Monday, February 15, 2010

Run Schmun

I'm registered to run the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in April. It was one of those situations where a bunch of my friends started signing up to create a team and everyone was talking about how much fun it would be, and I was sitting on my couch, and running a race with a bunch of your friends always sounds fun when you're sitting on the couch. It sounded fun while I was searching the web for a training plan. It sounded fun while I was typing up and printing out my training plan. It sounded fun while I was making my training plan all pretty and hanging it up in the apartment. It sounded fun until the moment that I stepped outside for my first run and then I remembered why it is that I don't do this.

That's sort of a lie - that I don't do this. I mean, I do. I have. There was a time period in college when I really considered myself a runner. I ran regularly 3 or 4 times a week. I was training for a half-marathon, and I would wake up early in the morning to go run. If I overslept, I thought about it during the day - I couldn't wait to get out there for my run. Running felt good, and I got to where I could run pretty fast. But then I was also anorexic. And seriously Type A, like Type A Plus. I never ran the half-marathon because I went into treatment, and I had to stop running. And then I just never could get back into it.

I ran a marathon a few years later, but I didn't train well enough and I hurt my knee. Last year I ran an 8K, which was good. But I promptly stopped running the moment I finished the race. I've been trying for 9 years to become a runner again. The babe thinks I'm insane - why keep doing this thing that I don't like to do? I've provided a number of reasons:

1. Exercise is important; I have to do something.
2. It's easy. Put on your shoes and go.
3. Yoga and dance classes cost money.
4. I liked it once. I'll like it again.
5. Everyone else seems to do it, and invite me to join.* That makes me feel special.

When I'm out there hobbling along, I'm often thinking of number 5, which sometimes includes cursing my friends. Why doesn't anyone send out emails asking everybody to join in a square dancing competition? Or to meet up and practice so that we can do 108 sun salutations together? Or to start a belly dancing troupe? Why running?

So last week in the midst of all the snow, I made a decision (thanks to a prior conversation with a fellow 10 mile teammate and some conversations with the babe) to let go of any pressure on this race and just start training run/walk style. It's how I got into running back in college - the Jeff Galloway way. So I've started doing my training runs where I run 3 minutes and walk 1 minute for however long I'm out there. It's been pretty nice. While I'm a disappointment to hardcore runners everywhere, I feel more relaxed about all of it. So Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run, here I come. It might take me a day to finish, but who the hell cares?

* I know - I did invite my dad to do the marathon with me, and I invited my friend T to do the 8K with me, but that's beside the point.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on signing up for the race.

I think I am the biggest on-off runner that ever existed. I get pumped, I get excited, and off I go. Then some weeks later--a winter storm comes through, I catch a cold or am sick--and I'm off again. (Admittedly I'm better staying 'on' in Spring and Summer.) 2010 came and I was out there 4 days a week, had even built myself back up to somewhere between 3-4 miles (6 is the most I've ever run). And I have no music system to run to (my radio is so old it just transmits static) so that meant I was extra proud of my fantastic start to 2010. Then classes started and that's when my running stopped. Then the snow came (and is due again tomorrow).

I like how I feel running and how I feel about being a runner (actually slow jogger is a more accurate term). So why am I always off-on? This has been true since my senior year in college (I still have that poster from the triathlon somewhere). And then I hear the tales of my friends pounding the pavement and that usually gets me back 'on' again. Peer pressure works. But I ask myself the same question--why do I need peer pressure to do something that I like?

ps. One other big motivator for me: spring weather. Here's to an early spring!


(In)Sanity Gal said...

I'll fight you for the title of biggest on-off runner! :) Actually, I might be more off-on-off, i.e. a teensy bit more off than on. But I'm liking the new run/walk stuff that's happening. And you're right - peer pressure does work. If everyone weren't signing up for races, I probably wouldn't be running. And I do like to be a part of it with folks, and I know it's good for me. But I still maintain that I'd like belly dancing more. :)

I still remember watching you cross the finish line after your triathlon. I CANNOT believe that you run without music. That deserves double points!

Anonymous said...

It's not that I want to run without music. No indeed. It's just that I haven't broken down/coughed up the money for an ipod or tried to fix my radio.

So belly dancing, eh?


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Template by