As with any passionate relationship I am back hotly in love with running.
What is passion without the crazy up and downs? If I think about passionate relationships as depicted in popular culture I see within these relationships great undulations between love and hate. I see all consuming blinding love that can leave an individual in tears of joy and a destructive hate that can leave an individual broken and despondent. I feel this relationship with running.
I am currently in the love aspect of running after recovering from my hate of the summer. There is something about feeling good while running without pain that inspires love. If I think back to July when I was tired, could barely walk and was very lonely I did not hate running, but I wanted to have a break in our relationship. I felt I had given a lot to this sport I love and I could not give anymore. I needed to see what it would be like to be a real gay man and do some things that I had never tried before. I wanted to be irresponsible and not have to worry about mileage, workouts or getting a sponsor. I wanted to be free.
I have learned that much of my freedom comes from running. The ability to run and love it, more than almost anything, gives me a freedom not afforded many others. I know that my heart, lungs, peripheral vascular system, neurological function and mental capacity are enhanced and honed through physical activity. This gift I have to run and love it with all my heart enables me to live a life unknown to many. The pure joy of running fast through the trails of Stanley Park fills my heart with so much love, with so much love I cannot find the words. My freedom to fully participate in life is born from my love of running and my physical and mental health. I must remember this feeling once the training starts to sink in.
Today I ran my first full interval workout since June and I am very happy with the results. The workout was 5 times 1 km at my beloved Beaver Lake. I was anticipating running 3:10 and working my way down to 3:05 or so. I opened in 3:05, ran 3:02, 3:02, 3:00, and 3:01. I ran pretty close to a 9 flat 3000 metre at my first full workout. Pretty fucking exciting! During the second last interval I was smiling so wide that I may have gone a bit hypoxic trying to get some oxygen.
If I ran these times this time last year I would have been very disappointed and upset. Today I am ecstatic! I am very pleased and chaffing at the bit to get back out there training. I almost felt like going for a second run today. I must restrain myself and be patient!
This is both the fun part and scary part of getting into shape. The times are going to drop but I am also going to be tired and in pain. I am going to want to withdraw a bit from society. My focus is already starting to shift to the trails, track and races and I have my eye on my first challenge. I am going to run the Sun Run. I figure this is the race in which I first ran sub 31 so I may as well hit it hard. I have a feeling it will be the most fun race of the year. No pressure to run fast. I will be satisfied to get to the finish line in one piece!
Very Happy Training!