Running with the recommended cadence of 180 steps a minute equates to a mere 0.33 seconds of stance time per step. In an hour's run, that's 10,800 DIFFERENT points of contact your foot makes with the ground. To keep up, bodies are go through internal changes to paradoxically remain the same and maintain homeostasis. Fine tuning energy production, regulating body temperature, redistributing blood flow, all so we can keep on keepin' on. That simple act of running sure involves a ton of change!
The time since my last blog has been filled with both running and non-running related changes. I had one decent run the week after my 50 mile race but it may have been too soon. A couple days later I found myself rooted to the couch with a fever, aching legs, and some weird visual symptoms. The second and third attempts at making a return went a little smoother, but still struggled to find my pre-50 form. I did manage one highlight run- an impromptu Pikes Peak Marathon on July 3rd with the following celebration, camera work courtesy of Brendan Trimboli (the off-key singing is your's truly).
During this time I've also been preoccupied with a move (only 50 ft down the driveway but a move nevertheless). To help with the chore, I've picked up three temporary squatters: my parents and cousin who arrived for a multiweek visit (and I use "squatters" only in the most appreciative and loving manner because there's no way I could have done what they did in a matter of days and I am eternally grateful).
I guess the move and the literal "not quite up to speed" feelings have made me reflect on this concept of CHANGE. I mean, intuitively, if one is a self-described "runner" of 5 years, it seems that running would be a stable fixture in that person's life. Despite job and relationship changes, holidays, birthdays, seasons, and what have you, you've run through it all. But that's way too simplistic. Over the course of 5 years or even 5 minutes, the reasons, motivations, and sensations associated with running change. With training, a trail that was once difficult is now easy (or in my case as of late, what was simple is now a struggle). A runner who once enjoyed solitary jaunts in the woods now craves being a part of a pack. The 1 miler now wants a shot at 100 miles. You get the idea.
In that sense, I suppose running is a microcosm of life. We embody change. Parents raise us through the school years. Then, for most, it's off to college or start working. We change jobs, start families, have success and failures. During all that time we meet new friends and say goodbye to old ones. There are fantastic memories and times we'd probably rather forget, or at least do over if we could. Life is never stagnant and running teaches us to go with the changing terrain. Cruise on and enjoy the moments that are bliss and slog on through the low times. Cruising and slogging. Slogging and cruising.
Sunday I'll be running the SUMMER ROUNDUP, the 2nd installment of the TRIPLE CROWN SERIES. Accompanying me will be my dad, Pete, and cousin, Jason. It just dawned on me that I haven't run a race with my dad in over 4 years. It'll be nice to swap stories about the event and commiserate about post-race soreness again. Yeah all things change, but maybe some things change only a little bit.