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Building Back

I had a lousy run this morning. I love being a runner, but I hate this time of year, when I have to transition from being a sporadic, short-spurts-on-the-treadmill, calls-herself-a-runner runner to being an actual runner who enjoys distance and does speed work and wins her age group in races. Little races, anyway. Okay, one little race. Okay, technically there was only one other lady in my age group, BUT I BEAT HER.

I know that I won't really enjoy running 4 and 5 milers until I've built my fitness back up, and 6 miles probably won't be the kind of fun I remember until it's a respite from 8 and 9 milers. And I know that the only way to get there is to keep soldiering through these middle distance runs for the first few weeks of my spring build-up.

But what I'm feeling now is the kind of feeling that could make a person not bother to go out on her next scheduled run. It kind of stank while I was doing it, and I don't really feel that much better now that it's over.

I need to move somewhere with way less winter, because if I had just been able to keep to my regular routine these past few months this would not be happening. I'm very happy as a 20-25 mile a week runner, but getting back there from my winter regimen of *ahem* 6-8 miles feels like starting all over again.

The parallel to my work is clear, and this is why I rarely take time off from the oboe. Being a musician is great stuff when I'm at the top of my game, but the oboe doesn't really tolerate breaks well. After a very few days things start to feel pretty unfamiliar, and the little muscles in the embouchure get lax and weak, and the fine control really slips. Oh, and the reeds sit around and get dry and bad. And not too long after that I start to lose the habit of blowing good air all the way through the instrument, and get short of breath when I try. And dragging myself back up to a high level is such a chore that I'd much rather just stay there and save the work.

I am pleased to report that today's practice sessions - for my next audition and for my spring recital CHROMA - went very well.

Tomorrow my plan says seven miles. Wish me luck!

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