Sunday, March 2, 2008

What goes through my head when I'm running

So did I tell you I'm going to run a 10K race? You see, I love working out, but I'm tired of working out with no real goal in mind (other than that whole staying sane thing). And I've always secretly wanted to be a runner, so this seemed appropriate. I like the cute little shorts and tank tops that runners get to wear, and the fact that all you need is a good pair of shoes and some sunshine. I like runner arms and legs.

Except for one teeny, tiny problem. I am a sucky-ass runner. Really. I'm in pretty decent shape, with a 5-or-more-days-a-week gym habit and no problem sprinting to catch a flight in the airport, suitcase in tow, without even getting too out of breath. But whenever I try to be a "real" runner, I find that don't much enjoy the actually running, though I very much like the way I feel afterwards. I keep on telling myself that this is just because I haven't done it enough, and I hope that's true. Today the weather was absolutely lovely, and I managed to fuck up my plans for the day, so I went for a nice long run this afternoon. And by long, I mean more than 15 minutes :-) In keeping with the NaBloPoMo theme of lists, here are the things that go through my head as I run:

0:00 Okay, so I'm going to walk for a few minutes and then I'll start running. This is going to be great!

0:05 Crap, I guess it's time to start running now, eh?

0:06 For real, have to start running now.

0:09 Ugh, this sucks. How long have I been running for?

0:10 My God, it's not even the end of the 3rd song on my running mix. I suck at this.

0:12 Can I stop yet?

0:13 Please?

0:14 Okay, I'm going to keep on running for at least one more song.

0:16 Well, the song is almost over. Isn't that close enough?

0:20 This sucks this sucks this sucks this sucks this sucks.

0:22 Yes! Traffic! Have to stop to let the cars go by!

And so on . . . I think part of the problem is that at the gym, on the bike or elliptical or whatever, it only takes me like 10 minutes for my body to feel really warmed up and engaged in what I'm doing. It seems to take me a lot longer with running, and I have a hard time staying motivated long enough. It's easier when I run on the treadmill, but I'm pretty sure that's because of the miracle of cardio equipment with individual TVs on each machine combined with bad reality television. Plus, on the treadmill, I can set it to do automatic intervals, which forces me to start running again pretty quick even after I've gone back to walking. I also think I might have lousy running form. I think I strike the ground first with the wrong part of my foot and as a result, my calves get really overworked. Should I just give up or is there hope for even sucky runner me?

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