Saturday, February 26, 2011

On Your Mark...

I have had plenty of friends and acquaintances express the sentiment that they just don't "get" runners. As I sit here this evening icing the inside of my right arch and reflecting on the day's run, I must admit that I don't really "get" them either.

A friend and neighbor of mine invited me to join her running circle a couple of months ago. She faithfully sent me texts the night before they were going to run, and while I have generally considered myself a social runner, the morning chill all but froze that desire. Besides, I often found myself at the gym on an elliptical where I was trying to retrain my knees and ligaments to stay in alignment. When I finally did join the running circle for some street running, I was happy to find my knees and ligaments behaved themselves.

Then we did an eight-mile run that left every part of me from the waist down, especially my arches, very fatigued. Then we ran 10 miles last Saturday in the rain. It wasn't fun. We dared to hope for fairer skies for the Dogtown Half Marathon that we were hoping to run this morning. It was not to be.

Due to the un-fair weather, the course was changed to include two out-and-back portions that just about did me in. Frankly, I don't really want to run past all the people who have already reached the turn around point and are on their way back. I also don't want to dodge all the trucks and trailers headed out on the same road I am running on to attend a Big Truck-Trailer-and-Four-Wheel-Drive Rally (probably not the OFFICIAL name, but likely more appropriate than the official one).

May I digress for a moment to confess my prejudice against big trucks? Their drivers seem to have something to prove to the world. They drive around with an attitude that seems to say, "Stay out of my way, because if we collide we both know who's coming out on top." To be fair, they probably believe that the drivers of minivans cop the attitude of, "Move out of my way, I have a van full of kids that need to be in six different places in the next two minutes!" They would probably be right.

So back to my run, I ran with my three girlfriends for about 5.5 miles. Then they slowed for Gu and air probably (we were on a hill). I just kept going. I had to keep going. All I wanted was the finish line. I have enjoyed runs at different times in my life, but today's run was not to be enjoyed. Cold. Wet. Repetitive. Plus, the signage was pathetic. I want a blaring sign at each mile marker that I can look for and run toward. These were hidden amidst similar signs that read, "Runners Keep Right" and "Watch for Cars." I could have used something more inspiring. Something along the lines of "IHOP this way" or "If you stop now, we'll take you home." You get the idea.

After our 10-mile run last Saturday, my arch was giving me grief. I was a little swollen under my right ankle. I had serious reservations about running the race this morning. Unfortunately, we had buy-one-get-one-free coupons for our entries, and there were four of us who had "committed" to run. Consequently, I hated to back out. I registered, thinking $22.50 was a small price to pay even if I bailed. But still, who wants a T-shirt (or shorts as in this case) from a run they never did? Not me.

I showed up. I ran 13.1 (actually 13.3 miles, according to my Garmin) in 2:15:57. Funny how those race organizers always place the Finish Line based on their convenience more than the point at which I might collapse--because, I must say, if they were trying for the latter, they were about a mile too long.

Doesn't it make you want to go for a run?


  1. Well let me add to the beef about big trucks. Another thing they like to do is drive with their fog lights on. And may I just say that if you drive slow in front of them because you now can't see out of your rearview mirrors (and maybe a little bit to bug them), it bugs them and they might just try to pass you on the left, then crash into you when you go to make the turn and keep driving, leaving you for dead, until you lose all sense and chase them down. They won't pay for the damage to your car, either. Just a little fyi, from one who knows.

  2. May I just say that I can count ten reasons in your entry that says "see why I hate to run??" I am a walker, I have even tried race walking, but a runner I will never be. My friend, who is a runner, tells me it is a time where she can relax and let her mind wander and figure things out. When I am running, the only thing going on in my head is "WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER? AM I THERE YET? NO, OK I GIVE UP!:)"