As I write this post, I’m literally soaked with sweat. After I finish my morning run three days a week, I’m so sweaty that I have to change my shirt. Depending on how hard I’ve run that day and how humid it is, I generally soak through that shirt too. Today is one of those days — we’ve gotten the first significant rain in weeks, and now it’s steaming off the sidewalks.
It takes me a good 30 minutes to an hour to cool down after my runs, and it occurred to me today while I was running along that I might be able to use my running cool-down time as writing warm-up time.
Part of the reason I haven’t been posting to Word Munger much recently is that I’m starting to train for yet another half-marathon this year. Believe it or not, I’m actually not training as hard as I did last year, but I still need to get into good enough shape to finish. Last year, my runs took so much out of me that I was pretty much worthless all morning. On long-run days I was sometimes so wiped out that I couldn’t write all day.
That’s not acceptable, so I’ve started doing a few things differently. I now do a cool-down jog after I finish the run. That’s supposed to actually speed recovery from the run because of some medical stuff I don’t really understand, but which did make sense at the time I read it.
The cool-down jog is harder than you might think. When you first finish running, the last thing you want to do is jog for another mile, even at a very slow pace. So you have to force yourself to jog along. Then, after a couple hundred yards, you realize that jogging is pretty easy, and you have to force yourself to slow down so you don’t defeat the purpose of the cool-down. Then inevitably you see another runner, or someone walking their dog, or a friend drives by in their car, and you want to say “I’m not really this slow!” It’s hard to resist the temptation to speed up in order to show off. In fact, usually I do speed up unconsciously, and fifty yards after they pass I realize I’m out of breath again.
But I think the cool-down jog is working — I’m recovering from my run faster. But still, all this takes time away from my writing day, and so that’s why I’ve come up with this new category on Word Munger. In post-run ramblings, I’m free to ramble on about whatever was on my mind during the run while I cool down. I don’t fuss about writing effectively or powerfully, I just say what’s on my mind. I realize this might scare away my few remaining readers, but I don’t really care, since I’m primarily concerned with readership on CogDaily (which is doing quite well, thankyouverymuch).
So, prepare to be bombarded with post-run ramblings three times a week. (What do I do for exercise the rest of the week? Right now I’m playing soccer one day, and building a stone wall in my back yard the other three days. I’ll probably post about the wall one of these days.)