Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh Boston

I decided to take a break. Moving back to Illinois has been good. It's nice to be back in familiar territory and be close to family again. It's great to be close to good, long time friends and know that these people will be there through whatever comes along. It's also comforting knowing that Camille will have an excellent education in a public school.

But the weather sucks. Before we moved we hated the weather here. (I know, hate is such a strong word.) And now I think we hate it more. Weather isn't everything, but it's a lot when 98% of your recreation is done outdoors. It was a good thing we moved here in June rather than January or February, because we might have committed ourselves.

I ran several 40-50 mile weeks indoors and finally, when it was nice enough for me to run outside (must be above 20 degrees without too much ice) my legs just killed me. I just don't like running in the cold. My legs cramp, my hamstring seizes, and my jaw freezes in place. I don't like running in multiple layers feeling like a snowman. Running in the cold wipes me out for the whole day and I just don't think that's all that worth it. I have other things I need to do all day in addition to running. It mostly just puts me in a bad mood. So, instead I did my runs on the treadmill. Some may say 17 or 18 miles inside is insane. And it's true, it does sort of turn your brain into a strange being for a while, but at least it's relatively comfortable and sweat doesn't freeze to your ears.

But the treadmill isn't the same as running on the road, even if it's set at an incline. The first run I did on the pavement killed my quads. I wondered what all that running was for the last 6 weeks. Then I started wondering what all this running is for anyway. I wasn't enjoying it. Going to the gym for hours to run wasn't all that fun and neither was running in the cold sun. And I'd been sick for about a month with a hacking cough. So I decided to give it up. No Boston for me.

Ah! I feel FREE. I can run when I feel like it (although still 4-5 times a week); not have to run 12 miles on a Tuesday; not have to run 18 on a Saturday. Instead I'm keeping it in maintenance mode. 30-35 miles a week, indoors if it's cold (according to me) outdoors if it's nice.

I don't know what I'll do next. And for now that is just great with me. I need this break. I have nothing to prove but to myself that I can relax and enjoy.

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