Sprinting Towards Summer: Finding the Reset Button

15 March 02017 (7 months ago)4 minutes of your time

It’s officially the middle of March. The ides…. so beware.

Or… y’know. Carry on. I won’t be. Not like I have been at least. Something has got to be done about my running life.

So, I joined the group for a short tempo sprint on Tuesday evening. The cold temperatures have faded just as quickly as they arrived. That morning it was wool hat weather and a brisk sprint to the transit centre from my truck. That evening it was four degrees above zero and everything was melting into brown puddles of street slop. The regular Tuesday evening run was in daylight-savings pre-sunset, it was almost tropical, and I was feeling pretty good. Mostly.

Now, maybe I was a bit overdressed.

Maybe I was slightly dehydrated.

Maybe we didn’t warm up quite as properly as I would have normally liked.

Maybe I shouldn’t have had spicy chicken for lunch.

Or maybe I need to (finally) hit that reset button.

I’ve been on a bit of a break for the last four months. Breaks are occasionally required. Breaks are occasionally deserved. I ran New York and followed it up with a half marathon in Anaheim the weekend after. I was spent. I was tired. I was stressed from pushing through life with the marathon monkey riding my back the whole way.

So, I’ve been on a bit of a break for the last four months.

I’ve been knocking off little more than a couple casual runs every week. A lazy winter trot here and there. It was always a blizzard or too snowy or too icy or too dark or too… something. I’m full of excuses when I want to be. A little too much rich food. A little careless with my weekday dessert rules. A slouch on the couch beats an evening four klicks. Sleeping in wins out over a morning bike ride. And always just a bit more of a putting off of the ever-compounding interest on my growing fitness debt.

So, I joined the group for a short tempo sprint on Tuesday evening. Just three klicks. Admittedly faster than my winter trots but hardly a record and I’ve run half marathons at the pace I ran for those three klicks. I kicked it out of the gate, paced Ron for about two hundred meters, then fell back. By the time I rounded the corner I was sucking air like a rogue shop vac. By the time we hit the turn around I actually felt for a few seconds like was about to puke.

I walked for twenty seconds. Then resumed at a slightly more plodding pace to pull up last in the gate back at the shed.

I need to hit a reset button.

And I’ve said it every time I’ve made some excuse. I’ll kick it back up to full speed in the spring. I’ll break the break. Promises… promises… promises.

So here’s the deal: In April, barring something crazy, injurious, or manic happening, I’m going to aim for five runs per week: Monday through Sunday… five runs of at least four klicks, two days of break, and probably much more distance than that implies when the shoe rubber actually hits asphalt.

Leading into April? Well, I’ve got half of what’s left of March to get from nearly-barfing-tempo to whatever is needed for the following month. That’s going to mean getting back into my evening run routine again with some solo neighbourhood slogs. Perhaps an early morning Saturday saunter before the pancaking hour. Figuring out how to squeeze in some personal motivation between the cracks of everything else.

Of course, if I didn’t write it down, it was going to be measurably more difficult to motivate myself. Thus… it is written. It has been recorded. Published. Official..ized.

By May I’d like to start running home from work again.

By June… well, by June I’ll be a couple hardcore races into this season, so June better be running a lot more smoothly than March, and hopefully… hopefully that sets the tone for a positive summer of great running.

Reset button, consider yourself pressed.

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