My Forrest Gump Moment

Remember that scene where Forrest reevaluates his relationship with running?

I am not having *fun* with marathon training this time around; the comeback period to get race-ready for April, following this injury, is too accelerated.

But more than that, as I’ve been grinding out the miles this time around, I’m simply not enjoying them, or growing, or thinking deeply, or clearing my head or refining my spirit, as long miles used to help me do in the past. This time it’s just grinding.

I’ve got a lot of goals, in family, in business, in faith, in the community, in writing and music – and this time around, these miles don’t feel like they are moving me toward any of them.

Don’t get me wrong, I still dig and recommend running for fun and fitness, but I think I’m done with marathons for a while. I may, probably, keep on and run Boston for the experience of it this year (since I already paid  :)) but I’m not going to push the mileage up to the 60+ a week I was planning; I’m going to ease off instead and aim for a nice easy pace. I’ve hit my Forrest point.

Maybe getting under three hours in a marathon last spring and running a fifty miler last fall was enough; goal met and I don’t really see what’s next on that path. I’m glad I did it, the discipline of marathon training kept me mentally and physically fit for five years. But I think I’m good; have learned what I can here. What’s next?

All of this had been weighing on my mind ever since I resumed training four weeks ago, after that two months of being off due to injury. And it crystallized itself as I was about 11 miles into a 16 mile run yesterday.

I was enjoying the socializing with the guys in the group, but even that was sort of underscoring for me how little I was enjoying the actual running. I wasn’t feeling great anyway, and my calf, which had been complaining for a week, lit up in a full-blown strain. I broke off from the group, watched them vanish into the distance, and then limped the mile and half home through the 6F morning on icy sidewalks, feeling the cold settle in and thinking. And what I’ve just written, I guess, is what I thought. 

Now who’s up for learning how to run a really, really fast mile? Or finally getting around to my long time desire to get the whole family in on bagging all 48 4,000-foot-plus mountains in New Hampshire?