“De-Cluttered Running”

I’ve been waiting for a “back-to-normal” week. It eludes me still.image

Although most everything inside the house is now organized, it only brings focus to how unorganized the outside has become. With the deck finished, the guys have started cutting up the big beech tree that fell and there is firewood stacked all around waiting to be split.

The rain has left all the planters needing to be refilled and it is a loosing battle with the grass growing in the flower beds.

We invited friends over Sunday afternoon with the warning that things were still a bit unfinished. We got up early and found ourselves stuffing cherry tomatoes and cutting cantaloupe at 6:30am before my long run.

It was about this time that I didn’t feel too well….maybe something I had eaten. I thought everything was fine before I left – everything was not fine. I ran on empty for half the run.

Last week it was bruises from when my bike held my feet hostage and I toppled over. The week before it was sore legs from the horse stance and the week before that I got a late start and the heat almost killed me. Now another bug – the second one in just a few weeks’ time. I can’t seem to get a break.

This is a step back week and I am determined to make it a normal week. Although I wanted to ride my bike yesterday, I gave the bug one more day to resolve itself and instead leisurely worked in the yard.

Today, I’m feeling better and will begin a schedule of two 3-mile runs, two 7-mile runs – one at race pace, and a not so long run on Sunday of 10 miles.

I have written about the runner and author Norrie Williamson. He is a former Scottish first division rugby player who became an ultra event athlete completing the grueling 56-mile Comrades Marathon in his adopted home country of South Africa.

The chapter he writes in his book on the mental approach to running asks the question, “What stops us?” As you might expect, he concludes it is only ourselves. He says, “clutter and a desire to achieve too many things at once can block your progress…”

It is at this point, exactly one-third of the way through my training schedule, that I feel I must devote more focus to my training. Enough time has been given to the things in my life that were amiss or required more effort than running temporarily.

Coach Jay Johnson left a comment on one of my posts saying that hopefully all of the extra things I was doing (such as gardening and Kung Fu) would keep me injury-free. I do believe it is the cross training that keeps our bodies well-balanced and make us better runners.

But….too much of anything is not good. Cross training can not become more rigorous than the running itself.

This week I will supplement my running with a little yard work, core strengthening and meditation – no stress. This week I will finally de-clutter my running.

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