Sunday, September 20, 2009

12 Days To Marathon


I forgot to tell you about something funny that happened when I was running my 5.5 miles yesterday. It was almost as funny as when I was running and someone drove by and dumped water on me.

I was jogging along minding my own business when a car pulled up beside me. I could see that it was a fairly large man with his wife in the passenger seat and his kids in the back. He rolled down his window and said "You're doing pretty good if you can speed it up a little faster."

I was sure that I didn't hear him right. I turned off my music and said "What?" He said again "You're doing pretty good if you can speed it up a little faster." At first I thought he was kidding. But there was no sly grin. No wink. No thumbs-up. He was being serious. Some guy I've never met in my life put his destination on hold for a minute, pulled up beside me, and told me to speed up. I'm not sure if he was trying to be encouraging or trying to be a punk.

I hesitantly muttered "Um, okay." And he rolled up his window and continued down the road. I looked at my watch and saw that I was doing 9:20 miles. For me on a longer run, that is a decent clip. Hmmm. Peculiar.

On a different note, I have a confession.

I sometimes have a guilty feeling when I say I'm a runner. I feel deceitful because saying you're a runner implies that you have some idea of what you're doing. And I don't. Experienced runners would scoff at my speed.

To tell you the truth, I love everything about running. Except running.

I don't like dragging myself down the road or having my knees ache incessantly. But I love the feeling of accomplishment afterward. I love feeling like I'm in the best shape of my life. I love pushing myself. I love having the freedom to consume large amounts of sugar. I love the challenge.
I feel like if I were a real runner, it wouldn't be this hard. It shouldn't hurt this bad. Strangely, despite the hurt, running has become a part of me. And I'm okay with our love/hate relationship.

"Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I'm content with what I can do and if I'm completely satisfied with my pace, distance, and form as a runner. It's only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards." ~ John "The Penguin" Bingham

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