Today I went to a funeral. It was a perfect day for one. Gray, rainy, cold.
It was also a perfect confluence of events that allowed me to talk running a little at said funeral. The rabbi who was driving to the cemetery to perform the service had his car break down about 25 minutes away. And then the car that went to pick him up broke down. And there was a huge backup on the highway from an accident (which had been cleared by then) that he'd have to work through. So we had about 45 minutes to kill.
I was talking to my aunt some after I had been talking about running plans for the year with some other folks. She said something about being impressed with my discipline in keeping up with training for half marathons and marathons and everything else. And then I told her a story from just this morning that, to me, epitomized how I'm more of a slave to my training than I am simply disciplined enough to keep it up on my own:
I had an 8 miler scheduled for my last long run before my half marathon this coming Saturday. The plan was to run it on the mean streets of my neighborhood and to wear my newest shoes to see if they're fit for the half. This would be the big test for them after ramping them up to about 30 miles of break-in.
The problem is that it was rainy and nasty and I'm still not sure I want to keep these shoes, so I was just going to wear my trusty old ones and just flip a coin to decide if the new ones were half marathon ready.
But I just couldn't do it. I felt that I had to see if the new ones would make the grade and the only way to do that would be to run in them in the rain and the muck. Unable to think of another option I strapped them on and headed on out.
They performed well, and I don't see why I can't use them for the half, but it sure would be nice to be able to improvise in my training rather than force myself to do what I "should" do once in a while.
But being a slave it never really crosses my mind to go against my master's wishes.
If I only knew if that's good or bad. I guess my performance on Saturday will determine if I was wise in my slavish devotion to both my gear and my training program. It better have been.