Back to what running is really about for me

Cloudy day drizzling rain in Frick Park

So, four days after my disappointing Pittsburgh Marathon, I’ve recovered enough to first walk, and now do some light running as well. I did a very slow, short 3-mile run in Frick Park.

I’m guessing it will take me another two or three weeks to be completely recovered physically, but I’m ecstatic to be out and about again. I’m also happy that I’m emotionally recovered already; I was pretty unbalanced leading up to and after the ordeal. The big lesson I’ve learned yet again is that losing sight of what is important and focusing on narrow ideas of achievement backfired on me, self-destructively, just as it did when I played bizarrely poorly in a chess tournament last fall before relaxing and then winning the 2013 Pittsburgh Chess Club Championship.

What running is really about

Running for me is really about enjoying the outdoors, feeling alive and expressive through rhythmic movement, and getting to know my body better and accept it while working with what nature has given me, to improve how I move and feel. Now that this whole marathon thing is over, I’m back to running on the trails instead of the hard roads, and I’m back to not timing myself. I’m back to being out there alone, not measuring myself against anyone or anything.

So what about races?

That said, I do enjoy some element of competition, both against myself and against others, in the spirit of play and excellence. So, although I’ll take it easy for a couple of weeks just enjoying maintaining and rebuilding fitness (not just for running, but also getting back to some neglected strength training), I’m looking forward to doing some races this summer, with an intent to run them fast.

The first one coming up for me is the Man Up Father’s Day 10K in June benefiting the Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer. I haven’t done any 10K other than the idiosyncratic Great Race 10K in 5 years, so I look forward to getting back to doing other 10K races. Also, I have done this Father’s Day 10k before, in 2004 and 2006. It would be nice if I could beat my 2006 time, getting back to my fitness level of 7 years ago, but ha, very unlikely.


I’m ready to have a pleasant summer of outdoors activities. Abby and I already have hiking and kayaking plans. Meanwhile, I’ll continue running. The pain of the marathon season is already a dim memory.

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