Running and writing are such rhythm things for me, and I have fallen off the wagon a bit of late.
I am running a marathon in nine days, and I am feeling under-prepared (no surprise). After Long Beach a few months ago where felt the worst I ever had at the finish, I wanted to do something different this time around. Even though I had completed the 26.2 miles faster than ever before, I felt I needed to change some things up so I didn't feel delirious a the end. But I really didn't do much differently. Just like last year.
I ran this pair of races last year as well, and there is a pattern developing. I bettered my PR by about four minutes at both Long Beach Marathons, and I felt unusually weak at both finishes. I signed up to run the Carlsbad Marathon three months later, and didn't train as intensely as I had for Long Beach. And here I am again.
The Other Sean is running Carlsbad as well, but we are not setting out together like we did last year. We ran together for the first 23 miles last time, and we had a great day in the sun. We chatted, joked, and pushed each other along as we ran by the ocean. Even though it is a more difficult course than Long Beach, and I didn't push as hard at the end, I still managed to clip a minute of my personal best.
Though of course I have certain expectations about how I will do in nine days, I am going to try to just enjoy the day again and see what happens. After this marathon, I am planning on dusting off the bike and spending my Saturday mornings touring the city on two wheels rather than on two feet. I will continue to run a bit, but I won't be specifically training for anything for a while. This is also the last marathon for the Other Sean for a while. He and Marci have a third child on the way, due in just a few weeks.
As I said, writing is also a rhythm thing for me, and I need to get back at it. I have plenty of things swirling around in my head, but I have not been getting them down on paper. After stopping for any length of time, it is even more difficult to get that first word down. It feels like the first post/chapter should be something special after such a long layoff, and that hamstrings me further. I just need to write my way back into things.
The Other Sean has started a new blog. It is called The Million Word Blog. There is an idea popularized lately that you need to spend 10,000 hours at a skill to master it. Similarly, it is said that you need to write a million words before you truly find your voice. Of course it is an arbitrary number, but it reinforces the dedication required.
So he is taking on the challenge of writing a million words. To get back in the habit, to polish his voice, to find a rhythm. I happen to like his writing voice already, and I can only imagine what it will be like after a million words.
This morning I got up a little early, and wrote before heading to work. When I was in school, I was a night-owl and did all my homework late into the night, but writing in the morning works best for me now. So that is habit I am trying to restart. My experiment in becoming a morning person produced mixed results, but even an extra half hour in the morning could make all the difference.
I plan to run for enjoyment at Carlsbad, and maybe that change in focus will pay off again. By rededicating myself to biking and writing, I am hoping to recapture the joy I used to feel when seeing the world from that perspective. New challenges, new habits, old rhythms.
I think a million words is still off in the distance, but this post is a tidy 697 words. How hard was that?