Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reluctant Runner

I don't run like I used to.  Often when I pop into the Trading Post next door to pick up local produce such as ice cream or marshmallows I'll chat up the person ahead of me in line and he or she will say, "Oh, you're the runner" as if runners are scarce around here.  They are.  That's why I keep running.  Someone has to.

After we moved from the cabin to the farm, a distance of 4 miles, my regular running routes changed.  Not long ago, as I ran past Johnson's trailer park, a fellow came rushing across the lawn to greet me.   "We've been worried about you," said he, "haven't seen you in ages.  Are you okay?"

See, I have a responsibility to my run-watchers.  If I stop running, their lives will change traumatically.

I know some of you think I'm talking trash when I say I don't run like I used to.  Believe me, my addiction is over.  For many years my weekly regimen included four important elements -- a track or hill workout ("speedwork"), a tempo run (to train my muscles for the pace I intended to run my next race), a long run (10-20+ miles) and 4 days of relaxed running.  Now and then I -- gulp -- took a day off.

One of my first running buddies insisted that 40 miles per week was the human maximum.  If he ran more, he couldn't sleep.  I believed him for a year or two, then discovered it was hogwash.  A day off and my prone running kept Karen awake.

I'm down to 30 miles per week, sometimes more but not often.  Once or twice a year I enter a race, untrained.  It's been more than 5 years since I ran a marathon.  Scratch.  What's that?  Scratch, Scratch.  April 24 is the inaugural Blue Ridge Parkway Marathon in Roanoke.  Scratch, Scratch, Scratch.  Oh, I get it.  The Itch.  Nice try.  Manley said for the $90 registration fee he'd run 26 miles with me right here in Arnold's Valley.

"Do it," says Virginia.  "You don't have anything scheduled for April."

But I do, I do.  Twenty turkeys are scheduled to join us so they'll be ripe by Thanksgiving...and I may have to start training for a track meet in June.

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