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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Initiation Phase

Picture a flat sandy beach. You have a vision to build a drip sandcastle... but, it is going to take time and consistent application of endless handful of goopy beach sand before your idea will materialize. For now you have an idea, a plan and inspiration.

I am running now.
Just last night I reached 2 miles for the first time this year! I even ran the uphills hard. Of course the downhills were hard too, and the flats also hard... it is all hard at this point. The battle is just to move the sand from where it sits inert to the wide base of what will become achievement.

With the initiation phase upon me, the lungs expand and oxygen seemingly eludes grasp, the powerhouses of the cells have withered away and that metallic taste accompanies my exertion... that taste that fades after resuming regular training. I feel as if I am dripping much of my effort onto the ground around me, not exactly wasting effort- but looking forward to the efficiency that comes with consistent practice of a trade... the efficiency of practiced expertise.

From Zero to tired in 60 seconds
I have not been in this phase of conditioning for years and years... it's difficult to recollect how long- but I would pin the tail on the donkey of 2007... maybe 2009. Now, I am in full on beginner mode. Though, I do have experience on my side. I know that there are nothing but better miles ahead when the creation begins to take shape and small beacons along the way illuminate the process. In time I will be surging the uphills, gliding downhill and cruising my way across hours on end in beautiful places with renewed freshness and vigor. This perspective allows me to keep pushing through this stuck in mud phase!

For now, I am simply elated to be running again, no matter how searing the winter air is on my un-initiated lungs. The mere snapshot of a run I am getting at this point is beautiful. The trees are bare and offer distant views of the blue ridge mountains, the roads are fresh and new to me after the layoff. These scenes are mostly taken for granted during peak training as I am just settling into a run while covering these areas. Now, while moving so slowly and heading back so early I am trying to literally pay attention to every step along the way.

My big belly bounces 'bout as I move along and it reminds me of the long road ahead. I know where I am headed and where I have been. It can be frustrating to be here, but we have no other place to be except here and now! My paces consists of only run pace, period. There is no other gear to recover to, or to surge toward. There is run or don't and this is somewhat liberating.

The break has been good for my mind and spirit and allowed me to place my running within my life and find a real balance to all these aspects. With this relief I find myself returning to thoughts of performance with joy! I again think recently rare thoughts during the day.

"I wonder how fast! strong! long! tired! ...will I be!!"

The ground has been broken on the building of my drip sand castle. I am not sure exactly what it will look like or feel like, but I have my ideals and time frame for progress. This urgency will allow me to stay focused. As I build I will drip large gobs of sand here and there and then fine tune with adornments and fine details to create a temporary masterpiece. This will stand in the end only as a memory and as a permanent feeling that lingers inside as a quiet confidence for what can be accomplished with a little dream and a lot of work!

Have you recently gone through the rebuilding process? Do you recall when you started running? Share your story!!!


  1. Good job! Those gobs of sand quickly build up.

  2. So I wrote a very similar post about returning to run and being thankful for my first two miles just this week but you my dear, wrote it far better than I did! Congrats on two and cheers to many more to come!

  3. Glad to see you are progressing. That time off may might have been the best thing for your body.


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