Monday, March 13, 2006


Okay. I've finally realized no one really likes to run. Not at first, anyway. Maybe not ever. The jury is still out.

I had visions of loping easily along, like a wild animal; formidable, fast, a stunning picture of grace and power.

It's not like that. I loathe it.

No. Really. Loathe it. Always have. Even in the years before I started smoking, I was not a particularly good runner.

Running hasn't gotten any better in the intervening years, either. Plus, is it just me, or is gravity getting a lot stronger? I'm here to tell you. Gravity is strong. Damn strong. Especially when you're going up hills. It gets even stronger, then.

It hurts. I suck desperately for air, and fight to keep some rhythm between my feet and my breath, and I try very hard to ignore the fact that I can hear all the blood in my body roaring in my ears. I get all sweaty and red in the face. It's actually sort of awful.

Then I realized everyone I see out running looks the same way. I felt a bit better.

So then I started thinking about marathons. Those people never really look like they're having that much fun, after the beginning. Not until the finish line, when they get to stop. Right?

So I started looking around, checking out some of the training schedules helpful runners have posted for newbies. There are some nifty 20 week plans to train to peak for your first marathon.

They say things like "Week 12: Monday--Run an easy eight miles--you should be breathing too hard to sing, but still able to gasp your location into the cell phone for the ambulance guys. You know. Just in case. Come home and do wind sprints til you pass out. When you wake up, drink as much water as you can hold, walk out the charley-horses, then blend up raw eggs with almonds and drink that, too.


September, I think. I think I could be ready by September.


TillyLost said...

Actually, I think it's a much better idea than a gym or an expensive machine.
Doing a marathon? I think that's a good idea if it's something you really want to do. I can't imagine wanting to do it, but it would be a wonderful achievement, and your body would really appreciate it once it stopped screaming expletives of pain at you. And you'll have achieved something that's difficult and stretches you.

That gravity thing. Yep, definitely stronger.

uniquematerial said...

Isn't self-abuse a sin?

Just so you know - if you ever see me running, look behind me. I'm being chased (probably by something with very large teeth).

Anonymous said...

I think you need to syphon off the excess amount of oxygen which has reached your brain, Mac :) Too many endorphins are running loose - excuse the pun. Apparently, you haven't read the manual on proper endorphin usuage. Please do, further instructions appear to be necessary in your case ;)

Anonymous said...

I have not done any running since I was, oh, about 4. Even then, I was too fluffy to do it for long!

Now I have a nice, comfortable, fancy-honkin' treadmill with several built-in programs and a wonderful fan! I got it two weeks ago and I'm up to a whopping .5 mile at 2mph!

And my heart rate is 193 - only twice stroke point!

I, too, noticed all the 'happy' runners as I went about my daily life... and realized if I tried to run NOW, after 48 years of not running, my lungs would explode.

More power to you, Mac, but I think that 'September' reference was a throwback to my manuscript!

Anonymous said...

Do it.

But do a smaller one first.

And get some better running shoes.

doc-t said...

when I was 16, I ran 5 miles a day and loved it...

I'm not 16 anymore. I ran till I was ready for a half marathon. Ran that, and it cost me some cartilage and ligaments...

it's not for everyone, but if there's that thing inside you that won't be satisfied until you run that marathon, it's not like you really have a choice.

If it's simply a matter of excercise and staying in shape, I PROMISE you, building muscles by weight training will benefit you more than running ever could...

But whatever you choose, good luck with it.

Mac said...

Doc, I love to lift. :) It's about wanting to really push myself, I suspect.

Anon--thanks. I was in my Saloman trail shoes--on pavement.
It was a bad choice.

Anonymous said...

Once I decided I'd run daily. Day three was the worst--very sore. Gradually built up till I liked it. Then I'd run longer when there was time and I felt energetic. This started when I was about 30 and went on for years.

I ran country roads and in the woods, either alone or with my dog. Usually I'd run rain or shine. On occasion when I couldn't run, I'd pace indoors and drive people nuts.

Once some friends and I were checking our pulses, I think it was late afternoon. Mine was 16 per minute. I still find it hard to believe.

Now I live in a big city, Taipei, and running would be more of a health hazard than enhancer.

I do ride a bike to work and back thrice a week though. That's my main exercise now. And I wear a good respirator.

I'll be 60 in a couple months.

Wisdom Weasel said...

Inspiring... I hate running but I need to get back in shape. Just you pointing out that nobody enjoys it really helps me want to hit the pavement for some reason.

uniquematerial said...

Geez, I almost hate to tell ya'll this -

"eat right, exercise, die anyway."

It's sad, but true.

doc-t said...

Unique, yes the rest of you must all die eventually anyways...

but the journey can be more or less enjoyable.

You can die with adult onset diabetes, in a motorized chair because you cant carry yourself, or having your children and grand children care for you...

or you can get up and fight. When death does come for you.... Let it find you fighting and sucking the marrow out of life.

uniquematerial said...

I find life more enjoyable if I'm not running, less enjoyable if I am.

If Mac likes to run, I think I can find something to chase her. Hmmm -
any preferences, Mac?

doc-t said...


You can't let MAC choose what chases her!!! it has to be something she DOESN'T want to be caught by!

Neasa said...

I've never seen a runner who looked happy. Cadaverous yes, happy, no.

Now, bellydancers? We always look happy!

Unknown said...

My ankles are too bad/weak for running. Even with jogging, I get sprains too easily.

Walking is good. :)

(Providing I can get to the track to do it. I don't like walking in this area -- TOO much traffic on the main drag in town.)

Anonymous said...

New shoes yet?

Jill said...

Mac, I have always, and I do mean ALWAYS, hated running. Even when I did it for several years. The longest distance I ever ran was five miles and I did a couple of 5K races because a close friend of mine is an avid runner (and a former Federal Way resident, then Hoquium now in Olympia). But there were times when I'd run with a certain friend in college and I would CRY while running, I hated it so much.

Of course, while I'm typing this, I'm sitting with the button to my jeans undone because I've got a bad case of Mommy Belly.

And, I don't run. :)