Sunday, April 11, 2010

Can't Win Them All

One of the other blogs I subscribe to has the tagline "I love tequilla and the treadmill equally". I love that line. And I truely an epitome of it this weekend.

I had a good time with the Not Boston Fun Run in Tyler State Park on Saturday morning. It was a very small event with maybe 50-75 runners total. I think the event planners could have marketed it a little more. Not Boston was a 2.62 mile run with mile markers every tenth of a mile to simulate or mock the epic Boston Marathon next weekend. The description for the event was "I didn't qualify for Boston." The small field really motivated me to keep up a good pace and I crossed the finish line at around 24 minutes. I was pleased~! I wanted to run more but I had promised myself a good long training run on Sunday. I was planning on taking advantage of a stay in NYC to run in the picturesque Central Park.

My best friend Ayo lives in Manhattan and I love going to visit her on random weekends. Saturday night was her last performance in her graduate program at the New School for Drama. I had to see it! I figured we'd go out for a few drinks afterward but that I'd still be able to run in the morning/late afternoon.

A few drinks turned into a few drinks too many as her very generous father insisted on getting us hammered. And I always feel trashy if a maybe CEO like her dad asks to buy me a drink and I say, "Ill take a beer." So, I broke my own rule and had bad idea reunion with my ex Gin. Gin and his friend Wine and eventually Beer. We had a great time last night. This morning was another story.

I wasn't full out can't function hungover, but I did say one or two prayers to the porcelian goddess. Running was not an option. I'm ok with that. I realize how addicted, or neurotic, I am as I was contemplating an after-dark run around the neighborhood when I got home. Now, the rational side of me knows that no harm will come from missing the training run this afternoon. It happens. I had a blast last night and certainly wasn't going to turn down free drinks! Not running today will not have a giant impact on my performance in the half marathon next weekend and I can squeeze in one or two up tempo runs this week to compensate. I know this. But I feel almost as guilty about not running today as I do when I eat peanut butter for dinner.

Had I tried to run today it would have been ugly. There was no way I was going to do the full eleven. I'd have died or puked or something even more embarrassing. I will have to admit my defeat today. But will rise super freaking early tomorrow to be ready for the next battle. Or not. It's must easier to surrender at 5am than it is at 5pm.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What I've learned from running

It’s coming up on a year since I ran my first ‘race’. It’s funny to say race considering there is no chance in hell that I’ll ever win and I’m most certainly not fast. But I guess it’s a race against yourself and your world. And the person in front of you who you have been trailing the whole time.
My New Year’s Resolution in 2009 was to train for and run the Philadelphia Broad Street 10 Miler. What a game-changer that was. In the past year, I’ve run two half marathons, a 15K (9 miles), a 5 miler and thousands of training miles. I have more running pants/shorts than jeans and far more sports bras than regular ones. I just bought my fourth pair of sneakers since starting. I can't help but reflect and smile at the great adventures and lessons this silly hobby turned passion has brought me. I think I shall share "What I've learned from running."
  • You can, in fact, sweat from every pore in your body. And it doesn’t have to be hot outside to do so. And it can feel awesome and gross. Mostly gross.
  • There is an option on the iPhone called “Shake to Shuffle”. Turn that off before throwing your iphone/ipod/camera/gps into the river because it won’t stop changing songs! Oh, the anger, the anger, I felt for months. Months.
  • Feet are nothing but dead layers of skin just waiting to rubbed off. They say pain is weakness leaving the body. Apparently, the most popular exit is through the feet.
  • No one cares if your outfit matches. I do, however, care if you don’t do the obligatory wave or nod as we pass. Yeah, you can be rocking the cute capris and tech tee but if you’re on my side of the road and don’t move or even make an effort to move, you’re just a jogger.
  • Just because you run up a hill does not mean you will run down a hill. You may run on a flat surface before going up a hill and even if you turn around, it may still be a hill. However, for every downhill, there is an equal uphill. Especially in Tyler State Park. I find this whole concept to be very symbolic.
  • TMI alert- Running keeps you regular and in a regular fear of about 70% of all foods.
  • Not everyone understands or gets running, but everyone respects it. And, once you tell a guy you run, you will inevitably hear how fast he is or how he can run far too. It’s like an instant competition. Or if he’s not fast or can’t run far or fake it -- he’ll instead just tell you how awesome he is at some other sport. “I hate running, but I can play basketball all day.” Great, I like having good conversations with interesting people, but I'm talking to you. It's the same thing. Women will always say, “Wow, I can’t even run one mile!”
  • Bears, however, really don’t care if you can run six miles in sixty minutes and that you couldn’t do that a year ago. Nope. Bears are not good motivation to run because if you are ever running at the butt crack of dawn on a foggy winter’s morning and you see something large, black, and ominous in front of you, it really does not matter if you’re faster than your friends. Because they’re not there and you’re breakfast.
  • Same scenario as above, “Thriller” is a terrible song for your iPod shuffle to play.
  • If you can run three miles, you can run five. Now, this is not a physical fact, there is no science to support it. It’s a mantra and it works. If you can run 3 miles, you can push it to 5. You have it in you. If you can do 5, you can do 6. Once you hit 7 miles, you can do anything. Anything. The “If/Then” theory of running will infect your life and push you do to things you never thought simply because you can run 5 miles. If I can get my ass out of bed a 5:30 am in sub zero temperature to shiver through a six mile run, I can write a 10 page paper in four hours after an 8 hour day in the office of hell. If I can run through shin splints, I can rock stilettos. If I can let strangers at a gym watch me sweat until my clothes are drenched with sweat, I can eat in a restaurant by myself. If I do, then I can.
  • Over the ear headphones prevent you from looking like you’re trying to tell the guy on first to steal second on the next pitch. Small ipod shuffles that hide under your clothes prevent you from looking like you’ve been shot in the arm while trying to adjust whatever contraption is hooked onto your arm.
  • From Runner’s World: “You rarely regret the runs you do. You ALWAYS regret the runs you skip.” Truth, my friends. Truth.
  • “Random Shuffle” on an iphone/ipod can be either the bestmotivation/distraction/support or more painful and discouraging than getting lapped by a 70-year old. I swear my shuffle just knows when to play “Just Fine” by Mary J. That is my favorite song and gets me smiling and moving. And if I’m really not in the mood for running or cranky about something else, it will play every heart breaky country song, or that one, ONE flipping classical jazz song that I don’t even know how it got on the list. It’s like it just wants to mock me.
  • Broken hearts and sports injuries heal about the same rate. They can be reoccuring, brought on by bad habits and dumb mistakes. But both serve as great, though painful, sources of motivation. And your ipod will always play the song that reminds you of that heart break at the time when you need it the most or not.