Sunday was my day to sleep in and I took full advantage of it. Over the course of the last two weeks of morning shifts, I had been steadily losing sleep. Combine that with the increase in running/endurance exercise and decrease in calories and my body really needed rest.
Instead of the standard 6:15am alarm and multiple hits of the snooze button (my daily routine), I stayed dead to the world until about 10:30am. It is a rare treat to wake up to sunlight hitting my face, with the option of rolling over and continuing my slumber. Ahhh.
When I finally decided to get out of bed and investigate some coffee, I discovered that my wife had gone out for the day and I had the whole house to myself – to the sofa! I put my feet up, sipped my coffee, and started checking out what I had had missed on the social medias. I have a lot of fit ass friends and for most fit people, Sunday is race day. So after the first few cute kitten photos, I was bombarded with guilt inducing stories about marathon running and muddy cyclocross victories.
I was particular stoked for two of my running friends who laced up at the crack of dawn and absolutely crushed their previous running PRs. One travelled two provinces away to beat her previous 10k PR by two minutes. The other lives across the Atlantic and beat her half marathon PR by a full 12 minutes. INSANE!! I sent both of them my congrats and then started scheming how I would better myself with all the free time I had today.
I had wild plans of an ultra long bike ride, but it was looking less and less likely by the minute – that’s because I had excuses!. I have been afraid of the bike lately. My riding partner, Jay, has been tied up with work. I have developed an irrational fear of getting stranded far from home. I’d be struggling to get home before dark and I didn’t have my lights charged. My cycling clothes were kind of stinky. Etc. Pathetic!
I shifted my focus on doing a run instead. My friend Jim gave me some advice about running a long time ago. It was advice that I didn’t really understand until recently. He said that if you are pinched for time, a short run is way more rewarding than a short bike ride. On a short bike ride, you spend the same amount of time getting yourself ready, getting the bike ready – and in the end it feels like you are cutting a long ride short. Even a longer run doesn’t take that long and it makes you work hard (especially when you weigh over 300lbs)
Go, No Go
After deciding to run, it didn’t take long to get ready. My running clothes were clean (they smelled waaaay better than my cycling gear, wow). I was able to find headphones. My phone was charged (very important for listening to music and tracking my distance). Everything was coming up Milhouse!
Then for some reason, I sat on the couch and my momentum completely died. As I was pulling on my sneakers and getting ready to run, I started thinking about the magnificent PRs that were set earlier in the day. I thought about the distance that those two ladies covered and all the training they had done, all damn year, to better their times. I started to tell myself that I would run a big distance and push myself hard today… Then I got intimidated and sat down.
Better Late Than Never
It was an hour before sunset when I finally agreed to leave the house. I told myself I would leave, lock the door, and at very least, put my feet on the ground. Once I was firmly planted, the plan became running one measly kilometer. I would run past my friend Shawn’s house and turn around, that way I might be seen running – and if they saw me, nobody would know I was only running 1km. From Shawn’s place, I opted to run to the bridge..mainly because it was downhill and because running back from the base of the bridge would be 3kms, respectable! I then crossed the bridge, it sucked.
Halfaway across the bridge, my shins were burning badly, I wanted to quit. I stopped to google what my problem was (advice on the internet sure is a mixed bag of crazy). I deduced that my problem was from keeping my feet too tense, I was pulling my toes upwards with every footstep. I tightened my laces, adjusted my approach and moved on. When I was across the bridge my wife starting texting and asking where I was, she was home now and lonely – she wanted to know why the house smelled funny. I sent her a quick apology and pushed on. The whole run was punctuated with little nagging problems and each time I made a slight correction and kept running.
In the end, I did a full 15 kilometers! I returned to the house soaking wet from the rain, my left headphone didn’t work, my run tracker may have left out an extra kilometer along the Halifax dockyards, my wife was kinda pissed, my shins were on fire, I needed to call the office and we had to run to the grocery store before they closed in 14 minutes. Oh well.. 15kms! Totally unexpected and totally worth it!