'Keeping my hand in after I said what I had to say'
Good afternoon and I trust all is great with you and your running in whatever part of the world you may be reading my blog for this day September 14th, 2017.
I try in the majority of my writings to my reading audience to teach lessons either directly or indirectly, meaning a teaching through something I have done in my running (indirectly) or the sport and science in general (directly)..today I am not so sure what the lesson is or if there even is one, is it truly the daily musing of a professional running coach or retired competitive athlete.....
I think today spawned from the one year anniversary of my final race at the 2016 New York 5th Avenue Mile hosted by the NYRRC. In truth I don't think I was truly believed or taken seriously perhaps thinking I would quickly change my mind and be back toeing the line at an upcoming race in short order....The reality is a year on now and I am enjoying my running as much, if not more than ever.. I have been in competition in different sports for forty four years, twenty six years as a competitive runner, eleven years in California, and fifteen on the East coast in New Jersey..in that time there were many trips 'into the fire', seemingly endless brutal physical and mental workouts and I think I was just tired of going to the well...
Sometime in the past few years (the Orthopedics cannot say for sure when)I sustained a right hip labral tear; fortunately to this point it has not really impacted my daily life of walking or running but it does impact me at UPS, especially during certain rotational positions..however it was in the back of my mind that if I kept up with the high intensity speed workouts and long arduous tempo runs (which I particularly relished) it may act as a catalyst to this tear beginning to impact my daily life and clearly this is not something I want..ever !
However, retired from racing does not mean retired from running and long may that continue... I look to satisfy my thirst for challenges in a different way...circumstances dictate these days that much of my running is while Sam is at soccer practice and the location where his club practice is not conducive to running off site and the site itself is rectangular soccer fields of a little over a half mile around with a surrounding rectangular asphalt path ....I love the mental challenge of 8-10 mile steady state or light progressive runs of 16-20 type loops so beautifully grouped together in terms of elapsed splits, dealing with the physical and mental skill of navigating so many loops, challenging my concentration for an hour +...in all manner of weather conditions and frankly the more that parents/coaches make comments the more I rise to the challenge.... the breathing cadence is at the very heart of the pacing and of the ability to stay in the moment...I maintain a window of pace from 8.00 minutes to 7.30 type pace on some runs and 7.30 pace to 6.40 type pace on others so still respectable at age fifty four I would say.
So retired from racing yes, from running, no....I just love to run and exercise my mind and my body..I loved my racing career but as I reflect back, I realize that a quote from Billy Joel rings true here, that being his answer to the question 'why did you stop making albums after you wrote and recorded your twelfth album'?
" I said what I had to say" the 'Piano Man' said !
I raced for twenty six years surpassing my expectations by a country mile, by light years in fact.....it is the turn of others now, those hungry and driven and rational as I was.....take your mind and body beyond presumed limits and in the process always #runtallruneasy.....best of luck to you.......As for me, well....I said what I had to say !