Simple Pleasures

AJW honors the health that allows him to do a daily run.

By on April 24, 2015 | Comments

AJWs TaproomEarlier this month, shortly before leaving on our family spring vacation, my doctor cleared me to begin running again. After four months of battling hip problems brought on by a variety of issues including a torn labrum and osteoarthritis, I was at last able to run pain free again.

Over our spring break (camping on the beach in Florida) I ran a little bit each day. Simply putting one foot in front of the other I began with a one-mile run/walk and during the course of the week worked my way up to three miles, I slowly began to feel like a runner again. Now, three weeks later, I am running about 25 miles a week and, I must say, I have never, and I mean never, been happier in my life as a runner.

I know there are a lot bigger problems in the world than not being able to run but for me those four months away from running were extremely hard emotionally and psychologically. I felt an emptiness in my life that I couldn’t seem to replace through any other outlet. Now, after just a few weeks of running mellow paces and light miles, I have learned, at long last, not to take my running for granted. It is too much a part of my life to risk losing.

What this means for my long-term running future is too hard to tell. As my doc said, “You’ve got a lot of wear and tear on those tires and there are no spares available.” As I think about it, what really matters to me most is my daily run. And, if I need to trade running long races or running long periods in order to enjoy my daily 35 minutes of solace, then I am good with that. I know it’s cliche but it really is all about the process.

So, as we roll into the heart of spring, I am celebrating the simple pleasure of my daily run. For now I am sticking to the roads and no more than about five miles at a time. I feel myself slowly getting more fit, I feel my mind wandering more readily with each passing run, and my emotional balance is much more strong. After four months away, it is that balance that I feel like I most need. And, now that I have it back, I’ll do whatever it takes not to lose it.

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

Lagunitas Brewing Company Waldos' Special AleThis week’s Beer of the Week is Lagunitas Brewing Company’s Waldos’ Special Double IPA 2015 edition. Released every year on April 20th, this big, forward-leaning DIPA is a mouthful. Tipping the scales at just over 11% ABV, it is not for the faint of heart. However, like many of the offerings from Lagunitas, it drinks surprisingly smooth. Only available on draft, take a look at the website to find out where you can get it near you, before it runs out!

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • When was the last time you were injured enough that you had to take several months off running?
  • How did that lack of your daily run affect your emotional well being and the rest of your life?
  • Have you ever found yourself taking your ability to run healthfully for granted? How do you remind yourself in those times that the physical ability to run is not a guarantee?
Andy Jones-Wilkins

Andy Jones-Wilkins is an educator by day and has been the author of AJW’s Taproom at iRunFar for over 11 years. A veteran of over 190 ultramarathons, including 38 100-mile races, Andy has run some of the most well-known ultras in the United States. Of particular note are his 10 finishes at the Western States 100, which included 7 times finishing in the top 10. Andy lives with his wife, Shelly, and Josey, the dog, and is the proud parent of three sons, Carson, Logan, and Tully.