Today was my first really good run back running after about two weeks. This is not good thing seeing as on May 29th I’m running 20 or so miles total of down into the Grand Canyon and back out the other side. I’m damn scared at this point of all sorts of things, mainly A) I won’t be in good enough shape to do the run and B) I’ll do it anyway and seriously injure myself. These were the problems that got me off my feet in the first place so I really need to be aware of these fears and do what I can do let go.
What happened was I ran a good 7 or so miles a few weeks ago. That was the first 7 miles I had done on cement in a long time. My body doesn’t like cement and my mind doesn’t like it when I track my miles. I had my phone with me and I was watching the miles and speed. It was a great pace for me. I think it was somewhere around a 8.6 minute miles, or so said the stupid distance tracker. I got all cocky and didn’t listen to my body which was saying, “Hey, that was fantastic. We should relax and then do that again!” I listened to my mind that was focusing on the possibility of not being good enough and fast enough which said, “FARTHER! FASTER!” So a few days later I pushed it and did 11 miles at about 9 minute miles and started cramping up at about mile 9ish. I ran through it. My brain that was clinging on the fear of not enough pushed me to run 10 with the cramp in my leg and boom! The cramp became a nasty pull and I had to stop altogether for a few weeks to heal. This is what happens when I listen when my mind obsesses and clings to things that are not actually in present time.
I was worried so I called George and talked about my fears about our run and he, who just finished the LA Marathon, and I decided we’d train as best we can and go to the Grand Canyon, and just do our best. Do what we can with what we have. The #1 thing to focus on…having a beautiful experience doing something that few people have. We have lived these amazing lives that have gotten us to a point where we can do this and I like the idea or experiencing it all at a comfy slow pace to take in the majesty of that amazing place as opposed to running as hard and fast as we can. We’re going to bring cameras, food, and fun.
The most important thing about this experience thus far is me realizing that I need to ditch the timer and pedometer at this point and just go play in the dirt or play in the street. Focus on form and breathing, and quit those damn evil ciggs, instead of count, and worry. Play in the dirt, say hi to everyone I pass, and just have fun. This is really all I can do. As I was writing in the first post I wrote about this awesome adventure, I’m just a normal dude who works, goes to school, stays healthy, and plays on bicycles. I’m not trained super runner. I don’t go to the gym. I can’t afford to make this a masochistic bludgeoning of my body, I don’t have the time or money to heal from that. I need to handle this with grace and dignity, letting go of the clinging to the ideas that I am not ready. That’s because I am ready. I was born ready for this.