The roads and the words.
Two weeks ago tomorrow, I got up early and did my first double-digit-mileage run since last October.
That afternoon, helping move something really heavy down at my mom’s house, I felt this red-hot-rubberband-lashing sensation kind of whip through the muscles of my lower back from the inside. Like nothing I’d ever felt before – and in an incredibly not good way. After hobbling to a couch, I came awfully close to blacking out: the whole world going dark even though my eyes weren’t shut, that buzz and ringing in the ears that blocks everything out and when it begins to fade makes everyone sound like they’re far away.
Nothing seems to have been permanently damaged, but for several days I was pretty much just shuffling around the house and wincing .
Of course, this screwed up my plans for the Akron Half Marathon. Maybe I could have resumed jogging a week later, but a big part of what I was shooting for with this run was improving my speed, which is a big challenge for me, and the last four weeks of the training calendar I was following are largely about repetitive speed work. And just like that, >poof!< I felt really out of it.
Perhaps not surprisingly, that Saturday was also the last time I posted anything on the blog. Not that I haven’t been writing over the last two weeks – the week immediately following the injury, I had a major multi-story project to turn in, as well as other regular trade publication assignments, and I also managed a couple GeekDad posts.
I wasn’t doing much writing on my own, though, and in a weird way, that takes a toll on me mentally.
(It also doesn’t help that these are exceedingly difficult times in the Booth household right now – I have a job interview this coming Monday with an awful lot riding on it, and that’s been weighing heavily on my mind as well.)
So yesterday, I made myself focus on something wholly original – a guest post for a friend’s blog – and after finally getting the gears going, I cranked out 1,500 words and had a ball doing it.
Not long afterward, my brother called me and asked if I’d be able to run one of the legs on his Akron Marathon relay team. It’s not likely to be more than eight miles, so it’s something I think I can get back on track to tackle over the two weeks between now and race day.
Before lunch today, I put on the shoes and headed out the door for a run just before lunch. A mix of overcast skies and occasional sun; somewhere just shy of the 60-degree mark – just about a perfect day for it.
Writing and running don’t, by themselves, make things better or easier or magically delicious. But when I’m in that place where I’m doing one or the other, and it’s just me and the words or me and the road ahead, somehow there is a sense of rightness and hope and balance that I only remember how badly I need when I can’t find it for awhile.