Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gentleman, Restart Your Engine

The pre-training plan was working like gangbusters until a dozen days ago. The schedule said run this far, so that was that. Three miles, done. Three miles again, done. Eight miles, done. Another three miles, done. Done, done, done and done.

We all know what happened then to this April fool. And if you don't, seriously, get with the program. I haven't shut up about it for the last week and a half. The persistence of nausea has kept me sidelined for all but one ill-advised run last week, which left me feeling as if I'd just run a half marathon rather than for a half-hour.

This week, I've finally started feeling better, which coincided with a cold snap and late season snow. Not my ideal weather for a return to running, and so I've remained sidelined despite the growing urge to get out there.

But all my intentions are defused with a lack of get-out-the-door motivation.

Today must be the day. Warmer temperatures and blue skies, how can I say no? Well, I'm sure I could find a few lame excuses if you give me a few moments. Inertia is a bad habit.

And so are garlic-flavored french fried onions, which I've devoured by the handful the last two days. They're meant as a salad topper, which I tried as such Tuesday after work, before gobbling a bunch more and then sprinkling them on my chicken and pasta dinner. The bag was empty after last night's munching. Had I just gone for a run, my snacking would have been averted.

Bad habits must be eradicated. Or at least curbed.

My running needs a good kickstart. Enter Chris McDougall. In response to the death of Micah True (aka Caballo Blanco, White Horse and apparently Michael Randall Hickman), he wrote a piece for BBC Magazine memorializing his running mentor. In it, he recalled one of his conversations with the mysterious Caballo, which also appears in his book Born to Run.
Learn the fine art of running, Caballo told me, and you can change your life. 
   "Don't fight the trail. Take what it gives you," he began. "Lesson two -- think easy, light, smooth and fast. You start with easy, because if that's all you get, that's not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don't [care] how high the hill is or how far you've got to go. 
   "When you've practised that so long that you forget you're practising, you work on making it smooooooth. You won't have to worry about the last one -- you get those three, and you'll be fast."
Easy is exactly what I need right now. Remembering these lessons from someone who clearly understood the true benefits of running, that is my mission this year.


MCM Mama said...

Glad you are feeling better! Good luck getting everything back on track.

Carolina John said...

That's one of my favorite quotes from born to run. We could all use some easy, light, smooth, and fast this year.