Some Miles on the Bike

This week I ran zero miles. I can’t remember the last time I ran zero miles in a week. I’ve never been this burnt out, where every run is just horrible. I’ve talked to other runners about burn out. Every run for the past few weeks has just felt labored. Like I took six months off, and I’m just trying to “get back into running.” Not a fun feeling.

In the last few weeks I set up a bike trainer and a Zwift account. I don’t have to think about the weather, the wind, nothing. And it feels good. Like, even hard efforts. They feel good.

I rode 104 miles this week. Six and a half hours.

I don’t think I rode that much back in my Bike Nerd days.

That’s more hours than I usually run each week.

Also started doing some dance workouts, too. They’re silly, sure, but they’re fun and quick, and feel good.

I’m pretty sure the running will come back. In the meantime I sure am glad I got this bike set up.

Go With the Flow

It was about here, on this long straight that heads down to another road, when I saw it. There’s a church off in the distance. I know about the church. I passed it several times on my bike. But I never ran to it.

“Run to the church,” a little voice said in my head.

Trying my best lately to listen to that little voice in my head.

No voice from god came down, no revelation. I didn’t come across an old grave stone with a long lost family member name on it. No vultures swung by, or eagles. It was just still and quiet.

But then I think… maybe this “detour” kept me from a distracted driver, or a loose dog. Maybe it all worked out for some magical reason that I’ll never know of. I certainly haven’t found any other meaning in it thus far.

I Ran 1,100 Miles in 2020

How do you walk to Cleveland? One step at a time.

This 1,100 miles happened one day at a time, one mile at a time. Most runs were short, probably around 3-ish miles. My yearly pace was something like 10:45/mile. For me it’s just been about staying healthy, to run within my means, and not push myself too hard, too often.

My longest run was 18 miles back in February, and I hit four years running in July. Bought a GoPro, and switched back to a Garmin from an Apple Watch.

At one point I saw a fox run across the road. At mile eight a random dog started running with me, and stayed with me for a bit until his owners drove up with their mini van and he jumped in and bailed on me.”

A year ago today I was in Philadelphia and ran myself into the ground. Ran four races, three virtual (the Golden Coast 5K, the Philly 10K, and the Truthsgiving 4 Miler), one in-person (new 10 mile PR).

The Golden Coast 5K and the Truthsgiving 4 Miler raised money for good causes, the Philly 10K got me a nice poster, and the 10 miler got me out of the house.

Bought a bike in 2020, which helped me keep up some fitness without being on my feet, but as the weather got cold I stopped riding as much. Biking in the cold is harder than running in the cold, so my bike has just been sort of sitting around.

I did a 100 mile week total to help raise money for the Running 4 Rivs fundraiser. That was a combo of biking and running, which I continued for a few weeks after just for the heck of it.

Back in April I tried running four miles (the fourth month of the year) every day, but managed only 21 days before some foot pain forced me to stop. Started a one-mile-a-day run stream on November 23rd, and as of December 31st hit 39 days in a row.

So yeah, I guess that’s how I hit 1,110 miles. Add some variety, some challenges, some spontaneous adventures, and take it slow. Staying healthy means you get to keep running, so I’m planning on more slow-time adventures in the near year.

First Big Snowy Day of Fall

Crawling back into bed would have been more cozy. I had some tea, which was nice bit of warmth in the morning, but for some reason I threw on my jacket and shoveled our walk paths. It was nice to stop, take a breather, and enjoy a scene like you see above.

Later in the day I got in my daily run. This was day #25, at least a mile a day since November 23rd. The roads were trashed still, so todays run wasn’t a breeze, but if running has taught me anything it’s that crummy conditions don’t last forever. In a few days this crummy run won’t even register, but getting it done was still a piece of the foundation to where I wanna go in 2021.

The Soft Run on Substack

I wrote about “Soft Running” a few days ago, and the idea has kept with me. Enough so to start a Substack newsletter for the idea, the concept. The idea behind the Soft Run Substack newsletter (sign up here) is to have it’s own home, a space, to explore the idea a bit more.

It’s been a weird time for running in 2020, especially if you’re just getting started. There’s no run groups, no local 5K races to join with your friends. So how do we get started, and keep going? That’s what I’m going to be writing about.

Time in Nature

Some days hurt, some days you float. This was a nice six miles around the Trexlertown Nature Preserve, on a new route I’ve never done before. Started off chilly and breezy, and saw a woman modeling with antlers in the woods, so all in all a great run.

The thing about trail running is it’s time in the woods, which I cherish. Lately I’ve been taking it slow and easy, which just means more time in the woods, so it’s a win win all around. I keep reminding myself that I’m not racing, I’m just out in nature. So when it hurts, slow down. Walk. Take a photo (or two).

Soft Running

Some days I just don’t feel like a hard run. I don’t feel tough, or strong. I just want to be… soft.

I want to stop and take photos. I want to kick up pine needles so I can breathe in that wonderful smell. I want to just, stop, and appreciate the clouds and the sky.

Soft running.

A lot of times I just want to be in nature, but a little faster than walking. A shuffle, a jog, and that’s okay. Every run is not a race, and every run doesn’t have to be training. A run, like a walk, can be just because.

Soft running.

Falling Apart in Hotels

I love this thread on Twitter:

Hotels are amazing. They can be like little landing pads for wherever you are in life, with no judgement. There’s coffee, internet, big beds, and (usually) well lit bathrooms with plenty of towels.

It’s odd – I never thought of checking into a hotel during this time of COVID, but the prospect has me thinking.

“Sometimes to fall apart, sometimes just to reset. Phone off, food, quiet, movies, books. Just myself.”

Twitter

This sounds amazing, actually. A total reset, just to get away.

Went out for a run yesterday. Garbage. Legs felt heavy, chest felt full of mashed potatoes. I don’t know what happened.

Today, thought I’d go for a quick “run to the mailbox” (my way of going out for the mail, but actually going for a run, and just seeing what happens).

Pure magic. Gliding on air, coasting like a bike, I don’t know what happened but it was stellar.

In each case I didn’t know what to expect, but getting out there in the first place is the only way to find out.

Just Keep It Moving, I Guess

I have a race this weekend. A for-real race, with other people. A field of about 70 people, starting in waves according to age or elite status. This week I’m taking it easy, as I’ve been pushing the miles the last few months, and now I’m letting the muscles and bones heal up nice and good. I want to be “undercooked” as my coach once told me. Better to be over-rested than burnt out before a race.

Been thinking a lot about habits, goals, energy, side-projects. I’ve sort of been bummed that I haven’t done a creative side thing in awhile, like music or art. But I’ve absolutely been pulled to running.

It keeps me outside. It breaks up the days. I can experience a cold morning, or get out on a busy trail in the evening and see a bunch of dogs. I can run when it’s hot out, or when it’s raining. I can run in new places, new towns, new trails, with new people.

Like, right now making music isn’t going to do that for me. I still love music, and listening, and discovering music, hell, I WORK IN MUSIC.

But right now, as a hobby, or a way to unwind? It’s just not there for me… right now.

God, that’s so much with all of this.

I don’t feel like making music.. right now.
I don’t feel like making videos… right now.

Maybe someday I will. For right now, I need to do some stretching.