TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, July 21, 2017

What a drag it is getting old . . .

I’ve come to a point in my life that I cannot sleep. I can drag myself to bed dead-dog tired, and then lay there, seemingly all night. Sure, I get some sleep here and there. But I wake constantly, and when I do, it is very difficult to fall back to sleep. Usually, at that point, I stumble out to the living room, turn the fan on full blast and eventually fall back asleep on the couch.  And then, when morning comes, I really cannot drag myself out of bed. If there were something that I HAD to do, like go to work, or get the boys off to school, I could probably get out of bed. But right now, the boys are out of school, and I don’t need to leave for work until around 5:30 pm.

I’m in a slump. Actually, I’ve been in a slump for some years now, off and on, but it seems to be coming to a peak right now. On a good day, I get out of bed at 8 or 9 am, but it’s usually more like 10:00/10:30 am. There was a time (for many, many years) that 5:30/6:00 am was standard.

Maybe it’s hormones. I am after all, 52, wait . . . 53? Let’s see, 2017 minus 1965 . . . 52. That’s really not that old, but I feel old, and I feel like I have been rapidly aging. I am out of shape, and getting back into shape has been like starting all over again. And that sucks. It really sucks.

Fortunately, two of my sons are gym rats, and that gets me into the gym here and there. And I’ve actually started lifting weights again. I just feel so weak, I figured it’s about time I start strength training. I do this about 3 times a week (on a good week). I also set out to begin running, starting with short road runs. My chosen route has been the harbor island, which many people don’t even realize is an island. One of my sons even exclaimed, “The island! What island?” And he’s lived here his entire life.

IMG_0557I usually drive down to the harbor mid afternoon and run basically a 5k, which includes taking the sidewalks beneath the bridge and over the bridge to include the entire island. And that has been utterly miserable. Seriously, there is nothing worse than running when you’re out of shape, and in the IMG_0427summer heat no less!  My first run out, I actually fell, which, wait, there is something worse than running when you’re out of shape -- and that is running and falling on the cement when you’re out of shape. Attempting to cross the street (actually jaywalking), I tripped on piece of uplifted sidewalk and hit the concrete with a thud. I felt humiliated sprawled out there down on the sidewalk, listening to the cars whiz by. One guy pulled over and asked if I was okay, and I was hardly even grateful for that. I skinned both knees, one worse than the other.

I don’t carry anything on these harbor runs, no water, no camera, no phone – just my garmin strapped around my wrist and an ipod clipped to my shirt. I got back out there pretty quickly for another 5k at the harbor. I didn’t fall that time, but the next day, I came down with a sore throat and a cold that wiped me out (see – rapidly aging, since when does a cold take me out?)

the island

It took quite some time before I got out for my next harbor 5k.

Harbor runs since my last blog post:

June 29: miles = 3.15

July 1: miles = 3.20

July 13: miles = 3.08

July 20: miles = 3.18

While those short runs have proved miserable, I was able to get some miles in at Aliso/Wood Wilderness on July 14. I ran very little of the route, mostly hiked, but it was still a good workout. And just stepping out onto the dirt, I felt a wave of anxiety rush away from me.

I let my son use my truck, so he dropped me off at Moulton Meadows in Laguna Beach. It thrilled my heart when the first thing I noticed was a rattler crossing my path. I ran up to it to make sure I could snap a picture before it slithered away into the brush. From there I hiked down Meadows into Wood Canyon which I took to Mathis Trail. Wow, what a climb that was. Yikes. I did it using the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other method. And it was a bitch, but at least it was beautiful.

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Climbing Mathis behind mountain biker up front:

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Climbing Mathis with mountain biker behind:

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I did 6.23 miles ending at Top of the World. From there I caught a canyon trolley down to the coast, hopped on another trolley in Laguna Beach where I caught the Dana Point Trolley back near home.

That’s all I really have to report. I really, really hate feeling weak and starting over to get back into shape. It’s the pits!

Capture

2 comments:

  1. That slump sucks. I've been there. Might even still be there. I don't know. Things change over time. So do we. Don't let it get you down. Find something new. New sport. New shoes. New gear. New route. As much as I hate swimming, I've been swimming more this summer instead of running. It makes me enjoy running more when I do get out there. Plus it's easier to deal with the heat when I'm in the pool.

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  2. I turned 50 this year and am going through the same thing...long rambling training runs, that were once effortless, have now become this repeated, almost broken record, 3 mile loop I can't break out of...and I am walking more of it than I am running it. I feel weak, uncoordinated and heavy footed. It's depressing and it creeps into my subconscious every time I head out for a run...I think the only way back is by starting over from scratch, with no expectations...leave the garmin, the strava, the wrist watch timer back at home and just enjoy the experience like the old days...when runs were guesstimated and hand written into a running journal...I really think the beeping mile splits and performance comparison stats of today's technology take away the fun and ruin a run before it even begins. I don't want to be serious and competitive with myself anymore.

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