Day 50: Might Need to Call It

For about a week now I have had pain in my Achilles tendon when I run. The past couple of days I have begun to feel it even when I don’t run. This is my unfortunate pattern for years now. I rest a lot, then slowly get back into running; I build up the miles slowly, don’t run fast and don’t go far. Then I end up getting injured and have to rest a lot. Repeat. It has gotten a little old. After running all kinds of fun distances and events, it appears I don’t have what I used to have. I guess I shouldn’t have taken all those years off when we had kids.

Today, however, I did get in a run, which means 50 days of running in a row. I was going for 100 but I will have to see how I feel tomorrow to decide if I try to keep it up. On the one hand, this is a good streak, and taking it easy enough might mean things heal up and I continue the streak. On the other hand, this hurts. I only ran two miles today, and yesterday, and I had to walk a bunch, so is it worth it? Can I call that a run? So this accomplishment: 50 consecutive days of running. That ain’t too shabby.

I do love to run. Once I get out there and start feeling good, once I get some miles behind me, once I get into a rhythm and the endorphins start flowing, well, it just feels great. I have never been a competitor against anyone but myself, and I have always felt better trying to do more than trying to go faster. And that feels good as well. It isn’t a race. It is about going the distance. It is a metaphor, really, for how I want my life to be. It is OK to walk sometimes, even to stop altogether and to revel in where I am at that moment. I feel better about seeing the owl swoop from the maple than about having a run time one or two minutes faster. As Ben Cohen said, if it isn’t fun, why do it?

So I feel good about getting in 50 days. I may have to call it good with that. If so, I may try for 100 another time. I smelled the wild leeks in the damp woods today. The smell of onions floated through the mist. That made the journey worth it. I slowed to watch the river rush under the bridge. Two geese called, flying low through the fine rain. The world is a beautiful place. Sometimes getting half way is enough.

Tractor Riding (and Other Stuff)

Yesterday I noted all the things I was hoping to get done today.  I pretty much got to all of the things on that list.  I spent about three hours mowing this morning, with frost on the grass.  It was wet.  I didn’t get stuck but I did have to move slowly at times.  Plus, I stacked a bunch of wood, got the snow stakes in the ground, made that banana bread and even did some garden maintenance (read, digging up weeds).

Here is evidence of the brushhogging:

Mowing the North End of the Field

In the Driver's Seat

The Rig With Brush-Hogging in Progress

The Rig With Brush-Hogging in Progress

The banana bread, by the way, was top notch.  It did not make it through the day.

Getting Stuff Done on a Saturday

I felt like I didn’t get enough done today but I did get something done.  Here is a list:

  1. I gathered the trash and recycling and took it to the dump, including the vinyl inflatable pool that has been sitting outside the garage for a year now, deflated and filled with sand;  yeah, that was good purchase.
  2. I took my son to the dump and convinced him to be happy about not taking the always-offered lollipop because he had had so much Halloween candy lately.  That may have been the biggest accomplishment of the day.
  3. I purchased some snow stakes to line the driveway.  Our old fiberglass stakes are pretty shredded and are nasty splinterizers.  We need to get the new ones in as the ground has been considering freezing lately.  At least I got the first part of that one done.
  4. I rolled about on the floor with my kids and laughed quite a bit.
  5. I made lunch for my son while my wife and daughter were out for a hike–he even ate most of it, including a large peeled carrot.
  6. I hung laundry on the clothesline and then folded a huge pile of it in the late afternoon.
  7. I washed a whole mess of dishes.
  8. I took out and stirred the compost, although I was sad to see it is not cooking as much as it had been in the warmer weather.
  9. I brushogged for two hours.  Last night my brother-in-law dropped off his tractor and I had a grand time mowing the field.  I got only part of it done (it will take 8-10 hours to get to it all) but the kids each rode for a while (I also purchased an additional set of ear protectors at the hardware store) and they had fun bouncing about on my lap.  I only got stuck once but got out with the bucket in but a minute.

Tomorrow I will get out on the tractor some more, hopefully make some banana bread, and start stacking the firewood.  We may get the snow stakes in as well but that may have to wait until we get the tractor out of here.  Oh, and I was hoping to go for a run.  If only I got more done today, I would have less to do tomorrow.  But here we are.  I’ll just have another piece of candy and everything will be fine.