Much like running itself, I am hot and cold on blogging. Sometimes I appreciate it as the wonderful creative outlet that it is, one that I don’t really have anymore in my professional life (I used to write headlines; now I write emails). Other times it’s just a huge pain in the butt, requiring more time and maintenance than I’m willing to give. I’m sure my fellow occasional bloggers would agree that the activity also comes with its fair share of nagging self-doubt. (Where did everybody go?) The blogosphere is a mercurial place to inhabit.
I mention this for two reasons. One is by way of explaining my recent on-again, off-again approach to S&J, which has been driven by my lingering IT injury, work and life busyness, and the reasons I mentioned above. The other is that I was doing a sweep of all the blogs I have followed over the past 12 months and was astounded by how many have just fallen by the wayside. They were good bloggers writing about interesting things who obviously just decided they didn’t have the time for it, or that directing valuable effort to something that, for the most of us, winds up in an internet vacuum is rather a waste. Motivation to write, or run, for that matter, is a tough thing to maintain.
For those of you fabulous folks who have been following me during the year, I haven’t given up. In fact, my run last weekend, No. 46 in the 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge, was my best 5K yet. I have no idea how, and have decided it’s probably better not to think about it too much. The words “course not measured properly” keep entering my mind.
The run was the 5K4Life, to benefit Prize4Life, a nonprofit aiming to spur innovation in the search for a cure for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. There were a number of participants in the event who have ALS, and it was truly stirring to see them out there. It’s a horrendous disease with no cure, and I was thrilled to be doing my small part to support the cause.
Of course, when I was waiting around to line up at the start (sans Hubby, who was Guarding), I wasn’t really thinking about the worthy cause (shame on me). All that was really going through my head was: “Dang it’s cold!”
We seemed to have skipped fall here in New England. I may have been sartorially prepared for the coldness of this event (although I thought perhaps it was premature to bust out the CW-X tights), but I wasn’t mentally prepared. I think our long hot summer has made me an even worse weather wuss than I used to be. Part of me is glad this challenge is almost over, because the thought of running every weekend again through January and February gives me the chills.
Once I got underway on this 5K, however, and got over the blue-lipped start, I realized that I was being pretty silly, and this was probably the most ideal running weather you could get. The wind was biting, but the sky was bright blue and the sun was quite lovely. I must take advantage of it, I thought.
I was slightly freaked out about my IT band seeing as I hadn’t taken it for a spin since the Color Run, which doesn’t count. It had been worked on, though, and I figured the worse that could happen was that I would end up walking and post another 38-minute 5K.
I got through the first mile and was then thwarted by a couple of hills. I walked them both and my PR fantasies went out the window (for those keeping score, I needed 30.02). Just before mile two I started to feel the tell-tale twinge in my hip. Crap. I can’t quite explain what happened next, but all I know is that I started to go faster. I guess my subconscious was trying to avoid pain by making the run be over sooner. Or something like that.
I guess I ran an elusive (for me) negative split because when I turned the corner to finish, I could see the clock up ahead and there was a 29 on it! What the …? I sprinted like a crazy person and saw it change to 30 about a second before I crossed the line.
I didn’t want to get too excited, but I figured I must have gone under 30 because I always start a little farther back in the pack. The lovely people at Millennium Running were doing the timing and they had one of those trucks that instantly give you your results.
It’s been a long time coming. My only sadness was that I had no one there to share my triumph with. But that’s OK. I was very happy. I just hope I might be able to do it again some day. And I hope the course was the right length …
Nothing like achieving a goal to get you re-motivated, wouldn’t you say?
The event: 5K4Life
The location: Kendall Square, Boston
The date: November 4, 2012
My time: 29.41
The cause: ALS research
The T-shirt: White long-sleeved cotton
The aftermath: Chowder, quesadillas, pasta