Sunday, December 30, 2012

Not Running With Al in Boston

"Nothing endures but change" - Heraclitus

As I write this on Sunday night, tomorrow is New Year's Eve, and as this is Running With Al, I have to think that this week, I have been somewhat of a fraud. You see, I haven't run since LAST Sunday. That was a pretty good 17 miler with my training group back in Birmingham. Then things (life) began to get in the way of my running. We had a trip planned to go up to Boston on Wednesday, the day after Christmas. My wife & I would spend a day with our son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren, Adam (3) & Emma (16 mo). We would then be thrust in-charge of babysitting for 3 days while mommy & daddy go on a playdate (to Las Vegas). Well, I hadn't planned to run on Monday (the day after the 17 miler), and Tuesday was shot as I woke up to a terrific, down-south series of  spring-like thunderstorms and tornado warnings. Wednesday was also derailed with a full day of traveling, so that made 3 days without running.

Things just careened from there once we got to Boston. Oh sure, I could have squeezed in a run pretty late at night or in the wee-wee EARLY morning hours (talking 2-3am), but my heart just wasn't in that. You see, babysitting these two was a lot more challenging time-wise, and physically, than I anticipated. I mean it was constant with two extremely active little humans from basically an hour before sunrise to about 8-9 at night. They both take one nap per day, but they kind of overlap some, but not totally, so they get that power nap, we don't, and I guess I could squeeze a run in then, but  I always had this fear that what if something happened while I was out galloping through the streets of Boston...It just didn't sit right. Plus, after doing my power lifting all day (the two kids), my back was pretty stiff (something that seldom bothers me), and my ankles were worse than after I do my long runs! What the heck is all that about?

So, as I said, now it's Sunday night, 7 days without running. I will try to get a run in tomorrow ( the playdate kids get home tonight), but it's supposed to be 15 degrees in the morning and the high tomorrow a windy 33. Great!! Then travel all day Tuesday, so there's a good possibility I may extend my runless streak another 2 days, making it 9, the longest I can remember EVER taking without an injury. Not crazy about it, but it came at a good time - end of a year in which I reached my mileage goals, 8 weeks out from the Mercedes Marathon, and taking care of the kids was still the shoveling I did today after a 5 inch snowfall last night! I hate cold and I'm sure not crazy about how fast your fingertips can freeze making a snowman (but, yes, it was worth it because Adam said "Grandpa, can we make a snowman?"). 

As a physical therapist, I know a week without running won't destroy 34 years of the base I've built up, but I sure do miss it when it goes a few days. I look forward to days off, but when you string a week or so together, nah, not how I'm wired these days. I don't have speed to worry about, my races are not races, and my challenges have become to put one foot in front of the other for a rather extended period of time. I think I've gotten that part down. This grandparenting thing though, it has got a lot of challenges that I have to work on...Wonderful one's, terrible two's, troublesome three's...all the way up to the stupendous sixties...hopefully, like those tough long runs I've been through, it all smooths out. But, they change, and we change, so next time we come up, the challenges of what to make for breakfast/lunch/dinner, how long I can take Richard Scarry cartoon videos, what's the right clothes for them to wear, and how many adjectives I can come up with when I encounter a poopy diaper will all change too. Just flow with it and do the best you can.

I hope you all have a great 2013. I plan to. As I always say...I'll see you down the road...I just might take an unexpected short break here and there - AL

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world" 

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