Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Don't Need A Stinking Odometer

Day 23 -- Aug. 30, 2012

Today I'm 193 pounds of rolling thunder.

Sometimes a run is a run is a run. It's like when bikers go out and pile on miles just to say they've gone out for the day. Enjoyable? No. Necessary? Maybe. But at the end of the summer their little plastic odometers read 3,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 miles.

Maybe that's just one of those goals I was talking about yesterday. Maybe that's the kind of low-key motivator we all need floating in the back of our head to remind us that we need to get out and put in the miles.

I'd like to think my running was more of a matter of routine than goal setting. I've never really logged the miles. It didn't seem all that important. The time on the road and the process of being able to think through challenges and problems through the flap, flap, flap of running shoes on pavement seemed to be more important than keeping score.

Besides, there wasn't a day gone by that I didn't see someone out on the road that I didn't feel those pangs of guilt about not being out there grinding through the miles.

But the one thing about running, unlike biking I can roll through an hour out on the road and feel the same amount of conditioning that it would have taken me three or four hours to achieve on a bike. Now biking is still great, but when you're limited on time, a good 45-minute run can be a lot easier to work in than a three-hour bike ride.

But yesterday, a run was just a run. It was supposed to be a long day but hot weather and heavy legs cut that short. I slogged up the hills on my usual long route, but my legs and lungs just didn't want to answer the call. And the heat was back up in the mid-90s, so I cut myself a break; got my 5 miles in and allowed myself the luxury of being done for the day and not worry about grinding through more miles.

I keep a running log where I write a few things down like weight and workout, but I never stress about it unless the weight number starts climbing. I've gone down the road of logging my food intake, but about all that does is restrict my eating so I don't have to write so much. Which I guess is good because you lose weight, but it's also easy to abandon.

I don't, however, have a little plastic odometer to record my running distance. It's just what I do. It's part of my routine.

So if you see the world's slowest human out in the sweltering heat today, give me a wave.

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