March 09, 2010

Slackin' or Chillin'?

I used to be a runner of the obsessed/compulsive kind. In other words a middle-of-the-(off)road runner, I guess.

Back in the days when I was living in London, I used to get up every morning at 6am to go and work out at the gym before work. If I had not been able to get a run in during the day, I would just go at 11pm. Or later. I would update my log-book religiously, very unhappy with myself if I had not managed 6 runs and 60 miles a week, despite working 60 hour-weeks... I guess I just liked 6s. I could go on and on, but you may be getting bored: either you're a runner and you know all about it, or you're not, and you just don't see the point.

Then things changed.

If you have followed this blog from the beginning, or if you are one of my long-suffering friends (or worse: if you are my not-that-long-but-suffering-nevertheless husband), you know all about my long, painful, horrible, untolerable (add here any very negative adjectives you fancy) months of not being able to run, eventually followed by Redemption.

OK, so I am a runner again. But probably just barely. Because I am not sure I qualify for the "obsessed" title anymore.
So, since it's got to be done, here is The (non exhaustive) Shame List:
- No more early morning gym workouts.  These were the first to go, probably the result of  meeting Martin and thus getting the choice between a cuddle and the gym as a pre-work activity.   I can now also blame it on  the French' "Mediterranean" lifestyle, which means the gym does not open before 8.30am, by which time I am doing a different sort of work-out, throwing balls or crawling on the carpet with a 6-month old.
- No more 11pm-runs.  But I probably would get arrested and detained, on account of dangerous mental illness, if I did do this here anyway.
- While I will try to keep this one pretty quiet, my training log has empty days, and I even sometimes forget to update it. I know, unbelievable.
- I can still get pretty obnoxious if prevented from running, but it usually takes now two days instead of  24 hours at the max a few years ago.
- I am most of the time true to my "it does not have to be fun to be fun" motto, but have now the uncomfortable and recurring feeling that, well, fun is also fun.
- Sure, I still like to push myself. But, oh shock, I now also enjoy taking it easy. Sometimes.

No way round it: I am SLACKING.

I largely blame the current situation on my husband. He helped me go through months of inactivity. He then went to great lengths to find sports I could enjoy while I still couldn't run. Like signing up with me for a triathlon swimming course, despite the fact his free style technics initally sucked so much he was sometimes going backwards. He has since then improved greatly, and done his first triathlon in a very honourable time, while I was stuck on the sideline doing the whale, which I enjoyed only moderately (but that's another story)... Bottom line is, we started doing a lot of other sports, and no matter how one sliced it, that meant less running.

I also blame it on Annecy and living in the Alps. I mean, the place is simply an outdoor freaks' paradise, the kind who makes you want to have a seven-day weekend every weekend. So, of course, by the time we have gone cycling, swimming in the lake, hiking, climbing, alpine/cross/back-country skiing, we get sometimes a bit short of time for running.

Last but not least, I blame it on Malo. Not that he prevents me from running. In fact, he went on every single one of my runs when I was pregnant, and although I would admit he then did not have much of a choice, I like to think he enjoyed it. Since he was born, we have also gone on a fair numbers of runs, my little partner comfortably sleeping in his Chariot. It is just that, sometimes... how to say this...  I am quite happy just getting a shorter run in and spend the time playing with him instead. Or, whenever we go running together, enjoying the view, the sun, or simply the time outside with my son instead of trying to gain these elusive few seconds off, or adding a mile to last week's route. OK, that's not every time, but still, that's a sure change from my former running regimen.

So, slacking away, then.  But then,  I hear Martin reminding me what kind of total nightmare-on-(running) legs I was back in the old days, either running, or if not, thinking about it, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Then I am thinking: could it be that I am not slacking but just better at chilling out? Now, that would be some news. Such a big change that would be. Better put on my running shoes and go for a run, see if it helps me clarify the situation...


Cécile said...

Un corps sain dans un esprit sain. Bien mieux qu'un corps sain (a tendance blessure) dans un esprit obnubile...

Cécile said...

Pour ceux qui preferent la version non-dyslexique (chacun ses gouts), c'est un esprit sain dans un corps sain..

Marie-Aline said...

moi, j'aime bien les versions dyslexiques, tant que ça augmente le nombre de commentaires sur le blog :-)

PiccolaPineCone said...

I've just been reading your blog for the first time. I see you had little Malo a couple of weeks after I had my baby (Aug 1, 2009). I can SO relate to many of your posts especially the loss of abs! (though my belly is nowhere near as flat as yours was in that amazing picture!). I think it is good to be in a zen place about running. I am currently in the obsessive (read super obsessive) phase but I have moved in and out of Zen as well and it can be good in that it leaves room for so many other things. Enjoy Malo! It's a really fun time isn't it??

Marie-Aline said...


Read your blog too, and your comments about running with a baby (or without as the case maybe!). Unlike you, I do most of my training with my son (partly because I like it that way, partly because, unlike your daughter, he sleeps until 8am and am damn too lazy to go running BEFORE he wakes up!). I could not do without the Chariot, but you're right, it is hard work! More on this soon on this blog (for now, have to concentrate on another "ING" thing... job hunting!

Cécile said...

La valeur n'attend pas le nombre de commentaires...

Nicole said...

I can relate too. Today on my run my son and I stopped to look at the ducks, a passing train, llmas and horses. All of these stops in a 10k run. I like it this way now though.

Marie-Aline said...

Nicole, from your last race results, stopping to look at the ducks while training does not prevent from stellar performance a few days later! Way to go!