I ran four miles this morning. That shouldn't be a big deal, but I suppose it is. It's been a pretty lousy week of some running and some non-running. Getting in good runs during my peak work/travel times is always a challenge, but with this shitty knee, it's even worse. But enough about that.
This morning's run was for the most part not bad. In four miles I had only one knee incident (a knee incident, what I call a pop, is when my leg straightens a little too much, my knee hyperextends and OUCH - feels like bone on bone). Most of the time, if I'm really focused, I can monitor each leg strike and avoid the dreaded pop. That is, however, a lot of focusing on each plant of my left leg.
Anyway....... I had a bit of a revelation this morning. Maybe better named a reality moment. I was running (very optimistic word to describe what I was doing), passed through the first mile at a jog-like 15:19. YIKES, I thought. I have run a 5K faster than that. I have passed through the three mile almost faster than that on my way to 12. I felt embarrassed. Then I thought, what am I embarrassed about? And really, who cares?
It's not like I was fast yesterday and today I am not. Granted, I've evolved from being a 32 minute 10K guy, to trying to break 40, to trying to break 60. But, it's not like that happened overnight, right? Now getting slower, like aging, is a gradual process. But in a way, it's kind of like a haircut where even though you know that your hair is growing consistently, you wake up one morning and BAM..... you need a haircut. AND..... stay with me here..... then you get a haircut and your hair grows again, and BAM.... you need a haircut.
I've had the wake up call that I have been getting slower numerous times. It has, in fact, been documented within this blogging venue. What happened this morning was two awakenings:
1) My brain is out of touch with my physical reality. My brain still thinks I am a runner. I am motivated, optimistic, ready to hammer that long run. My body, however, does not deliver. Despite watching the World Cross Country Championships this morning and being mentally ready to nail the run, my body says, "not so fast (pun intended)."
2) It's time for a metaphorical haircut. This time, though, I am getting the buzz cut. This time we're taking it all off and starting from scratch. I've been setting myself up for disappointment with this motivated mentality (and don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with motivation). So now, the mindset is simple: I am starting from the basics of someone who just began running, someone freshly recovering from surgery.
One step at a time. That's the way of the body. It's a long term project with few setbacks if long term is the mindset. And embarrassment? That's strictly mental and.... Please, when was the last time I actually judged myself by what someone else thinks? Hardly EVER. So we simply bring that mindset, along with my overly inflated carcass and run judgment free (hopefully escaping the harshest judgment - my own). I like it.
Run, as Eliud would say, with the run.