So close….but not quite.
I am hovering on the NY border, just this side of Elmira, New York as I head to Canada on my virtual run. By the end of May, I had logged just over 200 miles with 250 more to go. Incredibly, that puts me on track to hit my 450 mile total by year’s end, and land me about thirty miles north of Toronto, Ontario Canada. Believe me, no one is more surprised than I at this tally.
Couple of things I learned this month, most of which I should have figured out about forty years ago. First: when you go out of town for an overnight trip, it’s probably not worth dragging your running shoes, shorts, and a T-shirt to get in a couple of miles. There are two reasons for this. One: Given the time of year and the state of commercial aviation these days, a two day trip rarely seems to work out. You sit in an airport for the better part of a day waiting for your delayed and ultimately cancelled flight. Your subsequent travel compresses into one day to accommodate your schedule which means the out of town run never happens.
In my case, it was a one-day out and back to Houston, plus the roundtrip drive to Newark, with the added bonus of sitting in a meeting for about four hours. Sixteen hours spent sitting in a car / the middle seat / a conference room chair isn’t nearly as enticing as it sounds. I spent the next two or three days recovering from the trip and even contemplating a run is difficult when you can’t quite stand upright the next day.
And two: Even when your travel starts out as planned, it’s not worth packing your duds because it probably won’t end well. Despite any delusions you hold about how and when you plan to run, it’s unlikely you’ll get one in when you have a 4:45 wakeup call to meet a client for a meeting by 6 am. And you won’t get it in the next day either, after you get stuck in Charlotte at midnight and then have to wake up (again) at 4:45 to catch the 5:30 am shuttle from the hotel to the airport to get your flight home.
And three: Running a 3+ mile loop in my neighborhood feels refreshing and good and absolutely do-able on a cool Saturday morning. It feels exactly the opposite of that on a hot Friday night.
But I did learn this as well: a few days off doesn’t mean it’s over. A sore back doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sidelined forever. Building up to a previous pace after some recovery time off won’t happen overnight but it’s possible and a worthy goal. I suspect there could be some kind of metaphor for life’s challenges hovering around the edges here but then again, maybe not. I leave it to you to decide.
So to summarize: five months in; seven to go. About two hundred miles on the books; just less than two-hundred and fifty to go. That’s 35.62 miles a month. Or 8.9 miles a week. Or 2.226 miles four times a week.
That I can do.