Friday, February 12, 2010

Deep Thoughts for Friday...

Since Fridays are my rest day, I'd like to use this time to examine the deeper side of running. Why do we runners voluntarily run distances that most people would rather drive? And not only do we run these distances voluntarily, but we often pay good money to do so! (Case in point - I recently plunked down $130 to run the Chicago Marathon this fall) Are we flipping mad?

In a word... YES.

There is no convincing a runner that what he or she is doing is pure insanity. So don't even try. Just know that for many of us, running is a sort of addiction. We simply can't stop.

It's worth noting that just a few years ago, I hated running. I hated the very idea of running. I never wanted to do it. Ever. See, growing up, I was never very athletic. *ahem* That's putting it mildly. I was the kid hyperventilating after running the mile in 16:32. When I mention that I'm a runner, people sometimes ask me "Oh, did you run in school?" Yes. I ran to the cafeteria for lunch.

But about 4 years ago, I decided I wanted to run a 5k. Just to say I did it. So, like many before me (and many after me) I trained using the highly-praised Couch-To-5k Plan. For reasons I cannot explain (because I do not know), the race I chose for my first 5k was the Jingle Bell run. As the name implies, it's in December. (Apparently I had all the insanity of a true runner before I ever was one.) On race day, it was, well, insanely cold. And icy. But I did it. I ran that 5k in 33:54. It damn near killed me. And I LOVED it. More confirmation that runners are mad.

Within hours of finishing my first 5k, I decided I wanted to run a half-marathon. *begin sarcasm font* Now there's a logical leap. From 3 miles to 13 miles. *end sarcasm font* More confirmation that runners are mad.

About six months after my first 5k, which was run in the icy cold, I finished my first half-marathon, which was run in the sweltering heat. It was so hot, they actually closed the course shortly after I finished. It took me 2 hours and 39 minutes. I LOVED it. More confirmation that runners are mad.

I really haven't stopped running since that first fateful 5k, except for injury and illness. I'm quite content to keep the insanity going. And maybe all this doesn't show that runners are flipping mad. Maybe it just shows that I'm flipping mad.

Peace. Love. Train.

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