I had considered starting a separate blog for this, but I really have too much going on to worry about maintaining two blogs. Besides, I am as interested in seeing how the fast affects my writing as well as my running.
At the request of many of my friends on Dailymile, I have decided to blog about the fast that I started last night. This isn’t going to be a total fast because I plan on eating one banana every day approximately one hour before my run. I’m hoping that, as the fast continues, this will help to prevent my body from cannibalizing my muscles for energy while I am running. I’ll also be taking one multi-vitamin and one calcium pill every day. One of the important things about a fast like this is to continue drinking lots of water; I did this very well today.
The run was not difficult at all. I did not really feel any more tired than I would have otherwise. In fact, I had planned on only going two miles, but went almost three.
Now I am approaching twenty-four hours without any food. I skipped the banana this first day, because I knew my stores of fat were sufficient. In reality, I suspect they are good for a couple of days as long as my physical activity other than the run is limited. The only negative, which was expected, is I have a low-level, continuous headache. When I did this in March, the headache went away before the end of the second day.
Of course, the hardest part was coming upstairs and finding my wife Kathleen, daughter Carrie, and son-in-law Sid eating dinner. It was simple fare, but regardless, I could not keep my eyes off those tater-tots.
My apologies to those of you who may have attempted to leave comments on my blog. There is a WordPress learning curve involved and, apparently, I’m still climbing the slope of that curve. Comments have been enabled on my blog page, so please feel free to let me know what you think.
Symbiosis: the living together of two dissimilar organisms. In terms of activities, what could be more different that running and writing? One you do at a desk using your mind, the other is done outside using your muscles.
In psychiatry, symbiosis is a relationship in which each person is dependent upon, and receives reinforcement from, the other. In psychoanalysis, it is the relationship between an infant and its mother in which the infant is dependent on the mother both physically and emotionally. This describes well the connection between my running and my writing.
For decades, the embryonic version of Michael Selmer- the writer grew inside of Michael Selmer, the husband, father, runner and working man. Like a fetus inside the womb, the writer developed the basic form that would allow him to go out into the world. Labor lasted twenty-nine hours, thirty-six minutes and seventeen seconds; the time it took to complete a one-hundred-mile race that plumbed the depths of my soul. After that race, I was a different person. My mind, spirit and emotions were fired in the crucible of a body driven beyond its limits. The Rocky Mountains above Leadville, Colorado served as the birth canal for a writer. Like an infant, the writer had to crawl before he could walk; walk before he could run.
For me, writing is much like a race. The gun starts you with high hopes, and then you settle into a pace that lets the personality of the race develop. Struggles and conflicts arise during the race, but you overcome them to arrive at a dramatic finish. As a newborn writer, I have many years of growth ahead of me and, with the confidence of youth, I know my best races are yet to come.
And so I have arrived at a title, a theme and a direction for my blog. The Symbiosis of Writing and Running will explore the vast landscape of ideas, experiences and emotions that exist between my running and my writing. It will aim to entertain and inspire the runner in all of us; nurture and commune with the writer in all of us.