December 8, 2014

These things are mostly for telling you I ran, yeah? So.

In the spirit of telling you that I ran today - which I did do - I'm going to tell you that I did a fair bit of upper body specific weight lifting. That probably stands out a bit, mostly because I haven't mentioned doing so here - I don't think - and because, this having morphed mostly into a running hobbyist blog, weightlifting seems an incongruous subject.

Or more specifically, the things I did - barbell rows, dips, bench, pulldowns, etc. - are not specific to running. And that specificity is of course a lauded goal of all training. Weight lifting is good, but only to the extent that it better enables more running volume, and more running intensity. The more it approximates the biomechanics of the running motion, the better. Or something like that.

But let me present an alternate theory.

While most of America presently rests in the cold grasp of winter - well, it's winter everywhere, but I'm attempting a "writery" sentence, even if it sucks, which it pretty obviously does - there will soon come a time - it's getting worse - when that frigid air will disperse, and we'll welcome the warm embrace of spring, and then summer. Then, racing - and running in general - is often done done sans shirt, or sans sleeves, at least.

And so all of this can be called specific training for that, because if I'm going to run in the heat - and I am - and I'm going to (un)dress appropriately - and I am - then I'd rather not look like shit.

That is, if not a noble aspiration, certainly an understandable one for a young man who will by summer be 27, and catching glimpses of middle age on the horizon. I've never been the most secure person, even at the best of times.

No, it's not all about getting faster. Nor is it all about ego, neither inflating any given amount or compensating for a lack. (Though it is alternately one or the other, often enough.)

It is for me doing something I want to do - frankly, have to do - anyway, and letting that be its own justification. Which is to say, somewhat joking aside, none of this is new for me. A life without running sounds somewhat empty, but not really an more so - to me - than a life without dips. (Or that other stuff.) Given my assumed audience, that probably sounds ludicrous. But I can honestly say that, right up there with the last half mile of my Heartland win, there is the time I managed 49 very strict reps on the dip bars, years ago. (None of the bouncy, "plyometric" bullshit.) I didn't get a trophy for that, and indeed, nobody in the gym noticed or cared. But it was my PR - and will remain, I feel quite sure - on my favorite lift. (If you're wondering, yes it does bother me that I never hit 50.)

So all of this is to say... what, exactly? That I'm slightly shallow, more than a little awkward, afraid to embrace the inherent scrawniness brought on by high mileage? All of that probably, yes. But also that, I dunno, here is some stuff I like, and it's my little corner of the internet, so I'm going to write about it.

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