Running is a microcosm for the state of my life. When running is going well, everything in my life is right where I want it. When my life is not just how I want it, running does not go well. Tonight I ran 4 miles at 6:44 pace on the treadmill, with a short warmup and cool down, and it wasn't a piece of cake. My watch showed those miles averaged 8:01 I think. The last quarter mile I had a shin splint in my left leg. My left hip is hurting, I think it's hip flexor tendonitis, and of course I haven't been to a doctor about it because I don't know where to go to get a running doctor near Independence, Kansas.
In some ways the source of my stress is irrelevant, because I am the source of my stress. My desire to control my life is my stress. Ugh! I detest the word control, and try to use influence instead. Yet in many ways it's about control, the illusion of control that we like to have about our lives. When the illusion is not there, it's stressful. I've been having a little back pain lately, muscular, and it's not because of my core routine, although it might be related to sitting in a chair too much. (Telling you this is an allusion to the psychosomatic back pain I created for myself in April 2010.)
"...When I saw him years later, he was beaten down by life." - Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. As I am two months away from being 32 I realize, once again, that life has it's ups and downs, which seems to rarely correlate with the actual facts of how life is going. My life is awesome! And it's crazy how much I let the state of my running fitness affect my attitude.
On days like today with a sore hip, a shin splint, and 26 days until the 100k I hoped to run this spring, I wonder if I should retire from my semi-professional running career. Of course I won't, at least not yet. Not until I have exhausted all of my options for recovery and rebuilding. Change is exciting, and it's also hard.
Some day, I'm going to take a week long vacation on a beach and average 14 hours of sleep a day.