Running Pet Peeve #22: Not Running

Saturday morning’s weather was crummy. It was everything people loathe about the Pacific Northwest: cool temps, an overcast sky, and a slight hint of rain in the air. They were the type of conditions I hate to be out in and very disappointing for the start of Memorial Day Weekend. Yet, on this particular morning, none of that mattered.

I was just happy to be out and running again.

This May didn’t shake out the way I’d hoped. The plan had been to crush my half marathon on the 7th, take a modest break, then get back to a training schedule that included a hefty amount of mileage. This would allow me to go into the summer on a roll, which would allow me to run another half relatively quickly (something I’m seriously considering) while also shedding some pounds, a necessity  since the amount of time I’m going to spend publicly shirtless is about to increase significantly.

But as they say, the best laid plans sometimes end up in the toilet. I think they say that. Maybe they don’t. In any event, that’s where my May plans ended up… in the toilet.

After running an atrociously awful half I found myself taking a longer than expected break due to a physical malady that’s required some rest on my part. The illness in question (the details of which I will not bore you with here) is not running related. I didn’t pull anything or blow anything out. My legs are fine or as fine as they can reasonably be expected to be after forty-two years of life and three weeks of inactivity.

Your beloved author in May. (Dramatization)

In the past, I’ve looked forward to aptly timed breaks and have thought of not running as an important and essential part of training. But those breaks have always been short in duration, a simple hiccup meant to rest my legs and recharge my batteries. This was something different. This was a prolonged period of inactivity that made me long to log miles.

But I endured and, fortunately, all that unwanted rest has paid off. I’m feeling much better and was able to run a couple of times over the holiday weekend. In a few weeks, I’ll work my way back up to some decent mileage and can start participating in some summer races.

Crises seemingly averted.

The scary part of this experience was the realization that regular physical activity has taken on a more important role than at any previous point in my life. While I’ve often referred to myself as a ‘reluctant runner’ the truth is I’ve become fairly dependent on running to keep up my energy level and relieve stress. Without it I was crankier, more lethargic and a tad bit doughier.

What the hell has happened to me? Where’s the younger man who loved to sleep in, eat fast food, and thought four miles was a really long run? That guy would have no problem sitting on his ass for 3 weeks.

Run road
When you haven’t been running, every road looks this beautiful.

As I get older I’m going to be more susceptible to soreness and injury. Resting is going to be a big part of dealing with this unfortunate reality and if the month of May has taught me anything, it’s that I’m going to struggle with it.

But that’s a problem for another day. June is now upon us and my Brooks and I are back at it, logging miles, tearing up the road, and hopefully avoiding any and all ailments that would lead to me not running.

Because apparently inertia is just not for me.

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