Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Just Keep Attacking Life's Hills ... Real And Imagined

Day 59 -- Oct. 9, 2012

Today I'm 192 pounds of rolling thunder.

Yesterday was a great day out on the road. I made my normal long loop of 6.5 miles of hills and semi-hills with only stops for stop lights. There was no walking, just running, or what sufficed as running. It was at least one grade above a walk.

The day was brilliant with a bright sun and blue skies overhead. There was a hint of autumn's chill in the air, but with a jacket and some ear covers the conditions were just right for a run around the neighborhood.

I can tell my attitude has changed about how I approach my runs. It's very similar to the transformation I felt on the bike a few years ago. I've always liked going out for my runs. They provide relief from the stress of the day and give your body that familiar ache of an athlete.

Hills are now something to be dealt with instead of walk stops along the path. My lungs no longer give out and I can feel my hips yelling at me to stop but I'm able to overcome their pleas for help.

It's good to see progress. I'm not sure what the magic trick has been. For about two years I've slogged through my routine of run/walk/run, but in the past three or so weeks that all has changed. I still don't have great speed and probably never will. But I'm making the loops without stops or at least minimal stops.

In my mind, I've already stretched my long run out to more than an hour and a half. Now I just need to give myself permission to push on to a two-mile run.

At this point, guilt is my biggest adversary. As a job-seeker and contract writer/editor, time spent away from the computer can be guilt time. For nearly two decades I've built at least an hour a day of physical activity into my regimen. But being self-employed puts things in a new light. Or an old light when you think of it in terms of "if you don't work, you don't eat."

So I enjoy my runs as much as I can. My hour window is spent generally guilt free and I can use my world-class rationalization skills to solve many work-related issues as I pound the pavement. I know somewhere along the miles I've grown accustomed to calling myself a work-from-home dad, and I do enjoy the benefits.

I also know that I've got to continue my quest for a full-time gig to help pay the bills. In the meantime, however, I'm going to keep attacking the hills on the road as well as in life and hopefully all will come out well in the end -- or maybe a dog will bite me and I'll end up with a giant settlement. 

Anyway, be sure to enjoy the day we've been given. And if you see the world's slowest human out running, give me a wave.

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