21 July 2020

Why are you running again - and so much?

"What we do for love."

"Keeping sane in a pandemic."

"Weight control."

"You know, I feel good when I run, and so far I have not had a running injury."

In the spring, 2019, my son Pat took up running -- casually, really, or so he thought -- and after a bit got it into his head that he wanted in on the "family business" of running the Big Sur Marathon. (Plenty of posts on this earlier in this space!) Pat would be the fourth in our family to enjoy this spectacular course, and I was all too happy to lace up my running shoes again to train and run with him.

So in December 2019 our Hal Higdon training began (18 weeks), with Pat running in Chicago, me in the 'burbs, and us about monthly together for our long Saturday run. Having trained for and run the Big Sur in 2010 and 2011, I knew what I was in for with winter training. Pat seemed well equipped for it, though he had to deal with some physical complications that I've not been troubled with.

The Covid-19 pandemic of course intervened, and the April 26 marathon was postponed to November. Pat took the opportunity (wisely) to recalibrate his running and take the longer view to preparing. I (unwisely, perhaps) did not want to "waste that training" (we were 2 long runs away from our tapering period). So I purposed to run the distance on the date, and managed to turn it into a fund-raising activity.

Then the Big Sur postponement date was cancelled. Now we were back to an April date (God willing and the US getting its pandemic act together) and another winter of training. Oh well! All good for Pat and his running issues. But I did not wish to give up my running fitness just to start from scratch again. So . . . I am now running three days per week, in a sequence of 12, 14, and 16 miles per week. 3 + 6 + 3, then 4 + 7 + 3, then 4 + 8 + 4; rinse and repeat. My first run (Tuesdays) include interval springs; the long day (Thursday) is meant to be at marathon pace; and Sundays, coming as they do after a typically long group bike ride on Saturday, is slow and easy.

Because, although running does help keep my weight down, and it does relieve some pandemic stress, and I am doing it for love of a child . . . Cycling is still my sport!

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