March 21, 2012
I ran 8 miles. I worked from 8am to 8pm. I did not work well. I played viola for a little bit, aimlessly. I did not play well.
March 18, 2012
the weekend, the week
running: 6 miles Saturday, 12 miles Sunday. 48 and a bit for the week, which makes this the biggest week since December sometime. Way slower than that week, though. I'm still firmly in the 9-10minute pace category. But my knee is better and better. It's just a question now of whether I'll get speed and endurance back.
viola: 7 or 8 hours, mostly trying to do whatever to play fast(er) and in tune, tone be damned. I am reminded of the smirky thing we programmers say to customers: "you want it done well, fast, cheap? Pick two." With viola it's "in tune, in time, and with proper tone," and I only seem to be able to do two of those at a time (if that). Anyway, in orchestra this semester there are two pieces that kick my ass, mainly because I they are fast and in a key that has few resonant notes, and often my left hand shifts slightly just enough times that I end up in a different key than the one I started in. I spent a lot of those 7 or 8 hours on scales and drills and exercises and playing the fast parts of those asskicking pieces bit by bit, over and over and over. I think I may have got somewhere. Each day brought a couple of tiny revelations about something I could try or something I could fix. And for a treat, I picked up something I hadn't played in a while (and had struggled with) and it was playable, and a lot easier.
March 15, 2012
First workout since early January: 10 miles including 2x[5min] at a pace a bit slower than the marathon pace I was training for before I got injured. Yes, that's right: 2 reps of 5 minutes. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't impossible either, which had been a back-of-the-mind fear.
Music: scales, scales, scales, and the neverending quest to play them fast, and then somehow apply that to the fast pieces we're playing this semester. I spent a lot of time on this one Mendelssohn thing that breaks my spirit every time we play it in rehearsal, because I always fall apart. Today I started from the end and worked backward, and managed to string all the notes in the second half together. Tomorrow I'll try to add the first half.
March 14, 2012
How long has it been? I don't even know. Am I still running? Yes. In fact, I am even in that awkward phase coming out of a semi-major injury where I don't quite have my feet under me yet and I spend every run wondering if I feel 0.1% better. But over the past couple of years, I have developed another obsession: playing viola.
I played a little as a child, put it down for 30-odd years while playing other instruments, then picked it back up again about 3 years ago. I work very hard at it. I take lessons once a week. I play in a sort of all-comers string orchestra. I have attempted to play chamber music with friends and strangers alike. I practice hours and hours every week; in fact, since the running injury, my weekly practice hours surpass my weekly running hours. And still, despite my huge desire to play passably well, I suck.
As I get close to 50 years old, I expect that my running will fade with each new injury that takes longer and longer to recover from. Meanwhile, playing viola will probably replace running as that thing I want very badly, and work very hard at, and never quite get.
Oh well, at least I still have desire for something.