Liminality

(n). the state of being in between two worlds; considered dangerous because one can belong to either one world or the other, but not fully, and not both.

This word is almost certainly going to be one of the keywords associated with my dissertation, and I’ve been using it a lot recently, so it’s no wonder it’s been on my mind. But, it also applies to my current running regimen, or lack thereof: I’m in that odd month where I don’t really have anything scheduled until training for the next race begins. I did have a moment earlier this week where it occurred to me: oh, you should probably think about looking at A Plan soon. I did, but more on that in a minute.

It was nice to have a break. After a week off it was good to get back into the swing of things, getting back into the gym and running just because I can, and it’s been nice to be able to get up and run 12 glorious miles on a Saturday morning just because I felt like it.  I’m glad to have not lost much fitness, since I’m moving up to a higher-mileage training plan for Marathon #3, and I’ll be starting out with a long run of 10 miles. I’ll be doing Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 plan, which starts with 26 miles in a week (which is just below where I am now) and peaks at, um, 50 miles as you can see from those three (3) (2+1) weeks with 20-milers in them. It’s a little intimidating, but it’s really just a nudge up from the Intermediate 1; I’m not changing much here, since I’m already accustomed to running 5 days a week and doing 2 Saturday pace runs followed by a third Saturday easy run. However, one thing I AM changing is the length of this plan: I’m taking out week 17 and only tapering two weeks, because I’m certain I will go insane if I have to taper for three weeks again. 🙂

It’s funny, though, how habits die hard even when you’re not training: even as it’s gotten darker earlier, with the later sunrise, and much colder – so I really have no need to run at 4:30 am to escape any heat – I still find myself waking up at 3am to get ready to run and go to the gym. I’ve found that if I run/work out before I go to work at 7am, I get much more done during the rest of my day, and I sleep better at night, though there are tradeoffs to all of this. I have no social life any more, except on the weekends, and while I absolutely exult in being one of the 2 or 3 people* out on the road in the pitch black with a canvas of stars and cold morning air around me, I kind of miss being able to see the fall colors in daylight, and being able to see the sun rise from a location that’s not my bathroom window while I’m showering.  Eh…. I don’t know. I really, really like running before the sun’s up now, and it’s working for me, so we’ll see how this shakes out when I have to run 10 miles on a Wednesday in the middle of February. 🙂

*There’s this one guy – known in the entire town only as “Running Man” – who deserves his own post, so I hope I remember to write about him later.

Aaaaanyway. Future plans: here’s the marathon I’m running in March: Virginia Creeper Marathon

It’s probably the most no-frills race I’ll ever run, and (sigh) Saint asked me if I thought I could knock another 20 minutes off my MCM time, and winter is good for faster running (because I always want to get home faster and jump in the shower), so I’m going to give it a go here. I feel like this will be the most mental of the marathons I’ve done simply because it’s so small and non-crowded, but perhaps a non-urban setting will give me some peace of mind.

It will be an experience, in any case.

More immediate future plans: This weekend I am running the Richmond half-marathon, where I’ll be pacing a friend through her first half. I’m excited for it, because I love this entire day and how the city really comes out to support all of the runners in all of the races. Also, it means I get to complete the trifecta of having run all three of the races associated with this day; in 2011 I did the 8k, and last year (as you may have heard) I did the marathon. Since I’m moving to Richmond in May it is entirely possible I will decide to run one of these races again in 2014, or, perhaps I’ll take a year off from it and volunteer. In any event, if I can, I plan to stick around and cheer on the marathon folks when I’m done, and with any luck, we’ll finish in time to see the winners come through.

Next weekend – well, starting Wednesday night, really – I’ll be in Boston (land of Dunkin’ Donuts, oh yes, they shall be mine) (and no, I’m not eating a Boston kreme right now, why do you ask?) for a conference, and I am SUPER-excited about that because I haven’t been there in 4 years and it will be good to see friends in the area and at other graduate schools. I’m hoping to be able to get out and see some of the city, though I don’t know how possible that will be given that there are a ton of talks I want to go to. My own is at 8am on Saturday, which somewhat thwarts my plans for a nice long Saturday run at a reasonable hour; in general, I hope to get some running done while I’m there but I don’t quite know how that’s going to work time-wise. I’m staying in the Back Bay area, so if anyone has any ideas on places to go or not go (as in, don’t go there at 5am because it’s unsafe), I’m all ears. (I’m looking at you, Iamarunnerandoscanyou!)

All right, I’ve gotta go finish up this talk and then move on with my day. What are your future plans? Whatever they may be, have a great weekend!

Oh! P.S. Shout-out to jonfitzsimon who is running the San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon on Sunday. Good luck – you’ll do great!

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2 Responses to Liminality

  1. Hi, Back Bay is a great area for running. Commonwealth Ave (better known as Comm Ave) runs through it. There are wide sidewalks, but you have all of those cross streets.
    You could run down Comm Ave to the Public Garden/Boston Common and jog through or around these parks. They are seperated by Charles Street.
    The classic Boston run is on the Esplanade. If you run down Comm Ave and take a left onto Arlington Street you will be heading in the right direction. This is where the 4th of July concert is held and it is a very popular running area. I would not advise running alone after dark on the Esplanade. Comm Ave is usually pretty busy and should be safe.
    If you Google back bay boston you will get a nice map and can see the streets I’m talking about.
    I’m around Saturday afternoon if you want to go for a run. If you think you’ll have time in the afternoon send your number to: andy@medalframz.com

    • kmt4n says:

      Oh, awesome! THANK YOU – this is loads helpful! I’ll be in touch if I have time for a Saturday afternoon run – not looking good at the moment since that’s the most busy day I have there, but I’m going to try to be as flexible as I can. Cheers!

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