Monday, August 18, 2014

FTT Off-Topic: The Running Monologue

Or Athletic
As mentioned before, I run, because not running is worse.

One hundred miles a month, every month, 7 for 7 so far this year, after 90 miles a month last year. Last year's miles were easier, because they had cheating aspects (I'd hang on the treadmill and try to sprint through things, and also count walking). This year has been a grind. I'm not actually very good at running, as I'm (a) short, and (b) a guy that didn't do it until I was in my '40s. So I had to rework my running style to stop being a mid and back foot striker, which was causing major knee problems once I'd run, say, more than three miles at a time. But with toe shoes and diligence, I got through it, and now I'm on pace.

When I run has also changed a lot. It used to be all gym miles, either on a treadmill or track, which meant that it came during prime time hours, and kept me away from family. Now, I tend to run at night, on the roads in my neighborhood, when the traffic is minimal and you can let your mind wander, and the kids are in bed. At least, that's the theory. The reality is often different, because most of the time when I run, it's not a universal decision between my brain and body.

My brain has this spreadsheet, you see. My brain has goals, ambitions, and a desire to spread out the back nine of my life for as long as possible. My body has peeling skin between the toes, bruised heels, battered knees, reflux from eating, threats of diarrhea, and so on, and so on. So what usually happens is a fight to keep running in the first mile or so, and eventually my body shuts the hell up and my brain drifts off to what can fill the bloghole, how I'm going to play the next poker game, who I like in fantasy football, and so on, and so on. Eventually, I finish the course I've laid out for myself, and up to 7 miles of my monthly task is over. Do this 15 to 20 times a month, it's all fine. So long as I'm not cramping or under some form of trauma, the running just happens. With no outward drama. Inside, it's a fight.

The other night had something more intriguing, though. It was colder than usual -- it's been a good summer for that -- and I was out in my usual shorts and t-shirt, because, well, I sweat buckets, and there's no need to pollute more clothes than that. And it took a lot longer than the first mile for the body to settle down and just accept the exercise. It was like I was operating at a different vibration.

And my body, of course, used this in it's latest attempt to get me to stop running.

Maybe you're having a heart attack.

Seriously? That's the best you can come up with. You just had your blood pressure taken during a dental cleaning earlier in the day, and it was 112 over 80. You weigh what you weigh in college. The actual odds of you having a heart attack, while running? Pretty damn small, honestly.

But what if? Would you stop running?

Christ. STFU, will you? Just run.

But what if? Couldn't we just walk until the feeling passes?

We're three miles from home. Walking will take an hour. Running will take a half hour. You really want to be out here for a a full hour

You'd keep running even if we were having a heart attack. Idiot.

Well, fine. Hospital's right over there. Why not just jog on over and tell them you're having a heart attack. Pretty sure they'll check you right out.

Well, um, no.

Why not?

Because, um...

It's be embarrassing as hell to walk into a hospital and claim a heart attack when the only thing that is really happening is you're just a whiny little piece of garbage that doesn't want to run when he's a little bit cold?

...

Just run.

Fine.

Thank you.

I hate you.

Right back at you, buddy.

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