Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Running not to the drama, but from it

Most of the time, I need a little more drama. And running is often where I find it. Earlier this year, with my training going well, I started to press harder in my training hoping to pop a good time at the Santa Cruz Half-Marathon. Instead, I popped the bursa sac in my right hip, and watched the race instead. It was frustrating, but I have few regrets. Injuries are an unfortunate part of running, and the high and lows of running provide a certain drama often missing in the humdrum of normal life.

But lately, life has become too dramatic. Let me count the ways. A large public held company announced it will buy the company I work currently for, which last year bought my previous employer. (Are you following this? Sorry, it probably isn't wise to mention names here.) Days later, several of my co-workers were effectively laid off. Oh, they got offers to relocate hundreds of miles away to new jobs, but I don't think anyone will take the offer. While my boss assures me that my job is safe and I think he's right with my position pretty solid, its hard not to go around with my ears wide open listening for the next shoe to drop. My brother-in-law has not been so lucky and lost his job in these difficult and uncertain times.

Adding to that is that I'm involved in a child custody with my first wife. It isn't wise to discuss these things in detail on the internet, but suffice to say, I wanted more time with our kids, and she opposes that, and she is trying to move the kids significantly further away from me. We aren't agreeing about any of this, which is why we are in litigation. These things are typically ugly and complicated, and since our ten year old son has autism, that doesn't make it any easier. I've had enough of this drama.

So surprisingly, running has become a source of stability and predictability from all that. The morning routine of going out the door and getting a few miles is a source of solace from all the external stresses outside my control. My wife and I are running the Water to Wine Half-Marathon on August 14th in Healdsburg, an easy course which starts at Lake Sonoma and drops 200 feet with no major hills along the way to finish in Healdsburg, CA, home of Bear Republic Brewery. And while it's course meant for running fast, I have no ambitions to run the best time possible. Well, at least I'm trying to keep my competitive juices and impatience in check for the race which for me is no small accomplishment. A successful race for me will be just knocking out the first few miles at a very easy pace, maybe picking it up a little in the middle, finish strong, cheering my wife in, and then savoring the moment with a Bear Republic Racer 5.

We all need a little drama, and sometimes running often provides it, sometimes it shelters us from it. Funny thing about drama, it always seems to work out in the end, often in ways we don't expect.


  1. Derrick,

    I couldn't agree more with your reference to running being a "source of stability and predictability".

    Very well written.


  2. As you say, there are plenty of things that can go wrong while running and attempting to keep to a plan. But when it's going right, and the feet are tapping the pavement or trail like a metronome, all other "stuff" can easily melt away. Hang in there!