Friday, June 18, 2010

Pulled pork and a notebook

All I wanted in the world was a pulled pork sandwich. I had just gone for a 10-miler after work and was running some errands before I went home and had dinner, when I passed the local barbecue restaurant. I thought that I could really go for some barbecue. Then I passed it again on my way to another stop, and I became obsessed with the need to eat a pulled pork sandwich. I was so focused on my memory of the smell and texture that I could almost taste it as I drove along. There was nothing that I wanted more than a pulled pork sandwich. I would have even forgone eating off of the cute pig-shaped plates at the restaurant if I could only devour some barbecue goodness. And I guess that is why it is necessary to properly refuel after a run.

I made my way home and ate some left-over London broil slathered in barbecue sauce, which wasn't nearly the same, but it turned off the crazy craving. The run had been a very good one. I met the support staff at the half-way point of an out-and back route on the trail, and he rode his bike with me for the last 5 miles. I really appreciated the company and felt as if I was keeping the pace up better than if I had been alone. I also surprised myself by pushing for a stronger finish than usual. Having him biking alongside certainly helped. With about 1/4 miles to go, I started picking up the pace. At first I thought that I wouldn't be able to hold it, but once the end of the trail, down a bit of a straightaway, was in sight, I pushed harder and picked up the pace again. Half-way down that last stretch, I pushed even harder. And a little before the end of the trail, I reached my top speed before letting up and coasting in to the finish.

As I mentioned before, I had some errands to do, so I didn't get a chance to eat anything for about an hour after the end of the run (it was 8:45 p.m. by the time I drank my recovery drink), and I think that inhibited my recovery a bit. After I finally ate dinner, I took a cold-water bath for my legs. I don't know how anyone can take an ice-bath, because 15 minutes in moderately-cold water turns my toes blue. I actually had to get up in the middle of the night last night to put woolen socks on because my feet still hadn't warmed up after the bath. I feel good now, though, so it must have done some good.

So where was I going with that? Did I just feel like complaining about my toes turning blue? Do I want to record my cold-water bath experience to refer to as my training progresses? I'm not really sure. I'm actually wondering what this blog is doing for me in terms of training and writing. When I started it, I had been keeping a private journal that I thought of as a kind of travelogue of my life's journey. It was a record of everyday events that focused on a theme intertwining my running and academics into my personal life - the road that goes ever on. And I wanted to continue that here, although I don't really think that I've succeeded.

Sometimes on this blog, I just record stats, but I often put a lot of thought into my posts, and even then, there's something that isn't there. Somewhere the ability to weave events together to bring about a greater meaning and symbolism got lost, and I think that it's back in my private notebook. In that notebook, I could record things that no one else would read. I didn't hold back anything for fear of the audience getting bored or thinking that it was trivial or that the language was too flowery. Most of it was unoriginal and trite, and honestly, garbage -- in terms of literary merit -- but it had me thinking in ways that I don't think anymore. I had more potential then to grow into a writer.

So, for a while, I might be focusing more on my pencil and notebook than on this blog. I'm sure that I'll come back, but I think that I need to get back to basics for a little while.

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