Like chocolate and peanut butter, or condoms and lube, running and writing has gone hand in hand for me over the last year. When I was running, I was writing. When I didn’t write, I didn’t run. And so forth.
For the past month, I’ve been impatiently waiting for a minor injury to heal enough to run properly. By properly, I mean hitting the road for more than twenty minutes. I don’t want to jog around the cul-de-sac and back. I don’t want to do run/walk intervals. I want to run.
When a story bugs me, I set it aside and I run. Mentally, I’m focused on stride, pacing, breathing, cars, dogs, people, muscle strength, and energy level. Underneath all that, and away from my conscious mind, I’m working out whatever issues stumped me on the story. Likewise, when my body gets regular attention, my mind is more focused when it is time to sit down and write. I have the mental energy when my physical energy levels are regulated through regular workouts.
Lately, I’ve only been able to manage short workouts, usually of mediocre quality. This morning consisted of: walk ½ mile, run ½ mile, walk ¼ mile, run ¼ mile, walk ¼ mile, run ½ mile, walk home. Boring. Miserable. Not the energetic, enjoyable runs I looked forward to every other day last summer and fall. Nothing close to the 10k goal I had when the first snowfall hit. And not close enough to the 7k race I’m registered for next month.
The writing is coming back to me. It helps that I have a hard deadline for LI. My own self-imposed deadlines are nothing compared to one resulting from a contract I signed. As I work through edits, my mind whirls with other characters and the stories they have to tell. The injury will heal. Whether that’s sooner or later, the passion for storytelling cannot be completely subdued, but I do look forward to the moment when running and writing are truly reunited.