Monday, January 4, 2010

Clean Slate

If you follow this blog then you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for the last 2+ weeks. No worries… I was on vacation; both figuratively and literally.

As some of you may or may not know I’ve been laid-off from work for the last 9 months. I used those 9 months to the best of my abilities… I got myself into shape, became a runner, finished a marathon, completed plenty of projects around the house, honed my cooking skills, and did some volunteer work… but despite efforts to remain productive I have to say that all in all 2009 pretty much sucked and despite the fact that I haven’t been gainfully employed for the last 9 months that period of time was hardly a vacation. Now don’t get me wrong. All in all I had it pretty good; I have a loving wife with a stable job to provide us with income and health insurance. We pinched pennies and got through 2009… Still being laid-off is depressive and it’s hard not to feel a little down, frustrated, and worthless in spite of the fact that the situation was more or less completely out of my control.

But the last 2 weeks have been different. In 2 days (Jan 6), I start a new job. So for the last 2 weeks I haven’t felt laid-off anymore. I’ve felt like I’ve been “on vacation”. I got to enjoy the holidays with friends and family. I spent New Years in Chicago visiting friends, and getting krunk on all you can eat Sushi and all you can drink Saki.

Also, I decided to use this “vacation” as an opportunity to take a long needed vacation from running too. I ran the Chicago Marathon on October 11th and have been nursing various nagging injuries pretty much ever since. Shin splints, ITBS, tight hamstrings… pretty much one thing after another.

I knew that it was in my best interest to take some time off and let myself recover but I couldn’t bring myself to stop. There were just too many reasons to keep running. For one, I was in the best shape I’ve been in for a long time and I didn’t want to let any of that fitness go. Secondly, with the lay-off, running was the only thing keeping me sane. It gave me a purpose, a routine, and a sense of achievement. Lastly, I’m a total endorphin addict! I needed that feel good feeling that I get from a ball-busting workout… I need to feed the beast!!!

With the holidays I finally got the excuse I needed to take a break from it all. No more blogging about running, reading blogs about running, reading books about running, looking at the latest running gear on-line, and especially no more running!!! I was finally on vacation!!!!

But today, I’m back. I started the morning by getting on-line and registering for some 2010 races. First race on the docket: An 8K (the 2010 Shamrock Shuffle on March 21st) and a Half-Marathon (the 2010 Illinois Half-Marathon on May 1st). Then I got on my running shoes and hit the gym for an easy 3 miles (I’m finally feeling good and I’m going to ease into building the mileage back up). And now here I am blogging again.

Today I’m renewed. I have a clean slate. My legs are fresh. My spirits are rejuvenated. 2009 is over and I’m ready to stride into 2010. Vacations are good but it’s great to be back!


  1. Great to see you back man. I was wondering what the heck happended to you? Good luck with your training for your races in 2010. I don't have any planned yet. Hope your 3 miles turned out ok. I have not been running really in the past 2 weeks with the Holidays. TIme to get back into it. Welcome back man.

  2. i took advantage of the christmas vacation/time off and didn't run much either! :) sometimes you just have to enjoy the 'vacation' - no matter the form, and sometimes that includes not running. sounds like you are revived, refreshed and ready for 2010!

    good luck starting the new job tomorrow!