Thursday, March 21, 2013
Excellent Guests. . . . and Why I Run! And Why I Won't. . .
As I came down to the last hour, I made sure everyone knew how hungry I'd be by the end of my almost-25k, and Rob took the hint. When I came into the house to refuel before the last round, he was rendering a slab of happy-pig bacon into lardons and caramelizing onions. The potatoes were parboiled, ready to add to the mix. He rooted around in the fridge for some red peppers, found some arugula that promised to add a little bite. By the time I panted my way into the house after Loop 6, he had Hollandaise sauce ready, and while I headed to the beach for a quick anti-inflammatory wade in the icy saltwater, he was poaching eggs.
My quick shower done, I came downstairs to this plating in action -- a scoop of hash, as above.
The poached eggs added
I'm almost just kidding, of course, about such food being the reason I run, but there is something pretty fabulous about the surge of endorphins mixing with healthy exhaustion, such exhaustion being revived by tucking into great food with no thought of calories except the urgent need to replace those just spent.
A quick update on my running situation: I conceded a few weeks ago -- at first with reluctance and then, gradually, with relief -- that I would not be ready to run the Vancouver Marathon at the beginning of May. The 3 weeks I didn't run because I was ill made a big dent in my training and then coming back from that and running a Half Marathon probably took too many resources that should have been saved for the May race. As well, losing a night's sleep every second weekend to care for my Mom, plus many hours of sleep at home thinking about her, drained more resources. And reminded me that as far as priorities go, in a time the family demands are high and work expectations are also challenging, a Marathon might not be in the running, priority-wise (ha! bad, bad pun, yes!)
What helped me decide this? Recognition that my fatigue might not only be due to worrying about Mom and work, but that running 50 kilometres a week might contribute as well. Also some shin splint-y tenderness that wasn't going away no matter how much I ignored it. Emphasized, finally, by a sharp warning from a yelp by the outer instep of my left foot. I took a week off, did more stretching, iced the sore spots, and thought and thought and then surrendered to reality.
At almost 60, with a plethora of responsibilities to complicate my running schedule, I may need to take a longer approach to running a marathon. In order to complete the weekly distances, I've been abandoning the required cross-training in stretching/strength sessions, dropping down to one Pilates session a week, often missing that. My body is going to need a serious commitment to stretching in order to meet my goal without injury, so I'm going to have to wait until there's time to work in two weekly sessions of yoga and/or Pilates. Meanwhile, I'm stretching whenever I get 5 or 10 minutes, making sure I get to at least one class a week, and I'm trying to maintain my 25Km base. I'm hoping to shoot for 30 kilometres before we go away at the end of May, but I'm not going to attempt that until I've done a few more 25kilometre runs comfortably. (Sunday's was my 4th 25k in a few months, the most enjoyable yet, and considerably better than the pathetic version of that distance a ran 3 weeks ago).
I suspect I could probably make myself complete the Vancouver Marathon at the beginning of May, but to injure myself for the pleasure of crossing a run off my list does not appeal. There will always be another race to run, as a fellow runner reminded me recently.
Meanwhile, there are lots of yummy post-run breakfasts to enjoy. . . .
And lovely house-guests to cook them. Here's to having a professional cook as a son-in-law!
So there you have it. Having announced my goal nervously, tentatively, in this very space a few months ago, I'm letting you know I'm postponing it for at least a few months, perhaps for a year. That's okay, right? And now I'm off for a run . . . in the cold (just hovering around 0, celsius) spring sunshine. . . .