Tomorrow we leave Vail for home in Charlottesville. We’ll be in Charlottesville just long enough to unpack, sleep, get in a morning run, re-pack and then leave again for Washington D.C. for New Years. We’ll be home for 12 hours or so. Two weeks ago before coming to Colorado I was in Richmond, as I usually am a few days each week for work. I arrived home late on a Thursday night and then we left again the following morning to come to Colorado. I was home just long enough to unpack, sleep, get in a morning run and re-pack. When I get home from D.C. after this weekend I’ll soon be back out the door, headed for Richmond. Then I’ll go back home to Charlottesville. Then I’ll go back to Richmond. Then we’re off to California in just under two week’s time to visit family in San Francisco. And on, and on. This is how life has been for the past several years. Never do I sleep in the same bed more than three or four nights in a row. In fact, when I visit Vail is the only time when I sleep in the same bed each night for longer than a week. The last time I did this was in Vail last summer. The time before that was in Vail in the summer of 2010.
It is a challenge being on the go because of work and other things and fitting in a training schedule that I like to maintain. It takes discipline, time management, etc. Sadly, it also takes sacrifice. Deep down I know full well that running makes me a better person but I can’t deny that being on the go as much as I am and running as much as I do hasn’t harmed my relationships with family members and friends. I recognize that sometimes it’s like I am around but I’m not around, if that makes sense. I’ve “got to get my run in” or so is how it might go. As I age I place more and more value on relationships yet the reality and the conundrum is that I seem to involve myself less in relationships due to this schedule. It is an annoying rub. Needless to say, as I continue to embrace existing family and friend relationships I understand that I have a weakness when it comes to making new friends. Time. It may sound pathetic, selfish or like an excuse but at least I’ve actually learned something from it. Moving forward, as far as making new friends goes, which is something I do enjoy, I’ve made the conscious decision that it pays to make friendships with runners. Or with people in woodworking. Or both. Bascially, it pays to make friendships with people I can actually do things with (I am a guy after all) that have the same passions as I do. This way we’re both not trying to squeeze in time to get together outside of work or outside of the already time consuming passions we enjoy. This is not an original concept, obviously, but for me it kind of is.
Another positive that being on the go so much for so long is that it has actually helped my running. It has taught me adaptation. If consistency is the cornerstone of a successful training regimen then adaptation is its mortar. By adaptation I mean just that, outside of a routine when, where and how to train? I’ve had to figure this out as I go along. Particularly when living in D.C. and when I wanted to run in the mountains- D.C. is obviously nowhere near mountains. Adaptation eventually opened my eyes to other forms of training styles, including the best one I’ve come to know: running by feel. Many people are familiar with this concept. I even blogged about it slightly last summer. When training if you don’t adjust your running to your environment, to how your body is feeling, etc. you might actually be doing more harm to your fitness than good. I may not have eventually shifted over to this style of training earlier this year had I not more or less been partially forced into it by the actual inability to structure a regular routine.
Part of the reason we moved to Charlottesville was to slow our lives down a bit, which also meant I wouldn’t always be driving around with a backpack full of clothes in my car. Yet since the move I’ve spent more days away from Charlottesville than actually being there. On one hand it’s nice to be on the move. It has its downsides but mostly I feel more productive when my day to day schedule is not exactly like a routine. Admittedly, I do look forward to a time coming hopefully soon when life takes on a bit more of a routine, or at least a time when I am able to spend more consecutive nights sleeping in the same bed. It will come soon; I have hope. In the meantime, I’ll continue running when and where I can: in Charlottesville or the nearby mountains, in Richmond, or in D.C., Colorado or any other place I visit. After all running on new terrain whenever possible is another good style of training.
It always comes down to opportunity cost and choices. I think it can be easier for us slower folks to simply treat running from a purely hobby point of view. When you are as gifted as yourself, and competitive by nature, it is hard to not want to maximize the gift at all times. How much faster can you get if you only trained a little more, or a little faster? You are in a wonderful position to win prizes, money, and other honors. But, what is it worth in the end? It's a fine balancing act with relationships and your passion, which at best can be one and the same. The very fact you wrote this entry tells that there is something in you that isn't totally okay with all the sacrifices. It'd be great to start the new year with a fresh set of eyes to tell your legs where to go literally and metaphorically. Happy New Years!ReplyDelete