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Category Archives: Garbage In, Garbage Out

Am I Too Old to Run Cross-Country?

On Saturday I joined the Eastside Runners Club to compete in the Sundodger XC Invitational at Lincoln Park.  The men’s open race was an 8K (about 5 miles) with a lot of local community college runners.  The whole field went out fast and I threw some elbows to maintain my space and position.  Going through the first mile in 5:30 felt good… better than it should have.

Somewhere around 2.5 miles I stepped on something, or took a misstep, and sprained my ankle.  When it happened, I screamed and stopped, and quickly made the executive decision to drop out of the race.  Those of you who’ve read my blog for a while now might know that this is a recurring theme for me.  I hate it.

The answer to my titular question is, of course, no.  I know many strong XC runners who are decades older than me.  But I think I have to  come to terms with some subtle lessons about what I can sustain as a runner at this point in my life.  Important lessons from this sprain include, but are not limited to:

  • Listen to my body – For over two weeks, I’ve been complaining about foot pain.  It didn’t hurt while running, just while flexing it in particular ways (imagine doing calf raises), so I procrastinated every time I thought to call a PT about it. I’m sure that this was a portent about my more catastrophic injury in the race. I should have taken time off and fixed what was wrong before doing a hard race, particularly one that involved running 5 miles on trails with a crowd of (real) athletes a decade my junior.
  • Eat and sleep right – I’m embarrassed to admit the number of nights I ate a peanut butter sandwhich for dinner last week, and I’ve been staying up late to satisfy an eerie obsession with work. The days leading up to the race I felt sluggish, sickish, and generally broken.  Garbage in, garbage out.
  • If I’m not running, don’t race – I’ve been looking forward to XC for so long, and running this race was pretty important to me.  So when I ran out of time for regular running in the last two-weeks, having trouble fitting in runs of even a couple miles, I did not reconsider my race schedule, and I should have.  That 2.5 mile run the night before the race was not enough to get me back in the game for a hard 5-miler.
  • Take a holistic approach to fitness – I’ve always valued a well-rounded approach to exercise…  in principle.  But when I get busy, I prioritize my activities and make cuts.  Maintenance activities like ankle-strengthening drills are the first things to go (haven’t done them for at least a year).  Stretching, weight lifting, form drills, strides – they’re all gone the moment I get busy.  Usually, the actual running is the part I hold onto the longest.  And when the busy time is over, I don’t add the other activities back in.  So I’m left with a 100% running regimen, which is fun, but not sustainable.  I need to hold myself to not running if I don’t have time for proper warm-up and stretching at the minimum.  Even if it means I run less.
These lessons apply to athletes of any age…  I think I’m just too old, or too busy, to get away with skirting around what’s good for me anymore.

 

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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Garbage In, Garbage Out, No Easy Days

 

What Do You Do With the Mad You Feel?

Been having a rough time recently, and heard an excerpt of Mr. Rodgers reading his song “What do you do with the mad you feel” before a U.S. Senate committee in 1969. It really hit home.

(the song/poem starts at 4:45)

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Garbage In, Garbage Out

 

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Considering Blogging again

Trying out the Choco theme on WordPress.

If you still actually read this blog (via RSS or some other such monitoring system), toss me a comment or an IM to let me know. Knowing that people are watching might motivate me to publish some old drafts I have lying around and get the ball rolling again.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Garbage In, Garbage Out

 

The Miracle of Flight / Confidence Week

I’m such a nerd/internet addict I can’t resist pressing a WP post using my in-flight internet!

I’ll also take the opportunity to remind everyone that it’s Confidence Week. Take a moment to think about how today you can avoid being passive or aggressive (or both), and instead take steps to be assertive.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Garbage In, Garbage Out

 

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The Big Finish

Apparently the Diesel Wi-Fi terms-of-service requires users to blog.

So here I am.

In the next six months, my three major activities are:

  1. TA a “drug delivery” class (provides current income).
  2. Finish and defend my thesis.
  3. Find a job (provides future income and intellectual fulfillment).

TAing isn’t so hard to fit in because it’s scheduled into the academic year.  I go to class twice a week.  Immediately after class, I review the notes for the class using a codified note-taking system.  Once a week, I hold office hours.  Three times this semester, I’ll have to grade about 90 exams.  These activities fit themselves into my schedule.

It can be harder to make time for dissertation work and job searching.  Essentially, these are both full-time jobs being fit into a single set of full-time man-hours.  Overscheduling seems to be the hot business strategy in this economic downturn, however, so I’m trying to view this over-commitment as my way of cutting back (“I had to let the guy who normally applies for my jobs go — we just couldn’t justify his salary to corporate in this climate.”)

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2009 in Alchemy, Garbage In, Garbage Out

 

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Your Beautiful Parts

Today Shakesville asks what part of your body is most beautiful/handsome?  It’s a bit awkward to think about, and that’s why I’m forcing myself to answer here.

I think I have to follow suit with Melissa and choose my eyes.  I like their blue (though sometimes I prefer to call them grey), and I have really long eye lashes, which I make wishes on whenever they fall onto my cheeks.

Anyone else care to choose a favorite part/feature of themselves?

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2009 in Garbage In, Garbage Out

 

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Confidence Week 3 – Emergence Day

Two years ago I started this blog with a post about Confidence Week, which falls during the week of Thanksgiving and reminds us to be confident in who we are and how we feel.  I haven’t had a chance to wear anything super ostentatious this week, but it has been an interesting week in terms of apologies.

Being confident doesn’t necessarily correlate to apologizing less.  Rather it’s about expressing regret and empathy for violating someone else’s comfort zone while simultaneously maintaining your own.  This is tricky to due genuinely, but in the end I think it makes the apology more sincere.

So this week, I’m trying to focus on addressing my own needs and the needs of others (where appropriate) simultaneously.

Thanks again to Jason for the original holiday suggestion.
 
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Posted by on November 26, 2008 in Garbage In, Garbage Out

 

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