it helped him be a better person...but it wasn't his life. I hope to be the new "Wee-Haur" of the herd!

I'm sure I'll be tested many times about what priority running and racing takes in my life. I already passed test #1. On the last day of the Buffalo Trace 7-Day Stage Race I almost went out in the evening to walk 2 miles so I could pass Donna and be in second place (she had 152 miles and I had 151). Then a subtle calm came over me as I asked myself "Why?" Donna ran well all week and deserved to be 2nd place overall. Me getting an extra 2 miles would not change the fact that she actually ran better than me all week. So before the urge struck me again, I grabbed some grub and sat in front of the TV...and I was out for the night. I finished the week with 151 miles. I passed test #1.

Test #2 will come on June 27 as I fret over the Clear Pond 5-Hour Run for the animals that Kennekuk Road Runners put on each year to raise funds for the local Humane Societies. It's also the date of the local garden walk. I'm doing the garden walk with my wife. Clear Pond is a great event for a fantastic cause. Going on a garden walk with my dear wife is just a little nicer. There are tons of races each year, only a couple garden walks.

Test #3 is the Devils' Lake 50K (part of the Dances with Dirt series) on July 11. That same day is the Fisher 5K. I plan on running the closer and shorter event. I still get in a nice little race, but I'm back home (and recovered) within a couple hours. Sounds like a good "balance of life" decision between running and family.

Test #4 has been a continual struggle to resist. Soccer. I have a couple of opportunities to join local adult soccer leagues. I may just dip my toe in this summer. I've been hesitant to play any soccer fearing that I might get injured and not be able to run. Hmmm...running has prevented me from doing something I love. That doesn't sound right. I better sign up for soccer this summer. The real test will be keeping soccer in perspective. It could become another obsession. Probably not healthy to trade one compulsion for another. Need to keep everything in perspective. "Nothing to excess" as the ancient Greeks used to say.

Remember, it's just running. Now futbol, that's life! Whoops...better start another blog related to my soccer travails.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

from brother Mark,

#1 you are well on your road to recovery, since you know you have (had?) a problem, and are aware of it.

#2 yes, those "walks with wives" should always take priority. You've done enough runs, there are always more, and never know about another Garden Walk.

#3 "Moderation in all things, including moderation." Allows an occasional binge.

#4 I will be right there with you watching futbol. Watched the US men lose 3-1 yesterday.

#5 I had a pretty good run yesterday, without even knowing it was National Running Day. Must have been that karma that made me feel so good about the run.

#6 My next big test is Jun 27, the Rock 'n Roll 1/2 marathon. Sean will not be able to run with me (damn tendonitis!). Think of me that day.

Chris said...

Mark,

Chelsea play the Seattle Sounders on July 18.

Good luck at the half marathon. If it goes well, I'm ready to pace you for a full marathon in October.