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David Freeze: Gotta Run

Once every few weeks, it happens! The signs are there and I am good at ignoring them. Don’t we all want to avoid the things that we deem not so well aligned with who we are? I dread it occurring, but know that I can’t stop this and also know that the rest of the day won’t be pleasant afterwards.

Speaking of those signs, for two straight mornings, the alarm woke me up. This almost never happens. I fell asleep while typing on my laptop and watching my favorite TV show. But later, real sleep was fitful and nowhere near as sound as it should be.

I have my routine for the normal morning. It nearly always begins with bouncing out of the bed between 5 and 5:15 a.m. and heading for the other parts of the ritual. I open my laptop, grab a bottle of water and a Powerbar before heading back to the den to see what happened over night on MSN with an emphasis on the national news and late sports happenings. Then I check the Post homepage for local news and sports coverage.

Then comes getting dressed for my morning run, always based on the temperature, wind and any precipitation. Years and years of running makes it easy to know what to wear.

I start the GPS watch so it can find the satellites to track my morning run distance. A timely and usually very short bathroom break is the last stop before heading downstairs to go out the door.

Just before leaving the house, I grab a small swallow of honey and usually turn on the outside light. Then 30 minutes after awakening, I am off for the morning run. Usually there is spring in my legs as I head up the Weaver Road hill from the driveway.

But here is what happens, thankfully just once in a while. Some mornings, the signs are there. I just don’t have that spring in my legs, my breathing isn’t right and everything seems off. Often, I come up with a resolve to slog through the run, which usually isn’t the proper answer.

What I need is to back off of training and add a little recovery time, usually just for a day. The poor sleep and the nodding off are good signs. So is a rapid pulse.

So, what do I do? Just once in a while, I stop where I am, maybe a 1/4th or ½ mile up the road, cut my GPS watch off and walk back.

Back in the house, I grab something to read and head upstairs to a recliner. Within minutes, usually right after my feet go up, the eyes go closed. I spend that running hour sleeping instead.

For the rest of the day, I hate mentally that the run was not completed. But there is a bigger goal, to recover a little and maybe take another nap or go to bed earlier. I am notorious for late nights and 5 hours of sleep. Eventually this catches up with me.

The typical run on the next morning has some extra zip and I suddenly feel like myself again. That was the goal for sure and that is just what happened. So, bottom line, a little rest does play a part in our running.

Today is the 34th annual Novant Health Winter Flight 8K, 5K Health Walk and ½ mile run for 12 and under kids. The fun run is free and starts at 1:30 p.m. at Catawba College. The other events start at 2 p.m. and there is plenty of time to register this afternoon, starting at 12:30 p.m. Spectators are always welcome for this event. www.salisburyrowanrunners.org or call 704-310-6741 for information. I hope to see you there!


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