At that time I was very self conscious about what I looked like when running. Do I sound like an elephant? Is my face red and puffy? Do I look like I am dying out here? In fact, there were times I would stop running and pretend to admire the flowers if a car was coming. Ha!
Then a customer mentioned one day while I was at work that they had seen me out running. Wait, what? I used to run directly after work from work as I knew I would not follow through if I went home first. Side note, still true. Side effect of a small town was that I was always running or walking near someone’s home. I started asking where they lived and from then on would always make sure I was running when I went by their houses- even if it was up a hill. Constant motivation, right?
That quasi shame holds true today. I hate being caught walking while out running by anyone I know. Even though I know full well there is nothing wrong with walking. It still irritates me. Unless it’s like 105* outside, it makes me cranky when someone says they saw me walking.
With a day off work, I headed out for an afternoon run. Except I was ridiculously sore from the previous days few track miles. It was 92* and my blisters were screaming. I thought I had taped them up enough but I was wrong. So I was walking. Which again I know is fine.
Then I hear “is that Fallon?”. Oh hell. Seriously?!
I was almost done with my run turned walk and was finishing it down on the river path which rarely has anyone on it. Yet, there was someone I know from work. What are the odds??
Well the town only has 30,000 people so I guess the odds aren’t that high but still. I still felt super awkward. (also did I get that odds statement backwards?)
So, yeah even after 10 years, I still feel like a newbie out there. And I still have hang ups.
My new boss recently told me how impressed she was by my dedication. I didn’t know what to say. Partially because I am socially awkward and partially because I don’t feel very dedicated these days. I have been hitting my 3 days of running but cutting back on speed and mileage has often left me feeling a little low. A little uninspired. Running’s always hard but sometimes it’s so hard you wonder what the hell you keep doing it for.
Why do we put ourselves through it? Why do we commit to the craziness? Some get up at the crack of dawn to get in a run. Others run at night in the dark. Runner’s run tired and injured and cranky and mad and sad and hungry. We run when it’s freezing cold outside, or when it feels like the side of the sun. Running in the rain can be fun until you fall on your ass. Running puts you at risk of crazies, inattentive drivers or animal attacks. You could run on a treadmill but sometimes you wind up feeling like a hamster on a wheel. Squeak, squeak.
And your body? Something usually aches. It could be a hip or a knee. Your ankle or crappy shins. Tight calves or hamstrings. Black toenails, no toenails, hide those feet! In my case, a crappy stomach. But we keep running. What person voluntarily chooses a sport that has a side effect called “runner’s trots”? I think we’re all slightly masochistic or just a little crazy. What does Einstein say about insanity?
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Oh yeah, that. Lets not even talk about the mind games we play with ourselves. Even when I don’t want to run, I want to run. How does that even make sense?Work ran late every day this week and on Thursday I had little to no desire to run. I was looking for a reason not to. I wasn’t injured and my stomach felt average for me these days. I have been in a funk and just felt meh. I just wanted to veg in a chair and catch up on my DVR. I wasn’t even hungry and didn’t want to eat. Which is very, very rare for me. But I changed into my gear anyways. Drove back to town and decided to run the river path. Daylight was fading fast but I had zero desire to run on the treadmill. That is coming soon enough. I just wanted to get it over with, if darkness cut it shorter so be it.
Running has become a chore lately and it’s been awhile since I have had good run. There have been decent miles here and there but all runs were less than stellar. It’s a big reason why I am working on getting back out on the trails. I set out for Thursday’s run not expecting or hoping for much. My warm up was little shorter due to the twilight hour. I started running waiting for the cough that would come or the stomach cramp that joins on all runs these days. My run went something like this-
1/4 mile in – oh jumping Rottweiler please don’t jump that fence and attack me. Are you on a trampoline?! 1/2 mile in- may as well start running. 1 mile in- no huffing and puffing. 1.5 miles in-still no cramp. 2 miles in -breathing still easy, no wheezing and still no cramping. Hmmm, this is nice. The weather is the perfect temp right now, and the sky looks so pretty at dusk. Oh the streetlights are on, that’s kind of cool. Can I run all of mile 3? Haven’t done that in a while, let’s try. Yay, I’m still running and I feel good. Damn this darkness, I want to run more. I feel like I could keep going for miles. Breathing is still easy, sweet. 5K mark, time to cool down, kind of dark now, oh and some interesting looking, umm, kids smoking on that bench. Run is officially over.
And that is why I keep banging my head against a wall. Sometimes the stars align and you experience a glorious run. It wasn’t long and it wasn’t fast but that wasn’t the point. The point was how I felt during and after. It was kind of awesome. Running is work, but the reward is worth it.