Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Down Time!


Today it has been exactly 23 days since I finished my 100 mile race.  The first 9 days were total and complete recovery – I cannot remember the last time I was completely inactive for over a week.  I really did not have much of a choice my legs and feet were so trashed.  

I suppose I could have run if my life depended on it.

But it didn't.

So I didn't.  

So, what have I done since? The first week after Pinhoti I did nothing.  The second week I ran a total of 4 miles (was too early for my feet) and the 3rd week I ran a total of 16 miles, mostly treadmill and roads – no trails.

So, how am I feeling now?  Overall, still peaceful and grateful.  But also, lethargic and itching for a new goal!  I knew this would happen and was just sort of waiting for the feeling to take me over.  The first week I was way too sore to do anything and really enjoyed the total time off.  The second week I tried to ease back in but it was too early.  The third week I started back with easy running and strength training.  Now I am ready to really start back!

Yesterday I went for a 60 minute trail run after work and felt really good physically.  My feet are recovering well (the blisters have healed and the dead shin has peeled off,  revealing some nice, pink skin on my feet that is just itching to be made into tough caluses) and my legs feel pretty strong again.

What I noticed, almost immediately, on my run was how “out of practice” I had gotten with prayer and calming/silencing my mind.  While training for Pinhoti, I had gotten to the point that within 5-10 minutes of starting my run and rosary, my mind would calm down, and I would find my connection to The Lord.  Not after taking some time off!!

My mind was so distracted last night, I could not even focus on listening to the Rosary on my phone App.  I kept drifting off to non-productive and non-spiritual thinking – strangely, a lot of it had to do with work issues that were resolved long ago. 


Finally, after almost 45 minutes, I settled into the moment and was able to “quiet the noise” in my distracted and anxious mind.

My lesson / conclusion this day was that prayer, just like everything else in this short but wonderful life of ours, is a skill that takes daily practice.  I do not regret taking the down time as I definitely needed it physically but the lesson here is that I need to develop other ways to "quiet the noise as", as much as I would like to believe it, I probably will not be able to run 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year ongoing. 

I want to connect to the Lord on a daily, if not hourly, basis -- so I will work on this!  In the meantime, while I figure out other daily rituals to bring me closer to the Lord, I needed to pick another ohysical goal to keep me motivated.  Right now I have settled on a very low key, non-competitive trail marathon at the end of December.  Long enough to keep me training but not so long it takes over my life like the 100!

Until next time......