RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 11
For the last several weeks, I have been doing a modest amount of running, but not feeling prepared to write about. I’m still tired much of the time, and I’m stiff the days following the gym workouts, interval training and the tempo runs. I’ve cut back to these two running days and one gym workout per week. I do some walking and easy running on the other four days, but most of them are rest days.
But I really feel good when I am running, and for several hours after the workouts. Some of this “feel good” phenomenon is the endorphins my body produces, but I think the majority is just the relaxed movement. I think in former times, every stride was tense, and probably I had muscle groups working against each other. Now I try to relax my stomach, keep my elbows tucked in slightly, shorten my stride, and land mid-sole. I feel more fluid, and I really enjoy this kind of movement. Perhaps I’m just fooling myself, but I haven’t sustained any injuries since I resumed training six months ago. This is the longest I’ve ever gone after a layoff without injury.
I know I am not in as good shape as I usually am in late fall because I did race a 5k last month at Stanford University, and my time was 10 percent slower than last year. But the really interesting thing is I maintained my relaxed form for the first two miles. I started to struggle, and lost form in the third mile, feeling quite tired, but after a couple of minutes, I was able to restore much of my relaxed state. I still hurt, but when I rounded the final turn and saw the finish line about 300 meters away, I started pumping my arms and was able to sprint in, feeling relaxed and ecstatic!
When I was in Australia earlier this month, visiting my mother, sister, and brother-in-law, I mentioned I have been tired. My sister is an acupuncturist, and she admonished me for pushing too hard, too long. She maintains we all have only a finite amount of innate energy, and we shouldn’t dip into the reserve too often. I have taken this to heart and am really paying attention to not overdoing speed or distance. Perhaps it is my imagination, but I don’t think I am quite as tired as I was a month ago. Or perhaps it’s just less jet lag….
This past week we flew to Connecticut to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. I brought my running gear, but couldn’t find the time or energy to run. Maybe the gremlin really is jet lag! I did a 45 minute gym workout before we left and a 2 ½ mile easy run when I returned home two days ago, so at least I got two workouts in this week. For the coming week I am planning a gym workout, a speed interval session, a tempo run, and a long, easy run, with a day’s rest between each. This may be a bit of an energy challenge, but let’s see how it goes…
I’ve also signed up for a ten-week writing course, “Finishing Touches: Advanced Fiction Writing,” in Stanford’s Continuing Education Program, starting in January. I’ve written a thriller and five children’s fantasies. The free podcast versions have had some success with the public, but the print versions have not sold. Perhaps a new genre door will open for me during the course.
I consider my best book is Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces Of Freedom. Please go to http://traffic.libsyn.com/allanchapman/EPISODE_1_MP3_COMPLETE_MR._WUGIDGEM_AND_THE_FACES_OF_FREEDOM.output.mp3 to listen to the first episode via free podcast. If you like what you hear and would like the book, please click on http://www.createspace.com/4138227. If you would like to explore my other books, please go to http://allanwchapman.com, and then click on either the podcasts or the books tab at the top of the home page.
I hope your running and/or writing are going better than mine, and I hope all of us stick with it, regardless of public success. I believe the real value and satisfaction is in taking part.