Sunday, April 27, 2014

CTR Captain Blues

My "long" run today took me to and through Shubie Park, one of my favourite places to run. There are lots of memories there - of happy times running with friends and sad times struggling to cope with life's challenges. It's a place my soul feels comfortable.

The run today was a bit tough. I barely slept last night because I was worried about my Cabot Trail Relay team. We lost three more runners this week so it's been a mad scramble to find replacements. Added to which, the team is mostly made up of newbies who haven't been able to provide much support so far. After a hard night tossing and turning, I spent the morning sending messages to try to get a handle on things so that I could feel less panicked. It worked but I felt really tired when I headed out the door and it showed. 

The other hard thing about today was that I was running "naked" - by which I mean without my Garmin. In fact, I've been without it all week because I left it behind in the country last weekend. It doesn't matter much since I know how long my regular mid-week routes are but I was only able to guesstimate my distance today, which I found unsettling. I told myself I shouldn't worry about how far or fast I went, and just settle into running for a couple of hours, but my inner control freak had a bit of meltdown. "What's the point of running if you don't know exactly how far and fast you're going?" she hollered. 

She's not completely wrong. With Cabot Trail Relay a month away, monitoring my pace is important. I only have four weeks left to get myself from winter slog mode to something approximating the preferred sub-6 min/km pace. The last two years, I managed an average of about 5:45/km at CTR but I was in far better condition. I'll be damned lucky to make the mat this year. My only hope is to train well for the next couple of weeks, then taper properly. A touch of bloody-mindedness will help too. Given that I'm the Captain of the team, there's no way I want to crash and burn in front of everybody. 

I don't think I've mentioned it but I ended up in the role of Captain accidentally. I offered to be someone else's lieutenant and, when she pulled out on account of work, found myself stuck with the job. I was thinking today about how often in my life something similar has happened - so often that it can't be just coincidence. I suppose it's because my over-developed sense of responsibility makes it hard for me to walk away when something needs doing, and people pretty quickly realize they can ask me to take stuff on and I will.

All of which is good in lots of ways. It's satisfying to step up and get things done when needed. Except that there have been far too many nights when I've lain awake for hours worrying about how to herd all the cats in the same direction. It's exhausting being so responsible. It would be nice to get involved in something without taking on a leadership role sometimes. I need to figure out how to make that happen.

Too tired to think or write more tonight. Bedtime cocoa awaits. Hope it's spring wherever you are and that you all have a great week.

Happy running and writing, friends. 


  1. That inner control freak needs to take a valium or something. I was like that at first. It was as if not knowing how far or how fast meant it didn't happen. Now I know better, and can just run to enjoy the day. But then I'm not really seriously training for a race that I'll be sharing with other people. That's a lot of pressure. Hope it goes well.

    1. Appreciate that, Keith. I expect everything will be well in the end. The team is made up of a great group of people. Just need to relax and trust that, so long as I do the work, things will come together.

  2. Yikes - that's a lot of runners that need replacing. Hope you find them easily, Janice, and you don't end up running more than two legs of the race! You'll need a nice relaxing holiday after all is said and done - where the only thing on your mind is when and where is the next glass of wine coming from!!!!

    Breathe - and meditate - things will work out, as they always seem to do :)

    1. Looks like we're good for now, Janet. I've got one more spot to fill but everyone's working on it so hopefully we'll have it sorted out soon. The good news is that folks responded well when I emailed them yesterday and we're having a team get together tomorrow night so things feel like they're beginning to fall back together…I hope anyway.

      You're right about the meditation. I crawled out of bed a bit early this morning to do a few sun salutations, which made me feel a whole lot better.

      Hope you enjoyed the weekend. Talk soon!