Oh, the joys of running. Has everything already been said and written about this fascinating subject? Probably. But guess what? I actually still have a bit more to say. Surprise, surprise. I’m that oddball newbie runner who thinks about running when I’m running. Weird, but true. It is my belief that most runners can relate to some, if not all of the following 13 random thoughts about the sport that is near and dear to my heart. Happy running!
We shamelessly round up our miles but only if it’s over the .85 mark. We would never, ever round up when we are training, but sometimes, if no one is looking, we do a teeny tiny bit. Well, some of us do. Actually I guess I can only speak for myself. I round up my miles. Sometimes, not always. And yes, I sleep just fine at night. Because 6.91 is 7 miles. It is. That’s all I have. The defense rests.
We are hyper aware of speeding cars and get a little freaked out when you don’t slow down. Every “road run” puts us on high alert. And seriously dude, if we’re wearing NEON clothing, with flashing lights harnessed across our backs and torsos, and reflective hats with head lamps, why would you not slow down? Do you hate us? Do you hate us because we run? I think you do. Are you afraid of what you don’t understand? I think you are.
We listen to hard core rap music. Well, some of us do. I won’t name names, but we like it. We like the big booty songs. We like the songs about the harsh realities of gangster street life that cuts us to the core and serves to motivate in a way that no other genre of music can. And the beats are sick. Drop it like it’s hot.
We have hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of clothes and sneakers and gear and yet we still do not have enough. And we never will. True story.
We always say it’s okay if you don’t attend our races but secretly we want you there. We want you there, waiting and waiting and waiting for us. Even when it’s raining. Or snowing. We want you there to witness our 20 second “approach to the finish line” magic. We want you holding a sign and screaming for us during the last quarter mile. We want you there. And we don’t care if you are bored.
We always think we can’t do it until we actually do it. We think we can’t for a long period of time, and then, when we finally break through certain walls (miles, pace) and we actually DO what we think we can’t do – it’s the only time we really know we can. And it’s the most thrilling feeling a runner can have (aside from finish line magic). If you are confused, I apologize. This sentence only makes sense to newbie runners who are training to run races they have no business running. Cough, cough. Sorry, I had to clear my throat.
We don’t just run but it is the only physical activity we feel the need to report to everyone, every day, all the time, without fail. I could hike 10 miles, row up the Hudson River, do 65 burpees and lift some tires over my head for 30 minutes, but I won’t utter a word about it. I run 2 measly miles and I will inevitably say “I ran today” at some point during the day to someone. Someone must know that I ran otherwise it didn’t happen.
We fluctuate from being nonchalant and not caring about our race time, to getting super excited and clamoring for the official results when we know we’ve done well. This bit of human nature applies to all runners.
We hate when the course description downplays the hills. Honestly, if half the race is uphill, just tell us. And don’t go trying to entice us by saying things like “fast and flat finish” because we can see right through your lies. That’s how you get us to register. Just tell the truth. If you are going to lie, tell us it’s a difficult course with awful hills and dirt roads. Then let us be pleasantly surprised and delighted when it is not.
The last half mile of any run, any time, is the victory lap. It doesn’t matter the distance. The last half mile is when the perfect storm of motivation, determination, consistency, effort, and accomplishment merge together to form a “super swirl” of positive emotions and sweet relief. And that is what makes it worth every second of the time you’ve put in. All miles pale in comparison to that last half mile.
Any run on any given day can be a total mind game because running, in and of itself, is no fun at all. There’s a lot of “talking to ourselves” if you will. We have to talk ourselves into venturing out in the first place, and most of the time we have to talk ourselves into continuing along the way to meet our goal miles. The mind gives up before the legs do. The psychological side of running is intense. We have to talk to ourselves, and analyze our progress way more than you think we do. Please understand.
We hate burying our old sneakers. It makes us sad. In my humble opinion, for any pair of worn-out treads, there was a loving, committed relationship established. The “giddy newness” at the beginning, the breaking in period, the “sweet spot” period and the 2 straight weeks of hobbling along, knowing they will be “put out to pasture” soon is pretty much the life cycle for any good pair of running shoes. We go through this cycle over and over again, every 300 – 500 miles. And it’s always heart breaking. But give us a new pair of shiny, hot pink Brooks and we will forget those dirty, old, beat-up hags faster that you can say Hoka One One.
Believe it or not, we would rather go to the dentist, the doctor, the lawyer’s office, and serve jury duty all in one day than put our miles in on a treadmill. No joke.