Tuesday, 29 November 2011


It's been about a month now since I committed to next March's inaugural Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon. The day I signed up I was totally pumped to pour myself into the training, as I only had four months, minus taper-time, to work my way back into the shape I was in, mentally and physically, in December 2009, when I wrapped up 12 in 12 in Santa Barbara.

I started out with a few 5-milers, some in my Brooks Beasts, some in my Vibram Five Fingers. I was quickly reminded how much more I like to run in the barefoot shoes. I'm faster in the them, and they're much less work. Trouble is, I have begun to believe that, for me, they're not suitable for 26.2 miles...so most of my work will be in the BB's.

I was ready to move up to 6's...when a co-worker got put on a jury, and I was called upon to do many of his 3am shifts. Long story shortened...that killed any spark I had...for more than a month. Not complaining...because the money's good. But all I could think to do when not working was to sleep.

On top of that distraction, I became engrossed in the Occupy movement, and on a couple of the days I had off, I chose to ride with the demonstrators, in Oakland and San Francisco, instead of running. I, regretfully, failed to take part in the anti-war and civil rights marches of the 1960s. I was not about to let this opportunity to be part of something so important slip by again.

Now it appears my early morning work shifts are mostly over, leaving me a frame of mind more conducive to putting in the miles. I still may have to march with the 99%...just because. But, I should start racking up some good distances now.

For those who wonder what it's like to be back on the running trails after so long off...in a word...it's hard.

I have long believed that marathon running is mostly mental. Recent runs have reminded me, however, that I acquired that viewpoint after getting myself into good enough physical shape to do the distance, and then maintaining the pace with mind games. I am currently back in the starting blocks, with oh-so-much work to do before my body gladly goes along with what my mind is asking of it now. I am thankful I don't have to re-learn the mental part.

Today I did a 7-miler, along the Berkeley shoreline, where my marathon training began just about 10 years ago. It was covered in delicious London-like fog, and equally chilly. At one point my beard and mustache had taken enough of the precipitation out of the surrounding air that it dripped from my face. I haven't felt that in a long time. It was good.

Right now it's all about distance. I'm not concerned with speed. Once I get to 10 milers, in a couple of weeks, I'll start on hills and speed.

Gotta run.


TokyoRacer said...

Great, glad to hear that you're running again.

Rachel said...

hang in there, Michael, you'll be back in the swing of things soon enough!