Monday, June 21, 2010

The lifestyle

I read a phrase today that struck me as odd.  Haruki Marakami referred to himself running regularly and falling back into the "running lifestyle".  This is something I had never used that specific term to describe, but still was something I tended to avoid.  My preferred terminology was "Runner" versus "runner" versus "someone who runs".  I had personally travelled from "someone who runs" to "runner", but never dabbled into the realm of "Runner".  Those people are the ones who lived the "running lifestyle".  The guys at the smoothie shop knew their names.  The folks at the shoe stores knew their sizes and exactly how much they tended to pronate.  These were the folks who hung out in the running clubs, chatted together at the stretching platforms, and generally chilled in their running gear than hung ever so casually over their gaunt, skinny little runner bodies.  

These were, basically, folks that I didn't have the time to become.  Why?  Because I had other hobbies.  I have my garden.  I have my bike.  I have my classes.  I have my family.  I have other things to occupy my time that makes running as much imposition as it is a blessed escape from the general business of my everyday life.

But, then again, there's that "running lifestyle" that helps light the fire that burns the engine that allows those of us where are/were merely "people who run" to make that transition to "runner", or even "Runner".  Some people are born with it, others have to catch it from someone else.

So, now the thought has begun creeping into my mind, as I contemplate running either 3 or 6 miles this evening, do I want to turn that corner and allow myself to be drawn into the "running lifestyle", or do I want to continue to dabble my feet into the pond without ever really taking that plunge?  Honestly, I still don't know the answer.

But anyway, I've thought about the running performances over the last couple of weeks and realize that when I start breaking down toward the end of runs it's not because I'm tired.  I still have plenty of fuel in the tank, I'm just having trouble getting that fuel to the parts that make the locomotion happen.  It occurs to me that I may simply be overheating.  My heart rate may be running too high and the breathing, no matter how regular and steady, simply isn't keeping pace with the heart rate causing a general breakdown of the system.  I may have to go off and get a heart monitor, or simply learn how to take it just a tad bit easier on the front portion of my out-and-back runs.
Either way, I'm going to test the theory out today by attempting to better manager the heart rate and body heat as I run.  It won't be easy, on account of it being close to 5,000,000 degrees outside, but I'll see what I can do.  Maybe I'll figure this thing out afterall.

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