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After a nice 2-odd mile hike yesterday (round-trip, with a few hundred feet elevation gain built in) and a 2-mile run in the evening, just to start getting my running legs back after my cold, I felt good today. Darned good. Which is why I hit the gym and did a 20-minute interval set on the elliptical, followed by a leisurely 10 minute run on the treadmill and a little lifting. Back when I started dissertation, a colleague approaching the end of their dissertation told me, “just watch — you’ll gain about 20 pounds because you won’t have time to work out.” Being the contrary sunuvagun that I can be when the mood strikes me, I used gym and running time to work out my dissertation frustrations and lost about 25 pounds instead. Running 10-15 miles a week, plus logging some cardio and lifting time at the gym 2-3 times per week, left me feeling that my body was the strongest it had ever been, even as my mind was the most exhausted it had ever been. But the dissertation ended, and my teaching load immediately tripled, and my student access to the university rec center went out the window. I managed to keep from any significant weight gain, but my running time cut in half and my gym time became non-existent.

This winter, after pushing myself to get back on the trail running 10-15 miles a week and almost immediately injuring my leg, I bought a gym membership on the way home from a sports massage appointment, and resolved to reignite my 3x / week gym regimen, supplementing it with extra cardio time to give my leg time to heal up a bit. I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to keep that schedule up for the most part over the last three months, with a recent week-and-a-half absence on account of a head cold. I was so stoked about getting back to my workouts and caught up in the fun of race season kicking off around here this weekend, that I also picked up a new pair of minimalist flat running shoes. I generally go for heavier shoes with extra strong arch support, but then again, that hasn’t been helping my leg over the last few months, so I figured I’d give these a try. Still breaking them in around the house, though I’m stoked to take them out on the trail — I just need to resist the temptation to run in them before this weekend’s race. The main point, though is that it just feels good to get back in the swing of working out again, and that’s what it’s all about.

Word count: About 440
Time: About 7 minutes