I had an attempt at a post on god, life, and the meaning of the universe, but it didn't come together very well. I think I need to bounce some ideas around in my head a little bit longer before they come together properly. So instead, I thought I might steal a title from Nike's admen and talk about running instead.
It is after midnight here in Tokyo. I just went out for a night run. It was cold and there was some light rain, but there wasn't any wind, so it wasn't too bad. I had to push myself a bit to do it, but I got my running gear on, my sneakers, running tights, t-shirt, hoodie, beanie and gloves. I put on my headphones, hit play on the iPod, and ran off into the night to the sound of AC/DC's Highway to Hell - that got me moving!
I probably ran for about 12 kilometers or so. I stopped and walked at some points, sometimes for a minute or two, sometimes for a song or two. Then I picked up the pace and started running again. Not pushing myself too much, but not slacking off too much either. A nice middle ground.
The 2011 Tokyo marathon is coming up in about a month, and I am not ready for it. I wasn't ready for it when I did it in 2007 either, but I managed to get through it, despite it being an agonizing experience. And despite not really being ready this year either, I am a little older and wiser than back in 2007.
My physical fitness is a bit better than it was in 2007, and my depression is not as bad either. Also, I have finally realized that I don't need to run like a kamikaze intent on obliterating myself, the way I used to in the past. It is okay to go slow. It is okay to walk for a time. The important thing is just to keep moving - and to do so sustainably.
I think when I do the marathon a month from now I will most likely do some version of running for ten minutes, walking for two. I have tried it out at shorter distances, and it really does seem to make the run easier. Back in November I did a half marathon where I stubbornly ran the whole distance, despite the fact that alternating walking and running would have probably made me a bit faster. This was pointed out to me while I was doing it. But I wasn't capable of not forcing myself to "run" at that race.
I had quite a lot of pain after that run, and that combined with a few conversations with other runners led me to finally become a bit more reasonable, a bit more flexible in my approach. I think I needed both the pain, plus the advice from others who had been down the same road before me, to help me realize that the way I was doing things were damaging me.
It took a long time, but I finally made the realization. Many things seem to be like this. But life is long. I have time to figure these things out. And I'm beginning to think that I will, one of these days.