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The Loop

I didn't know what was wrong.





Some other virus?

Mental fatigue?

Disappointment at my race being cancelled?

Whatever it was, my last good run was on April 1. Since then, I've run 8 times. 7 of them were awful. Slow. Tired legs. Gasping for air. Listless. Dragging.

The day after doing 6 x miles (total 11.5), I was scheduled for 10. That was the morning I got the email cancelling Sugarloaf. So I did 7 instead. It wasn't great, like normal. It was slower than most runs lately. But the 6 x 1 was my hardest so far, so I gave myself all the slack for going slow.

But the next day was supposed to be 6 and I'm usually much better two days after intervals. Nope. I did 5 and just didn't care.

I'm not one to judge, but the parking lot at Home Depot seemed awfully busy for "essential, life-saving" traffic.

Saturday was going to be to be first 16 miler of 3 I had planned. Instead, it was another 5. I was dragging. No way could I have run 16 miles that day.

Why though?

Sunday rest.

Monday, 4 replaced 9 (w/ 7 tempo), and wasn't any better. The tiniest bit faster, but no more energy and no more mojo. Every single step I had this thought: Maybe I should just take the rest of the spring off and put on 10 quarantine pounds. There's something wrong with me.

Of course I decided to keep going, because I'm stubborn like that. I also hate to change things and running is what I do. I'll just keep going slow and either get sick if I'm going to be sick from Mrs. Dave bringing home a dose of C-19 from the hospital, or I recover from overdoing it the last two weeks of training. 10K. Just as slow as before. Just as tired as before.

Since the 16th of March, I've been able to work from home. A huge blessing that I know not everyone has. But this week my client had declared a mandatory shutdown - all employees required to take a week's vacation. My company helped us out with 3 days of training and workshops, leaving me with just 2 days to cover with PTO. Those were Monday and Tuesday. I finally dismantled the old swing set in the back yard. Fixed T-Rex's bicycle (with a tire tube at curbside pickup at Target - felt a little guilty about that, since it wasn't really "essential"). T-Rex and I watched all the Harry Potter movies.

Last week I finished the last crossword puzzle in my 200 puzzle NYTimes Sunday crosswords book. Cold turkey is hard.

Wednesday was almost 70 degrees. First time it's been that warm this spring and the 4 miles that day were especially sucky. Still no change in my mojo.

Mother nature pulled a 180 on Thursday. 30 mph winds. 30 degree temps. Snow flurries. I told Mrs. Dave that I was going either 4 or 10 or something else. No idea. I think it speaks to her current level of stress that she didn't care. Not only how far I was going, but where. How long I'd be gone, was I bringing my phone. Nothing. See you whenever you get back. Ran 8, and it was not quite as bad as before, except for being blown nearly to a standstill when I was going west and the fact that somehow the wind was from the SW when I started and the NW when I finished, so I pretty much had it in my face 3/4's of the time.

I just took Friday off. No reason. The training I was in went long and I just wasn't feeling like a run afterwards.

Maybe it was a bit of inspiration. Maybe I needed that day, along with the other recent days of easy slow running.

The first mile came in under 9:00 - the first time in a long time that mile 1 has been there. That was followed by a bunch of 8:30s that felt buttery smooth. About 4 miles in I passed three people doing yard work. As I approached, one of them - older, looked like one of the others' dad - said, "Good Lord!" That confused me since I didn't know this guy and it wasn't like I'm famous or was running 5 minute miles. "You run right by my house on Levan." Levan is a street in my neighborhood. I guess it would have been the neighborly thing to do to stop and chat a little, but how do you stop when you're in the middle of the first good run you've had in almost two weeks and the sun is out and it's 53 glorious degrees? I waved and said something short and friendly that I can't even remember now and kept running.

Ran on the street where we had our first house when we moved to Michigan 25 years ago. There used to be a kid at church who got married and moved a few houses down from there. Hadn't seen or heard from him in probably ten years. There he was, in his driveway, working on the suspension of a BMW. I had to stop then. Hated to break my stride, but this was pretty extraordinary. That was a couple of minutes. To my surprise, when I started up again, I still felt great. In fact, I felt great the whole way back home. Did have to stop at a traffic light once for a few seconds. There was no cross traffic and normally I'd go before the light changed, but there was a cop car sitting there as well and I didn't know how understanding he'd be. 10 miles @ 8:30 pace (8:31 to be precise), with the last mile at 7:59. Such a good, good run.

Feels good to be back.

Especially since I've decided to do a double in a couple of weeks for the April Covid-19 Race event. Going to do a 10K on Friday or Saturday, then a half marathon on Saturday or Monday. I'm calling it Dave's Double Dog Dare Distance Challenge. Let me know if you want in. Maybe we should age grade it to make it a real race.

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One thing that I've sure learned over my years of running is that not every "off" day or stretch has an explanation, but they all pass in time.

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I'm having those same thoughts. Every time I seem to be low on lung capacity it must be covid.  And that is most days. But one good one makes up for a lot. Glad you had that good one!

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