Monday, 30 August 2010


I decided a couple of weeks ago to ease off on myself a bit, running-wise. Even though I have not run a lot this year, I've felt as though I should have. Since backing away from that, I've been lighter.

Since my first marathon in 2003, until earlier this year, I lived for each of the 30 marathons I've finished...and even, for a part of that time, for Budapest, the one that I didn't.

Training, running, and traveling, was pretty much what I thought about when I didn't have something that HAD to be thought about.

Since losing my job in March, I've had THAT to deal with. I have been blessed with lots of part time work in radio, freelance writing opportunities, the occasional bike tune-up, and, most recently, the chance to get in with a new service that runs errands for people. Essentially, I have four jobs right now, but am still under-employed. I can not imagine having a marathon to train for right now. I'm also glad to not have to keep my flame alive for other runners who, for some reason, looked to me for inspiration or motivation. I'm not up to any of those things right now. I made a good choice to cool my heels.

Having said that, I am feeling the urge to run again, for fun. Last week I pulled out my Vibram Five Fingers and did three miles in them. It was the first time I'd been in them since January, when I tried to go too far and fractured a little bone in the top of my right foot. That sidelined me for a couple of months. Last week's "barefoot" run felt great. I had to again get used to the people who stare at them, while trying not to stare. People are...often...funny.

I have not picked my first half marathon to train for. I will. But, as I mentioned last posting, I have picked my own 60th birthday present to myself in 2012; my trip to the UK for my second go at the 900+ mile End to End bicycle ride. The latest edition of the trip planner came a couple of days ago and I have been engrossed within.

I am beginning to feel the giddy excitement I experienced while planning my first attempt, in 2003.

I am already anticipating English breakfasts, with bangers, bacon, mushrooms and baked beans, and slice-after-slice of English toast and butter...bacon butty sarnies on the road, Crunchie candy bars for a quick sugar jolt, Marmite crisps for salt replenishment, REAL fish and chips, REAL Indian fare, and a damn fine British rainstorm...watched from around a cozy, coal-fueled fire.

I will need to meet up with my uncle and my cousin, in Oxfordshire and Kent, for snooker games, Sunday dinners and too much red wine, and stories about our mothers, all passed.

There is only so much I can cope with these days.

For now, this is it.


Runners Fuel said...

Have fun!!

Rachel said...

Sometimes I wonder if in training for all these races, I've forgotten what it feels like to run for fun, for the pure joy of the sport. I'm glad to see you still remember!

racing dawn said...

Way to stay focused. Can't always be in race mode, right? Nice to hear running is still fun, and not all hard work. :) BTW - I honored you with a nice girlie award over on my blog... check it out!

Karoline Steckley said...

Can I just come for the food? YUM! That in itself is something grand to look forward to!! Mmmmmm!

racing dawn said...

Michael! I'm so sorry I got your name wrong on my blog! Big ooops! Thanks for being understanding... :) I've been wanting to ask you in all your races what is your favorite marathon? I still have wiggle room in my schedule and would love some input. Also any tips for staying healthy in between races that are so close! I bow to your expertise and wisdom on the 12 in 12! :)

Cristiano said...

Mike, you were an inspiration for many runners and I bet you know why; now you're an inspiration for some runners (even if injured like me): we must never forget that running is a fun (and not a job). The big question is "why we run?": if you can (like you did and you are doing) answer without lying to yourself and looking deep into your soul, you're a great person. And if you're a great person, you're and inspiration for me.
Good luck.