Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Chronic Runner's Tales

So what is a chronic runner?  I would characterize myself as one.  Chronic runner, that is.   The term "avid" just doesn't seem to do it when describing my running habits and schedule.    To me "avid" implies someone who goes out the door with an agenda: run farther, run faster, run speed intervals, run hills, run fartleks, run splits.  No...this just doesn't describe how I run. 

The descriptor, "chronic" just seems to fit.   That's chronic, as in, "habitually" or "of long duration and frequent recurrence."    I get up in the morning, roll out of bed, and pull on running gear quickly, before I've had a chance to change my mind.  Out of habit.  I do this three or four times a week.  It's a well-ingrained habit.  Two or three times a week I run 4 or 5 miles, one time a week I run a longer distance, determined by where I am on the race training schedule. The week after a half marathon...6 miles.  Six weeks before a half marathon...7 miles.   Two weeks before a half marathon...12 miles.  My PR's are a decade behind me, now.  I don't care if I never do speedwork again.    Fartleks?  Only if you count the sprint to the house that last tenth of a mile.  Yep.  I'm old and have become set in my running has been this way for a long time.

If some other activity bumps into a scheduled run on my calendar, there's no question which item gets scratched.  A visit with friend over lunch, a weekend spent with son, daughter-in-law and grandkids, play rehearsals, serious miles on a motorcycle...these will definitely happen at the expense of getting a run in.  

Of course, there have been many times when I've successfully mixed running with socializing or travel.   Some of my most memorable runs have happened while I've been traveling.  And this weekend I'll get to combine running with travel AND family:  I'm spending the long weekend visiting my son and we're all going to do a Pumpkin Patch 5K/1K race on Saturday.   This ought to be interesting!  Stay tuned for the report!

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