I had a big revelation today.
When I'm with the group, I miss out on some of my favorite things about running: The chance to think, on my own, without people talking to me or touching me all the time. (I know, too, that I'll miss all the talking and touching when the kids grow up and out, so I do try to savor this while simultaneously accepting the reality that it stresses me out when I don't have some time to myself.) With the group I have to -- heaven forbid! -- think about other people as well. I have to watch for lumpy parts of the road and "call back." I'm used to being responsible for just myself when I run, and that's nice for a change.
I have to walk when they tell me and run when they tell me and hope I don't need a bathroom break or get a rock in my shoe.
I don't know how far it is before we're turning around or when we're slowing down or speeding up. For this control freak, all that is hard.
The absolute worst part, though, is the lack of meditation. If I were better at meditating, I might be able to do it in a group. As it is, though, the group messes with my mantras. When I associated running with clearing my head, I ran more. Now that I associate it with physical and psychic discomfort, I run less.
When I talked with the former president of the running club, I told him I ran more and ran better before I joined, that I'm not sure the pace groups are my thing. He told me something interesting: Not everyone in the club runs with the pace groups. Knowing that was freeing.
I did do my 11 miles with the group today. I got the rock in my shoe at about mile 10.5, and I let them finish ahead of me, rather than deal with that rock, even for a half mile.
Toe injury: It turns out that my hurt toe probably has (forgive me!) a nail fungus. It took me a while to figure out what it was, as when I think "fungus" I think bread mold or something. But it's not at all gross (really!) -- if it were I would've realized what it was sooner. I just have to treat it with vinegar, tea tree oil and -- get this! -- Listerine. Not all at once, of course, I try to switch around the remedies.
The stupid toe was hurting more and more and then I remembered something my doctor, a runner himself, said offhand when he looked at it last summer: "Oh, it looks like you've got runner's toe -- and maybe a little bit of fungus, too." I had forgotten about that remark. When I do the home remedies, though, it feels better.
Marathon route: Paul's off Monday, so that'll be my day to run the last 6.2 miles of the L.A. marathon route. I plan on doing that a few times over the next couple of months. Although I just looked at the weather forecast, and I might move this run up to Sunday.
3 days ago