With all the motivation and new goal setting going on lately I’m in a bit of a new bind.
I’ve been running more regularly in the morning, just keeping up my status quo. But a few times recently I’ve moved my runs to the evenings, particularly when Sideshow Blob is working late. Then a few days ago, after I’d already done my 4-mile morning run, I got home from work while Sideshow Blob was still working, and I thought, “What the heck?” and went for another run. I had a great time just chugging along listening to Leslie Stahl tell me all about the politics of the City of David archaeological dig on my weekly 60 Minutes podcast.
It was so nice, in fact, that I did something I never do — I deviated from the known route. I’ll admit that I’m a little sheepish, myopic, and wimpy when it comes to running routes. I’m not a run-to-explore kind of person because I have one basic, deep-seated, irrefutable, niggling, nagging fear of wandering too far, losing the way home, and running my legs off leaving my sad overworked torso on the side of some unknown back road somewhere. I’m sure that says a lot about me, psychologically, and if by any change you know exactly what that says about me psychologically, kindly keep it to yourself.
Anyway, for once I was having such a nice time on my evening run that I decided not to turn around at the bend in the road (which happens to be exactly two miles from my apartment) and instead follow the bend on around and see what there was to see. As it turns out, there was plenty since I happened on two houses in particular which were decked out, almost Chevy-Chase-Christmas-Vacation-Style for Halloween. There were, of course, front lawns littered with silly captioned headstones (child’s play), black-lit front porches guarded by scarecrows donning overalls stuffed with newspaper (honorable mention), and gauzy ghosts lit from within and dangling from expertly rigged and timed pulleys in trees (NOW we’re talkin’!)
I also found the biggest residential hill since The Matterhorn, the name of an actual street in my neighborhood which I have been dutifully attempting to run which was named by a couple of sinister literalists shortly after the street erupted from the earth’s crust in a magnificent wave of fiery hot magma. The New Matterhorn is paved with a street called Robert E. Lee, which seems more than fitting since running up it was a real battle. (Don’t laugh.) I’m sure I’ll have much more to write about Robert E. Lee in coming weeks, but for now I’m elated to report that I ran Robert E. Lee. The whole way up. Without stopping!
My bind, as I started out explaining in this post, is this — should I be restricting myself for fear that I will burn out completely, or should I make hay while the sun shines getting in all the miles I can since I feel fine and genuinely want to do the extra runs? It’s like knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em, when to walk away and, seriously now, knowing when to run. It’s true that although these are words I love to belt out with skin-crawling discord while driving in my car pretending I’m on television with Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, and Oprah, they are also words whose true wisdom I’ve never fully mastered.
I’m leaning now toward just making hay today and worrying about burnout whenever that issue inevitably arises. Although, perhaps it is better to channel my evening energy into some other activity. Maybe yoga. I’ve definitely been slacking there!
Either way, I will say that it’s nice to have these kinds of questions for once.